Monthly Archives: August 2014

The National Anthem – Let’s Have Some Class

With college football season officially starting today and Labor Day just around the corner, I wanted to address a troubling incident at a sporting event I attended this past spring. The Miami Hurricanes were in Raleigh to play NC State in basketball. Before the contest, the announcer addressed the crowd with the typical “take off you hats…we’re doing the National Anthem now” message.

Everything was pretty normal until the line “and the rocket’s red glare” came up. The whole crowd shouted “red” as this is one of the school’s colors. Not classy, but I wasn’t mortally offended. The last line of the Anthem, “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave” was changed to, by a good portion of the crowd, “O’er the land of the free and the home of the Wolfpack.”

My husband has worked some games for a rival of NC State and said this exact thing happened when the two schools played a couple months ago. I get that individual fans do stupid things at sporting events. I know we probably have some individuals or groups that yell “home of the ‘Canes” at Miami but nothing this widespread. I know there are idiots at Miami games. I’ve witnessed more than my fair share of trashy behavior at Florida, FSU, Ohio State, and Notre Dame…but nothing this widespread.

Defenders of this practice say this is a way for Wolfpack fans to put a “home spin” on a pregame tradition. Um…it’s a United States tradition. The fans in our section (we were two of about ten UM people in the entire place) did not appreciate it when my husband shouted “have some class” at the conclusion of the Anthem.

This truly seemed to be something that was organized and condoned by the university. It probably isn’t, but the university administration ought to do something about it because it is really low class. It is a poor reflection on the university, and they don’t act like this at Carolina or Duke (regardless of what you’ve heard about the Cameron Crazies).

If this happened at the University of Miami, I guarantee you the university president would send an email to the student body and season ticket holders directing them to stop. The head football and/or basketball coach would put an ad in the student newspaper. While the National Anthem is being played, we are all Americans. Take off your hat, put away your phone, and close your mouth for three minutes.

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Rewarding Bad Behavior

In March, my husband and I were filing our taxes. The week before, we received an email from the firm we were working with, detailing exactly what was needed and imploring us to be on time to our appointment. They threatened not to do our taxes if we did not have everything in order. That morning, we had a 9:30 appointment. So did another gentleman; he beat us there by a couple minutes but his affairs were in disarray. He was furiously calling the credit union to obtain his interest statement and his wife for Lord-knows-what. So, when the next representative became available, Eric and I were confident we would be taken, especially since our paperwork had been so organized. WRONG! They allowed this man to FINISH getting his ducks in a row and made us wait another forty-five minutes until we were seen. So much for following instructions and being organized!

I am tired of living in a society where we constantly reward bad behavior. There are no consequences for anything anymore. I cannot tell you the number of times I have seen a child misbehaving in public and the parent offering some sort of inducement for said child to behave. “If you sit down, we can get ice cream after,” says the do-nothing parent (as the child runs around the restaurant, disturbs other patrons, and almost knocks over the waitress with a plate of hot enchiladas). No! Get off your butt and either a) make your kid sit down or b) leave the restaurant. Now, this child believes she can misbehave and be rewarded for behaving. I know every child has his or her moments, but good behavior should be the expectation. If my sister or I misbehaved in a restaurant when we were old enough to know better, my parents would have gotten up and taken us outside.

Bad behavior is also commonly rewarded in the workplace. The hard worker gets more work while the slacker does less and gets the same pay. The exemplary employee’s reward is escalating expectations, leading to resentment and burnout. The slacker is better-liked because s/he is socializing rather than doing his/her job!

Finally, we live in a country that promotes bad behavior and laziness. Some of us work hard and have to support those who do not. I’m not trying to get political (for the record – I don’t identify with either party), and welfare has its merits in some cases. When I’m home from work and tired in the early evening, I sometimes watch JUDGE JUDY, which is a great show, by the way. There was a case that recently aired about a fellow who owed child support (he claimed he didn’t know what child support was even though he had been jailed for not paying it – you can’t make this stuff up), but he didn’t work because he was disabled. He collected disability and before that unemployment. Judge Judy was dumbfounded because he seemed able-bodied enough to father four kids. He said he had asthma. She laughed (I love this lady. She is like the judge version of my mom). I know asthma can be serious for some and I don’t have an MD, but this guy looked like he could work a desk job or in retail.

I am so sick of hearing about people who repeatedly scam the system while Eric (especially him) and I work hard and don’t live above our means!

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Thank You

It has been said that I am “entitled” having grown up in an upper-class suburb of Detroit with parents who would do anything for me. While I did have a privileged childhood (and still live a great life), my parents instilled good manners and taught me to be grateful for what I had. If someone holds the door for me, I say “thank you.” I thank the bus driver every morning he drops me off at my stop. I think my husband for getting the trash together. I thank the work study students in my office for their assistance. Heck, I thank everybody who writes me happy birthday on facebook. You get the picture.

This “habit” started at an early age when my mom had me start writing thank you notes for birthday and Christmas gifts. It is a habit I continue to this day. In addition to writing notes for gifts, I also writing notes when somebody does something kind for me, such as a favor or inviting me over to her house for dinner.

I have often been asked why I do this and have been told that it is excessive. I do this because I don’t feel that other people have an obligation to buy me gifts or do nice things for me. To be honest, if someone makes an effort to send me a gift, I feel that is a poor reflection on me if I do not at least say “thank you.” The excuse nowadays is “I’m so busy.” Well, guess what? The gift-giver is probably busy, too. If he or she found the time to think of you, buy a gift, wrap it or make you a meal, you can find five minutes (or less) to write a thank you note. While I believe a hand-written note is the best, in this digital age you can at least write an email!

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Filed under Because I'm Kate, Societal Observations