Reflections on the post office — Status

Yesterday at the post office, a woman cut to the front of the line. Another woman called her out, and they started yelling at each other. The woman who cut said “You don’t know me!”

It struck me as odd that she would respond this way, as it did not seem a logical rejoinder. Certainly, the two women were strangers, but that does not justify cutting the line and disregarding everyone else. Was she claiming that she had a special status that justified cutting to the front? In effect, she was declaring that her time was more important than the time of everyone else in the line, although she offered no proof for such claims.

Still, it is a curious question. How often do I claim that my actions are justified because of my status? How often do I engage in activity that I would disapprove were it done by someone else, but I give myself a pass because of some claim that I assert? In such instances, I want to be able to justify my claims on solid ground and not brush off critiques with a brusque “You don’t know me!”

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