The belief that people should respect their elders and/or their superiors is flawed.
Just because someone is older than you or in a higher place of authority than you does not mean you should respect them and adhere to what they say you should do, especially without questioning it first.
And I absolutely despise when people think you should blindly listen to them because of these things, especially when they’re dicks about it.
Sometimes you have to stand up to The Man when he gives you shit, if for no other reason than it might help him understand he needs to be knocked down a peg. I’m not saying you need to go all Rage Against The Machine or Che Guevara or whatever, but you also shouldn’t take any unwarranted guff from arrogant swine.
The following story is an example of one of these situations.
I’m not a tobacco addict. I never smoke or dip until after I’ve begun drinking. I have no idea what it is about alcohol, but it makes my body crave nicotine something fierce.
And on the night of my older brother’s bachelor party, I had had more than enough drinks for me to want to board the tobacco train and not get off until morning. So I did.
After dinner, we went to a casino in Pittsburgh, one of the few places still around where you can smoke freely indoors. Which is nice if you’re into getting hammered and smoking cigarettes.
I was drinking bourbon and smoking like a fiend — on some real Frank Sinatra shit. When news came down the pipeline that my brother might be near death in the restroom, I headed in with a cigarette in my mouth. Didn’t even give it a second thought.
Unbeknownst to me, the restrooms at the Rivers Casino are the only place within the building where you can’t smoke, aside from sections of restaurants where the squares go to eat.
When my brother got his act together enough to leave the restroom and rejoin the group, I followed him out. My cigarette was still dangling from my lips, something I’ve never mastered doing without smoke stinging my eyes.
“Hey. Buddy. You can’t do that in there.” It was some dude in a suit, one of the lackeys who work at the casino but aren’t valued enough to deal at the tables.
“Do what in where?”
“Smoke. In the bathroom.”
“Oh. OK. Sorry. I didn’t know.” I continued to follow my brother.
“Hey. Buddy. You have to put that out.”
“But I’m not in the bathroom anymore, so I can smoke now!” I said. “Also, I’m not your buddy.”
For this, he decided that he would kick me and another friend out. It didn’t sit well with me that somebody would kick me out of a casino just because I didn’t treat him with a ton of respect when he tried to be authoritative. I plead my case, saying I hadn’t hurt anything, he hadn’t actually caught me smoking in the bathroom, and that it wasn’t really justifiable to kick someone out of a bar for saying they are not your buddy.
So we waited three minutes and came back in and re-commenced drinking heavily. We had to plead our case to the dudes at the door, as they were told not to readmit us, but when we said what had happened and that we were at a bachelor party, they let us back in.
About an hour later, my brother had hit his limit. It was time to take him home. The dude who had kicked us out saw us when we were about 15 feet from the door, and he attempted to kick us out again—when we were walking out of the casino.
“You can’t kick us out. We’re already leaving. But we did get back in. You’re not very good at your job.”
It was like one of those “You can’t fire me because I quit!” moments. And it felt good.
“You gonna try and take that with you, smart guy?” he asked, pointing at the beer I still had in my hand and had completely forgotten about. I assume he thought I was going to say yes and that he could then beat me or something.
“Guess not!” I said and forced it into his hand. Then I patted him on the shoulder and walked out.
“Buddy!” I called over my shoulder as we ventured into the night.