Every time facebook decides to update itself, folks around the world throw up their arms in disbelief. “How dare you change the look of this free service that I opt into!?”
I had this today when I opened an email from my good friend Delta Airlines to find:
How dare you tell me you’ll give me free internet for 15 minutes in a place where I would have otherwise had to pay for it but shouldn’t!?
On the other hand, we have reached a low in some parts of our service society where performing the bare bones of a job is grounds for praise. Recently, a friend mentioned to me that she wanted to leave a tip for our postman, “because he brings the mail every day.” I stared at her. I pushed her to elaborate and please tell me that not only does he “bring the mail” – aka the most basic component of his job – but he also sweeps her stoop, checks on her cat, washes her car, waters her garden, says hello, something, anything…nope.
I don’t get it. I think we’ve become adept at accepting incompetence. Once someone surpasses it and enters the realm of satisfactory, we get excited. At the same time, if someone gives us something for free, and then makes an adjustment, we get riled up. Is this specific to American culture?