1 year ago: How to be an ungrateful jerk

1 year ago: How to be an ungrateful jerk July 24, 2013

July 24, 2012, on this blog: How to be an ungrateful jerk

2. Braille signs on ATMs and elevators.

Convince yourself that this is an unjustifiable inconvenience. Keep that thought as broad and vague as possible, since the presence of such signs can’t really be said to inconvenience you in any way. Try harrumphing something about “government bureaucrats” and “red tape.” That makes it sound like it must entail some additional cost of time or money, even if you never actually experience any such added cost. The mantra “your tax-dollars at work” can be useful here. Again, keep your focus there — on you and on your perceived inconvenience. And whatever you do, don’t allow that braille lettering to serve as a reminder that you can see while others can’t. That way lies the enemy — gratitude, empathy, and their bastard child, generosity.

"Or people just start appropriating it as slang for what I used it as a ..."

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  • I remember when you first posted this though I was still in lurk mode at the time. I remember reading it and thinking, “That pretty much sums up why I vote Democrat. The Republicans are all over this stuff.”

  • Cathy W

    This was really the post that jarred me out of lurk mode (to “mostly lurk” mode, I guess.) It feels strange that it was only a year ago.

  • David_Evans

    The only time I get grumpy over handicapped parking spaces is when I have struggled to the top of a multi-storey car park, seduced by the promise of available spaces, only to find that yes, they are available, but NOT TO ME.

    Then I grit my teeth, remind myself to be grateful and wonder why the signalling system can’t tell me how many of those spaces I can use.

  • I do sometimes wonder why my bank needs a braille label on the drive-thru-only lane. I don’t oppose its being there, but it does strike me as somewhat odd.

  • As I understand it, some legally blind people can see well enough to operate a vehicle and, with a passenger, can drive quite safely.

    As well, I assume it probably costs less to just manufacture all ATMs from a common template, and that template probably has braille keys as a standard feature.

  • Not everyone who uses the drive-through is driving a car. In my bank, the drive-through is the only way to make a deposit outside of business hours — they closed down the other ATM a couple of months ago, so I’m sure quite a few people have wound up walking around the building and through the drive-through lane.

  • So that they can sit in the back of the car and use the ATM themselves rather than trust the driver with their card and pin.

  • Evan

    Yes, when I was a kid, my dad and I once walked through the drive-through lane at our local bank to get some cash after hours. I still remember it because I considered it so fun to flout the purpose of the lane like that – but it made perfect sense.

  • It works even better in banks with a Starbucks adjacent (ours has one inside the same building) — everyone goes inside for coffee, so the lane is always free.

    This may or may not be a thing outside of Washington.

  • Cactus_Wren

    Because it’s more convenient than arranging two complete sets of assembly lines with two completely different sets of parts at the ATM factory.

  • stardreamer42

    There are walk-up ATMs too, and it makes far more economic and practical sense to have all the units be the same so that you don’t have to worry about installing the right kind in one place or another.

  • Thanks everybody. Lots of things I hadn’t considered.