Debunking the term “Common Sense”

I had a wonderful day of Inner Loop today.  Really, it does not get much better than a campus loop when Purdue is out of session.  Still had all of the wonderfully nice people from Purdue Village, minus all of the traffic and pedestrians!

So over my 3 hour break (I worked a split),  I had an awesome texting rant session for about 30 minutes with one of my friends.  We apparently both really needed it!  The language we used is basically non-publishable and it was hilarious as hell!  During our rant I decided that our discussion would be the topic of my blog entry today.  At the end of our rant session, aside from the fact we believed a large percentage of the population was lazy, selfish, disrespectful and/or downright intentionally rude, we both felt better.  There’s something to be said about venting in that respect!

Later, after returning to work and driving my beloved Inner Loop, I started processing our conversation.  One term that kept popping into my brain was “common sense”.  Not because either of us used it, but because our rant was like one where this term typically pops up.  I started feeling uneasy. . .

Let me tell you my thoughts on the term “common sense”.  I despise the term.  First of all, it has never made any sense to me.  How can senses be common?  Everyone has truly unique senses and a truly unique knowledge base.  So really, you would all have to be raised and taught the exact same thing your entire lives with zero independent thoughts from anyone.  That part of the term has always bothered me, it seems like an oxymoron to me.  What struck me today, since I was on that connotation kick a few days ago, was it is the way the word is used that I can’t stand.  It is always used as a way to demean someone else. “It’s just common sense” (you are stupid, you don’t get it)  “Use a little common sense next time” (you did something stupid and I forgive you, but I still think you’re stupid)  “That woman is smart as hell, but has no common sense” (She is book-smart, but stupid otherwise)  You never feel good when it is directed towards you, but people use it anyway. I don’t, but that’s because I already can’t stand the term.

I’ll preface this next part with the fact that I really am an idealist and optimist, for the most part.  I have my moments and issues, but mostly I try to find that silver lining in people and in situations.  For this reason, my personal math wasn’t adding up regarding our rant session.  That many people can’t be “lazy, selfish, disrespectful and/or downright intentionally rude” and then voila, I thought about myself and my own usage of the word “gay” in the wrong way.  Hey, I’m a nice person who’s hard-working, giving, respectful and polite, but I was behaving in a way that came off as the opposite to those around me regarding that topic. (You know, those that had common sense in this matter) But once someone explained to me WHY it was wrong, I totally got it.  It was just something that never occurred to me and no one had ever explained it in terms I understood.

For this reason, I believe there are many more like me that are unintentionally doing things that irritate others and no one has ever explained WHY it is wrong or irritating to them.  So here’s what I am going to do.  I am going to explain certain things that are irritating and why they are so, for people just like me that sometimes need what other people believe to be obvious, directly stated.  And I am completely serious here. There are many things I don’t get until someone actually explains it. So here goes:

When doing drive-thru banking: have your deposit slip already filled out, if not, then pull over prior to getting in line and fill it out. If you have no deposit slip, then go inside, fill one out, grab some extras for your vehicle, then get in line.  Why? Because it is extremely frustrating having everything ready for a bank transaction and then getting in line behind someone who doesn’t. Now your non-preparedness is taking up my precious time, while I wait for the teller to send you a deposit slip and pen back and worth and then you filling it out. Go inside and do what I said above.

McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell: Folks these places have been around forever.  How can you possibly not know what you want when you get in the drive-thru? Granted, the menus slightly change occasionally, but you have the entire drive there to plan what you want. Get that sorted out beforehand. Otherwise, go inside and gaze at the menu board until you decide and then get in line. Why? Because it is extremely frustrating being behind someone and have to observe their entire thought process about what food they want to order, when you could have been home by now eating soft tacos.

Ordering pizza and pizza delivery: Know what you want prior to placing the call.  If you merely want to know the specials before ordering, then get the specials and call back with your final answer. Do not stay on the phone and poll your friends and family. Call back. Why? Because every minute you spend on the phone deciding what you want delays countless people from getting their food made and delivered. Including you. Minutes add up in pizza delivery (trust me I know) and before you know it, there are hour long delivery times and everyone is unhappy.  On pizza delivery: Have your porch light on, method of payment by the door, and a pen if using a credit card. The driver will most likely have a pen, but it saves time if you have one in hand. Also, be home and where you can hear the knock or doorbell. (you have no idea how many people actually aren’t even home yet!, then you end up going there twice)  Why? Because most likely there is more than just your pizza sitting in the delivery vehicle and the longer you take to make your transaction, the longer other people have to wait for their food.

Bus Behavior (this is very loosely based on my job you know):  Be present a couple minutes prior and be attentive for the bus actually coming your way. Why? So you don’t miss the bus for one. So you can signal by waving your arm that you need that particular bus. And so you can have your fare out of your pocket, purse, wallet, suitcase, etc. and in your hand and ready for payment.  I sincerely believe that people do not realize how much time is lost when you do not have your money ready.  It is EXACTLY like pizza delivery. The minutes add up. . .

If you prefer to sit all the way in the back, that is fine. Just use the back door when exiting. Why? A. Because that’s the purpose of the back door and B. it takes even more time for someone to walk from the back to the front and then people wanting to board have to wait even longer. Sort of double-dipping on the time aspect, so to speak.

There are more, but I’ll end with this one. . .

Leaving personal space in public places with plenty of room: For example, the checkout lane at the grocery store. (today might be a bad example) There is no need to be up someone’s ass and hitting them with cart and eyeballing their pin number. Same holds true for elevators and buses. If the area is empty, then no need to stand or sit right next to someone.  Apparently, the same holds true in Men’s restrooms regarding the urinal selection process! (learned that kernel of info at work today!)  Why? Because it makes people uncomfortable to have a stranger right on top of them when there is plenty of available space. Give people room to breathe.

Okay, wow. Considering there is more, perhaps Inner Loop on a Purdue Break is NOT the route for me!  Anyway, I don’t know if time will allow for a post tomorrow, so everyone please enjoy your Thanksgiving Day with family and friends and I’ll see ya when I see ya!


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