Opinions are like a**holes…

Or, I received an unsolicited opinion from an opinionated a**hole.

Yesterday, I helped my mother remove some trash from the house that has to be taken up to the local refuse sorting center.  This is the type of stuff that can’t be thrown in a trash can for roadside pick-up, namely an old water heater, mattress and box spring, ancient kitchen chairs, and two old TV’s.

We drove the 10-miles to the center where we pulled up to the booth to pay our money so we could dispose of these items that were collecting dust at the house.  It’s a high public contact position for the person working the booth.

That’s when it happened.

When we pulled up, the woman running the booth muttered something about how Fidel Castro got “in”, instituted health care for Cuba, and look where it got them.   There was no one in the booth, so clearly the comment was meant for my ears.  I suppose I could have explained the difference in how Castro came to power vs. how Obama did (specifically, Castro was installed with the barrel of a gun vs. Obama who was elected), but I figure when dealing with mental giants such as this person, it wasn’t worth the time, and there was a line forming behind me.

I could hear her radio tuned to the show of some Right Wing-nut, so apparently she is not a supporter of President Obama.  That’s fine, she’s entitled to her opinion and I wouldn’t expect her to not have one.  What I *do* expect is that when she is running a county contracted, mandated service for the citizens, that she keep her opinion to herself while on the job, or at least to herself when dealing with the customers.

My response to her was simply, “I put up with George Bush for 8-years.  If I can survive that, surely you can survive this…”  And then I drove off.

So public service workers.  Please, do have a political opinion, but while at work, keep it to yourself.  Not everyone agrees with your view.

Amazingly, she probably owes her job to the liberals.  After all, it’s the environmental policies they put into effect that required this refuse center be built instead of simply opening another local landfill.  Of course, she probably can’t work out such a complex cause vs. effect equation, at least not if she has to listen to talk radio to be told what her opinion should be.


6 Responses to “Opinions are like a**holes…”

  1. It is something to think about. Those with great health care coverage are totally against covering those of us with no coverage. They can choose their doctors. We would be glad just to have a doctor. Oh and by the way the actual quote so often misquoted reads: “These three, Faith, hope and charity. And the Greatest of these is Charity.”
    Public servants are not allowed to express a political opinion while on the job.

  2. @Ed: The reason she gets away with it is that the facility is run by private industry under contract with the local government. Still, even if it is private industry, it’s not wise to spout off your political beliefs to your customers, who may have a different opinion than they do.

    Of course, this being the only facility in the county they have a monopoly, so I can’t very well take my business elsewhere.

  3. Sounds nuts.

    I don’t think that these types of people understand that when they are working in a public position like theirs, it is best to play inoffensive music–we should expect this from public servants, not random opinions tossed out at tax-payer employers.

  4. In general, for most places of employment you need to keep your beliefs to yourself. To me it doesn’t matter if it’s a federal/state or individually owned place. Unless your job is to talk politics at work it needs to be kept to yourself. I’m to the point I almost don’t like to even talk about politics unless it’s someone I know is well informed. It’s just not worth my time anymore.

  5. @TQE: I’m just amazed at how rabid people on the right are. Obama is trying to help the citizens and is getting called a fascist and a Nazi. George Bush actively acted like a Nazi and fascist (no-warrant wire tapping, actively trampling the bill of rights, secret interrogations, scapegoating a significant portion of his own population for political gain) all in the guise of “public safety”.

    @Koko: I agree. I enjoy a good vigorous conversation with people holding strong political beliefs, so long as they have formed that opinion on their own and not by listening to Rachel Maddow (liberal) or Rush Limbaugh (conservative). The way people act are why I’m basically at a point that we need to institute a nationwide poll test for civics. I know it has negative connotations given what happened during the civil rights era, but I advocate a system where everyone is given a free education on the subject and if they choose to vote they need to demonstrate a basic knowledge of how the government works.

    I’m simply flabbergasted at the huge amount of people that think our President can change things unilaterally without any consent from Congress. IE Bush does this, or Obama does that. It’s not *that* simple, is it? 😉

  6. CQ: I agree that it is frustrating that people think it’s the prez job without congress. I am also extremely frustrated that people think everything was going to be fixed by now? Do we not understand the depth of sh*t we rolled around in for eight years? Obama said it wouldn’t happen over night and it hasn’t…but I still argue that he’s done more in the few months he’s been in office than Bush did in eight years. Perhaps I’m biased but I still believe Obama is still making a huge push for things he believes in changing. Are his plans or ideas perfect? Absolutely not but that’s why we have congress and the freedom to say what sucks.

    My Dad and I had a very thoughtful discussion about health care this week. He thinks that health care isn’t needed. He snottily asked, “Pfft, name one person who doesn’t have health care…” I rattled off a lot of my friends and then I mentioned the 10 months as an adult I didn’t have health care or the time when I was a young child and didn’t have health care because my mum couldn’t afford it. My Dad was shocked…he had no idea that I had gone without health care. He also didn’t know that it’s a lot of younger people that don’t have health care. Of course all of his war buddies have health care—they are veterans who go to the VA for free. By the end of our conversation he had agreed that the system we have isn’t perfect and needs reform which before he adamantly disagreed. So my point is…so many people have such strong opinions but don’t have the education or knowledge to back up their feelings/thoughts/ideas. Frustrating.

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