I had a typical English, middle class upbringing. My sisters and I were always looked after and would always receive some cracking presents on Christmas day. We didn’t really ever go wanting, but we were never spoiled by our parents. Of course there were some tougher times, and I had to wait a little longer than initially hoped for my Nintendo, but hey, how the wait had been worth it. If I wanted that toy Ghostbusters Ecto 1 car then my dad would hand me the rake, point to the autumnal leaves that covered the garden in its entirety and the rest was up to me. I had to earn it.
You see, the world owes me nothing, nothing at all. If I want something I have to work for it, I have to bleed, sweat and sacrifice; it is simply how the real world works. Where has this misplaced sense of entitlement come from that so pollutes our species? Why do so many people think that they should get this and that at a discounted rate or even for free? Who are you? Kim Kardashian?
I first noticed this pandemic in London a decade ago. At my previous job the bulk of the staff at the time were teenagers. We were all paid an hourly wage. We signed a contract that agreed that we would sell our time and labour to the company in exchange for a shiny shilling a day. Then, during the work day, some of my colleagues would continue to complain. Complain that they weren’t getting enough money, that they should dictate when their break should be and for how long it should last. “I should get that for free because I’ve been standing outside in the rain all day.” Quiet you. You knew what you were agreeing to, and you’re getting paid for it, what gives you the right to complain? It’s a business, not Byker Grove.
Here in the UAE there is a similar attitude. Everyone always wants a discount. Why? Because you once met a Sheikh? Because your car license plate only has 3 digits on it? That somehow gives you the right to barge into a hardware store or mobile phone shop and demand that you should get a discount? Do you have any idea how hard it is for private sector companies to make money over here? Even when you have massive luminous rosettes with “50% off” written on them people still ask for the “best price.” Who the Dickens are you?
We see a similar thing at sporting events. Yas Marina has a grandstand capacity of just over 50,000. Each year during the Formula 1 there are still 25% of the tickets still unsold, right up until a few days before the race when all those people-in-waiting realise that the person they thought was going to get them a free ticket isn’t going to get them a free ticket after all. They were just posturing and showing off, and now it’s bitten them in the arse. Instead the tout turns his or her phone off and says they’ve been unwell. So the charity cases have to suffer the indignity of purchasing a ticket to the spectacle at full cost. And so the event is all-ticket. Clever marketing.
After discounts, we have the rules. Both company policies and the word of the law are mere meaningless words on a page to some people. There is a large chunk of the population that genuinely believe that the law does not apply to them. If they find themselves in hot water they simply make a phone a call and try their luck. Company’s in-house rules are also completely disregarded. Go to a water park like Wild Wadi or Atlantis, the signs clearly say that only one person is allowed to go down the slide at a time, not 7 young adolescent males crammed onto a skateboard all at once. The poor attendant blows his whistle in a futile attempt at authority as the 7 imbeciles ignore him and exit the slide in a heap of shattered bones, blood and hubris.
If you don’t read the rules then frankly you’re a fool. If you do read the rules and chose to ignore them anyway then you are a symbol of a broken world that has as much entitlement to success and wealth as manure. You have no leg to stand on if you get stuck in either case.
The world is going through some tough times right now and we have no time for bit-players. If the world is to stabilise then we must all stop thinking that it owes us something when in actual fact it is the other way around.
If you don’t want to play a role in society and expect to be given things without having had to work hard for them or you just want to be lazy that’s fine. But excuse the rest of us when we start laughing at you if you expect anything beyond the basic means of which to survive.
Anyway, changing the subject, does anyone know where I can get a free ticket for the Formula 1 in November?