Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dress Appropriately And Don't Drop the Cat on Its Head

I had a new experience today. I helped train a new cat volunteer.

Usually new cat volunteers are trained by the staff in our behavior department. But for a variety of reasons they asked if I would step in today to give a show a new TLCer the ropes. It was harder than I thought.

There are so many common sense rules that I forget are actually rules that I had to force myself to recite to her. For instance, you shouldn't have to be told (let alone twice) that if there are two cats in a cage and you are only taking one cat out, you need to close the door after your first cat is out or else the other one will escape. No. Really. It will. Close the door. Yes, that's it.

And hold the cat like you've held a cat before. This woman has three of her own and yet when she plucked first kitty out of her cage she seemed to have no idea how to pick it up or hold it. A showed her, but you'd think she'd have had some experience with her own animals.

But for the most part, it went well. I think I covered all of the rules (dress code, where we keep supplies, how to log in and out, how to deal with vet issues, etc.) and she seemed to enjoy the process. I did too, but I'll stick with hanging with the cats....far more fun.

It's just weird how often I find myself shaking my head at the utter lack of common sense some people seem to possess. Things that you can't imagine ever having to be explained have to be spelled out in detail. In the nursery, for instance, I have to keep reminding the Monday crew that you have to wear gloves when handling the kittens, and you have to change gloves between litters. This is rule #1. And yet every week I see them reaching, gloveless, for a cat and have to remind them. Then I see them not changing gloves and moving on to the next litter and having to ask "have you changed gloves?" This should not need to happen more than once. It's hardly like we're overloaded with rules in the nursery, and yet this basic procedure seems to be a hard concept to grasp.

The other thing I've noticed lately is how few people notice how their actions affect others. The best place to witness this is in the grocery store. How often have you seen someone stop their cart in the middle of the aisle and stand there, blocking the way when someone is obviously trying to pass them. It's no more trouble to pull your cart to the side so people can pass but no, they stop in the exact center so there's no going around. Or they'll pause at the end of the aisle, blocking the way in, and you have to politely wait while they pour over the complete ingredient list for bread. Drives me crazy.

Is common sense a dying trait? Or do people just not think anymore? I always think about what I do and how it might get in the way of others. I'm not saying I'm exceptionally considerate, but I do want to minimize my impact on others. It seems like pulling my shopping cart out of the way is an easy thing to do. And basic things like "gee, if there are a whole bunch of kittens in this cage and I only want one I should keep the door closed" really shouldn't take much thought. Sadly, it does.

In other news, were going out to Dim Sum this weekend with friends. Have you ever had the pleasure?

For those unfamiliar, Dim Sum is a type of Chinese food where small portions are served from carts that go around the restaurant. You don't order from a menu. They just wheel things by and ask if you want some. One of the best Dim Sum places in the entire SF Bay Area is within walking distance of our house, and yet Husband has never been. We're really looking forward to it. It's a great experience to go with lots of people because you end up with plates all over the table and find yourself tasting things you can't believe you just ate. Chicken feet? Sure, why not? I mean when else am I going to get the chance to eat chicken feet? And the wonderful thing about Dim Sum is that these small tasting plates mean you don't end up with an entire order of something you hate. You eat one, your friends each eat one and you've had the experience. Then it's on to the next cart and the next bit of mystery. Plus these are some of my favorite people ever, so there will be much laughter and good comradeship. I can't wait.


Duke said...

I see the same things you do Decca but I'm not sure it's lack of common sense. People do those things because they don't care.

They don't think to change gloves because they don't care if they infect healthy kittens by handling the sick ones. If they cared they wouldn't do it.

They block isles at the store because they don't care who they bother. It's no concern to them and others are so insignificant the idea of thinking about them never enters their heads.

As proof, try pushing one of their carts out of the way. What happens? They get pissed off and stare at you or say "how rude, you asshole". They actually get mad at you because they blocked the isle.

I don't see a lack of common sense or manners or anything else. I see people so self-absorbed and selfish they simply don't care about you or anyone but themselves.

FinnyKnits said...

Common sense has been replaced with other traits, I'm afraid. Maybe the concept of multi-tasking has made everyone a zombie incapable of rational thought. I don't know. What I do know is that the grocery store is ground zero for inconsiderate pricks. Nuff said.

Meanwhile, I too am having Dim Sum brunch with my favorite people this weekend - how weird! Though, if you feel the need to pull the chicken feet platter, I may bow out.

I'm more of a chicken lips girl, myself. ;)

See you Sunday!