A True First-World Problem
I’ve been introduced to a comedian recently, Louis C.K. He really made an impression because he talked in his routine about things that you can actually relate to. He references a thing he calls “white people problems,” which I had previously heard referred to as “first world problems.” The idea is the same. The things we complain about in our privileged society are really quite ridiculous when you stop and think about them.
I know he made an impression because as I am facing things in day to day life, I often catch myself and say “white/first world people problems” which makes me laugh under the anger and diffuse it a bit. Patience has never been one of my strong suits anyway, so anything I can do to increase my tolerance is a good thing.
Tim Horton’s restaurant has been trying my patience lately. There is a billboard that advertises their $1 frozen drink specials. There are four pictures on it with two lemonade flavors and two iced tea flavors. The other night I went to Tim Horton’s. Unfortunately, the lone man that works the drive-through had no idea what dollar special I was talking about. He still had no idea how to help me. The computer was ringing up $1.51 and that was all there was to it.
The next day, I thought it was worth a trip back to speak to a manager. After I explained everything, she finally went to the register and said, “Oh, I see what happened. Iced tea is no longer on sale. It is only lemonade.” I politely walked over to the very, very large sign on the window in front of her and pointed to the two large cups of iced tea on sale. I thought maybe the visual would help her to comprehend the situation. She then said it must be a corporate problem. I politely told her that if they advertise something (especially so prominently, right?) they are really obligated (perhaps legally) to provide that something for the price advertised.
She agreed and thanked me for not yelling at her like most people do when they have a complaint. She also thanked me for bringing this problem to her attention. I paused for a few seconds, thinking she might want to actually show her appreciation by offering me a free iced tea. Maybe she would at least offer me the fifty cents I overpaid the night before. Nothing. Blank look.
There were a few more details that made it funnier than the writing I just did. But seriously, really? It is kind of ridiculous. Then I remember Louis C.K. and I have to laugh again. This is a tiny blip on the screen of life when it comes to importance. Maybe even smaller than a blip – in other words, a true first-world problem.