Impatient Irish have lost that loving feeling for others
Surly streak starting to become obvious post-Celtic Tiger
Perhaps it’s a symptom of depression thrust upon the Irish following the demise of the Celtic Tiger, but it seems to me the nation has become very impatient and intolerant in so many respects.
One could simply be driving along observing the speed limit, whether it be on the city streets or on a country road, only to be horn-blasted by an overtaking ogre, face contorted in rage as he glares across at you, presumably because he’s being slowed up by some namby-pamby twit driving an inferior car.
Recently having survived this potentially dangerous onslaught, head spinning with the suddenness of it and grateful for the central locking which gives some protection, I park up (another area of motoring conflict) and struggle to a café for a strong cup of Barry’s tea in order to gather myself before facing back out into the cauldron which has become the whole of Ireland.
It is an angry place now, sadly, with natives craving instant responses to unreasonable demands.
On finding the oasis of hoped-for peace - the café - I stand in the queue awaiting the assistant to take the money for the tea and scone. Amazed as two Irish customers walk straight up from the back of the line and get served without question. Try to complain to the pleasant Polish girl behind the counter only to be told in a whisper: ”I’ve given up attempting to keep order here – I’ve been verbally abused and even had things thrown at me when asking for manners.”
Sitting at my table I was told through peals of laughter by the jumpees at the next table – two attractive young women – “you should have objected sooner, man, queuing is old fashioned." I smiled benignly at them. Safer.
At an adjacent table in a high chair sits a delightful little baby of about a year old who catches my glance and beams a lovely smile accompanied by squeals of laughter. I smile back and pull a few funny faces much to the amusement of the little one, only to be flattened by the withering scowls of the parents who wheel about in their seats and stare with daggers in the eyes because their baby appears to be having fun.
What is going on with Irish? Surliness has become the norm.
We can’t anymore pick up the phone to inquire why the gas or the multi-channel TV is not working, but to be told of the probable charge for the call by a machine-voice before a series of buttons have to be pushed before one can submit a name and account number.
Then there is the “please be advised that this call is monitored for training purposes” – which actually means ‘watch your tone of voice here or I’ll cut you off pronto’ at even a hint of exasperation’! Get off the phone dissatisfied no nearer to a solution. Try again tomorrow with a new strategy figured out. It used not be like this before the notion of confrontation became a way of life.
We are living in a time when to attempt calm and good behaviour, and to expect even a modicum of reciprocation, is a rapidly fading concept. Ireland has become frantic, in my opinion, rushing headlong in search of…well…the bigger and better everything, convinced this is what brings happiness.
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