Friday, August 24, 2007

Self-Insufficiency

Y'know, we often blame defenselessness on our culture of victimisation. While this is a largely fair assessment, there's another part of the equation we forget. We also have a problem with people thinking everyone else is here to serve them. The police will get here in time because they're here to serve me.

Being in a service-oriented line of work, I notice this a lot more than some might. People act like they should never have to bother with anything. Our dorms allow access using student IDs as keycards, and people don't want to be bothered with them. They'd rather have to rely on someone else letting them in. Their rooms require normal keys, and they often rely on the hope that their roommate will be there or that Residence Life or Security will let them in. In many cases, they freely admit that it wasn't a mistake--they just thought they'd be able to get in.

Others are indignant if I tell them that I'll deal with them when I'm done performing one of the many other tasks I have to do for someone else. Sometimes, it's even too much to ask that they give me enough time to get to their part of campus. I know, I should have the decency to have sensed that there would be a need for me across campus, so I could be there before they called.

If a car is broken into, it's my fault for not having been in that particular lot at the moment someone saw a purse and smashed a window. It takes about 20 minutes to patrol campus (which, of course, I can't be doing at all times, since there are so many other duties). It takes about 30 seconds to smash a window and grab a purse. Even worse, people think they can leave valuables lying around in the common areas of the dorms, and then wonder how I could let them be stolen.

They don't just expect Security to be there entirely for them--they don't like having to go all the way to the cafeteria for food, and they want it open exactly when they feel like eating.

Is it any wonder, then, that people seem to think they can leave their protection in the hands of others? They seem to expect everyone else to do everything else for them.

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