web analytics
September 15, 2014 / 20 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



‘It’s Your Fault’

      I grew up in an era where customers were always right – even if they weren’t – because it was good for business to accommodate them, even if they were out of line. I literally grew up in my parents’ shoe store – for it was in our house for years (older people who I bump into reminisce how they used to feed and diaper my twin brother and me as they waited their turn for my mother to serve them) – and learned that if you make the customer happy he or she will come back.


 


      I was reminded of that childhood lesson the other day when I walked into a candy store and bought some almonds (fattening but full of nutrients) and handed the container to the cashier to be weighed. She told me the how much it cost and while I was rummaging in my purse for money, she put the nuts into a bag that she set down on the counter. I paid her and took the bag in front of me and went home. About half an hour later, I opened the bag ready to happily nibble, only to find to my great dismay that instead of nuts, there was a small box of cookies inside.

 

      I called the store and told the girl who answered that I was given the wrong bag, “No,” I was told, “you took the wrong bag, the one with the cookies.” I was kind of taken aback. The store was blamingme for the mistake. I explained to the person on the other end of the line that I took what was set on the counter in front of me. Again I was told that no, it was my mistake and that if I liked I could come and exchange bags.

 

      The problem was that I did not have access to a car and even though it was only a 15 minute walk, in each direction, I had already done a great deal of walking that day and didn’t feel like shlepping out again.

 

      But as I had no interest in eating sugar-coated cookies, I started walking, hoping to catch a bus on the way.

 

      Upon arriving at the store, the cashier, seeing me walk in witha store-bag said, “Here is your bag,” and took the one I came in with. She then turned her attention elsewhere.

 

      I was quite annoyed at what I considered to be a serious lack of derech eretz (that generally seems to have infected our community), and asked her, “No apology? No, ‘Sorry you were inconvenienced,’ no ‘Why don’t you keep the cookies?” (I didn’t want them but she wouldn’t have known that).

 

      She looked at me as if I was from outer space. “Why should I apologize? It was your mistake! You took the wrong bag!”

 

      I was about to repeat what I had told her over the phone but thought better of it. Why waste my breath and time. She would never see it as her mistake. I walked out of the store, but I wasn’t angry – I was actually quite sad. Sad that her attitude seems to be the norm these days. People no longer take responsibility for their actions. It’s always the other guy’s fault. If anything – they are the victims. They are the ones who was wronged.

 

      Nowadays when an adult gets drunk and his car becomes a weapon of mass destruction, – it’s the bartender’s fault. If a student doesn’t do well in school, it’s because the teacher doesn’t like him. If a burglar gets hurt during a home invasion – such as falling through a glass skylight on the roof – the homeowner is liable. He should have anticipated that a criminal could injure himself while breaking into his home and should have done something about it. If a woman is beaten by her husband, it’s because she deserved it. She should have remembered to pick up the dry-cleaning.

 

      The really scary aspect of this is that people truly believe they are in the right. It’s not that they are deliberately hiding their guilt or are too ashamed to admit to a flawed behavior or deed. They are in such deep denial that there is no convincing them otherwise, despite the undisputable evidence.

 

      So no matter what – it’s your fault. No matter what, I am the victim, the one who was wronged – and you are the cause of my misfortune, of my failures.

 

      This attitude can be annoying on a personal level but on a grand scale it can have horrific consequences, for this is what I believe has fuelled anti-Semitic persecution – and continues to do so.

 

      And as long as individuals won’t own up to their mistakes or their weaknesses, as long as they refuse to take responsibility and thus empower themselves to make positive changes in their lives, then I am afraid that the finger of blame will always be pointed outwards.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “‘It’s Your Fault’”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Section of the Philadelphia Holocaust Memorial, just one of several Jewish sites and institutions struck by anti-Semitic vandalism in 2014.
Swastikas Again in Series of Philadelphia Attacks of Anti-Semitism
Latest Sections Stories
Women's under-trousers, Uzbekistan, early 20th century

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

Schonfeld-logo1

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

Teens-091214-Octopus

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.

The interpreter was expected to be a talmid chacham himself and be able to also offer explanations and clarifications to the students.

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

“On Sunday I was at the Kotel with the battalion and we said a prayer of thanks. In Gaza there were so many moments of death that I had to thank God that I’m alive. Only then did I realize how frightening it had been there.”

Neglect, indifference or criticism can break a person’s neshama.

It’s fair to say that we all know or have someone in our family who is divorced.

The assumption of a shared kinship is based on being part of the human race. Life is so much easier to figure out when everyone thinks the same way.

Various other learning opportunities will be offered to the community throughout the year.

The new group will also deliver kosher food to Jewish residents in non-kosher facilities, as well as to kosher facilities where the food is not up to par.

The Honey Bee workshop delighted the children and all others who attended the event.

Many former baseball players who left us with happy memories also passed away in the past year.

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-080114

Unpleasant happenings are quickly discarded if they do not affect us directly.

Kupfer-071814

I have always insisted that everything that happens to anyone or anything is min Shamayim.

It is so hurtful to heighten people’s sense of inadequacy and guilt in a matzav that is already horrendous and difficult to bear.

Make no mistake: in the wrong hands cars are weapons of mass destruction.

Where once divorce in heimische communities was relatively uncommon, nowadays every family has a son, daughter, sibling cousin who is divorced – sometimes twice or even three times!

Many go about the business of living frum, observant lives, but they are only going through the motions.

Lately I have been hearing quiet grumblings from people who admit that they regret not encouraging their sons to get a post-high school education after a year or two of learning.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/its-your-fault/2007/10/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: