Monday, March 5, 2012

People...hating people...

This last weekend was swim meet weekend.  My daughter has only been in swim for a little over a year now, and this was the first "Champs" meet that we had been to.  Basically, it is like the big swim meet at the end of the season where everyone tries their best.
Our first indication that this was going to be a trying weekend was that when we got there, on time, we discovered that the meet was running about an hour late.  That sucks, but it is understandable.  These organizations that put on these meets find it very hard to turn away people who want to pay for the meet, as they need the money.  It does create quite the headache when it comes to scheduling all these last minute swimmers, though.
This minor inconvenience set off a chain reaction of craziness for the whole weekend, which is not the focus of this post.  What I really want to focus on is how inconsiderate people can be when they are only worried about themselves.
We have all been in a situation where there are crowds.  I tend to focus on making sure that people all have an equal shot at taking care of themselves, but apparently this is not the overwhelming attitude when it comes to most other people.  I usually sit there in amazement as I watch people do things as if they are the only person in the world.  Before I get into specifics, let me set the stage:
This is just an example of what they considered "leg room"
We were at the Grapevine Colleyville Natatorium, which is a nice, but small, venue.  There were WAY too many people for this little building.  Imagine three or four hundred swimmers, each of them with a mom and/or a dad, and probably siblings, packed into a building about the size of a decent gymnasium, but with a gigantic swimming pool taking up the majority of the floor space.  The bleachers were poorly constructed.  There was about half the normal space to maneuver around between the benches.  Lastly, either the air-conditioning wasn't working or it hadn't been turned for the most of the day, it was a sweltering 85 degrees or so...with 500 people in a small building.  Here are some of the things I witnessed:

  • People parking in fire lanes (there was a perfectly acceptable, HUGE parking lot about a 2 minute walk from the natatorium
  • People saving ENTIRE rows of seats with bags, jackets, etc. and no one sitting in those seats all day long
  • Parents letting their children run wild all day long, with no concern whatsoever (this included one boy who made it his mission to destroy every tree outside of the building, where a lot of people went to get a breath of fresh air from time to time)
  • People putting bags, etc. in the aisle so you had to walk around their bag to get out of the bleachers
  • People setting up folding chairs wherever there was floor space, blocking pretty much every exit down to a single file line that had to turn sideways to get through
  • At one point, a race official came to open a set of doors to let some much needed air in the building.  As soon as he walked away, a woman closed the doors because she was cold. 99.9% of the people in that building were dying, and she couldn't get it through her thick skull that there was anyone else in that building besides herself
  • Parents not telling their kids to towel off before they walked up the entire set of bleachers, dripping water on every single person and thing they came close to on the way up
  • My wife and I actually got a kick out of watching people open the doors to cool the building off, and watching that same woman return and close them.  It probably happened ten times throughout the day
It just seemed to me that if everyone in the building just gave half a crap, it wouldn't have been near as bad, but it seemed as if everyone was only concerned about themselves.  Now, I will say that no one was rude, and there were no incidents, but it just amazed me to sit back and watch how internally selfish people can be.
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