As a veterinarian, I'm particularly intrigued by the level of confidence exhibited by pet owners with regard to the advice they "impose" on other pet owners they meet in public. More often than not the advice giver is poorly informed but has an (undeserved) confidence based on concern for the welfare of pets in general. As an example----all whippets appear to be starving, compared to most dogs and anyone thinking of acquiring one of this breed should be prepared to be accused of starving their dog when taking it for a walk.
I may not have a proper sampling, but have concluded that pet owners reserve the right to criticize/advise other pet owners about their pet's wellness. I can't imagine their having the same level of confidence to advice their friends and strangers about their personal health.
I got a good laugh from this one. One day, when walking out of the pet store with my overweight whippet, I was accosted by two women with visible distress on their faces. They said "feed that dog!!!!". They continued to talk and point and look over their shoulders as they walked away. I didn't say anything.
People no longer practice etiquette. They talk during movies, urinate on the toilet seat, leave dirty diapers in the seat backs of airlines, and have the audacity to get angry if you call them on it. Manners are the dikes of civilization and should be practiced.
The case of the guy on the bike assaulting the motorist is a good example of why confronting someone on the road, regardless if they are a cyclist or motorist can easily escalate into a road rage or violent incident. If you see an unsafe driver or cyclist, report it. Call your local non-emergency police number. Waving the middle-finger, thumping on car hoods or engaging in a shouting match is non-productive and only breeds animosity. there are occasions where one might be able to have a productive discussion with someone on the road, but one must approach it delicately, in calm voice, and without any trace of anger or confrontation. Something like, "hey buddy, you know what? I ride bikes too, and I just want you to be safe", etc.... It's unfortunate that the conflict between responsible road users and and careless or uneducated road users (regardless if they are motorists or cyclists) is usually characterized unfairly as cyclists vs. motorists, when in reality there are many responsible cyclists and responsible motorists who shouldn't be lumped into one category. The issue is education, and we need to reach out to cyclists and motorists on a one-on-one basis, and explain the rules of the road apply to everyone. We can't assume cyclists or motorists don't care right off the bat. the truth is many just don't know, and need to be told.
If anyone commits an act of road rage against me as a cyclist, I report it immediately. The way I see it, you should call 911. Even the Washington State Patrol website says to call 911. As a cyclist living in Vancouver, but riding in Portland just as much, nearly all of such altercations that I encounter are unsurprisingly started by ignorant drivers in Vancouver and the surrounding area. Most Portland drivers are comparatively more friendly.
The way I see it is that if someone is yelling at you and pointing a gun to your head, that is enough of an emergency to dial 911. If someone just as angry is sitting behind the wheel of thousands of pounds of metal that could just as easily kill you, I think that too warrants calling 911.
Then again, if it's just a small incident, or a slight misunderstanding, then of course, just call the non-emergency line and make sure the police know about it. If someone has just about run me over, however, I think 911 is appropriate.
As someone who spends the majority of ten to fourteen hour days behind the wheel of a semi, I do have to admit that many people's driving habits promote a frustration that might be expressed in an "educational" manner. It's probably fortunate for all of us that at those times I'm most suited to expressing myself over the driver that acts like I can stop 45 tons on a dime that we are both moving at speeds that make that impossible, usually with both sets of our windows rolled up.
Yes, I am daily offered reasons to correct unsafe and inconsiderate behavior, but let's be real: even if I were to be able to pull up beside someone and try to lecture them, do I really think it would help?
I believe that the core of civil society is respect. It is a recognition that as an adult I not only have rights, but I have responsibilities. If I really am mature, I will even realize that I have the freedom to let go of a ?right? for the good of someone else, something that could be called "courtesy". While I may think that no adult would do some of the things I?ve seen, I have to ask myself: when and how have I behaved that wasn?t respectful or courteous? Who am I to cast the stone?
On the road when someone has insisted that I don?t need a safety zone around my vehicle when they cut me off WAY too close, this letting go means simply applying the brake enough to back off from them... even though my ?rights? instinct is to lay on the horn and stay close enough that the kid in car seat can keep looking up at me without really bending it?s neck (true story, that; not sure what that woman was thinking, but I have those moments with the baby looking up at me before I could back off etched in my memory).
All too often, I think we have become a collection of ?me first? entities instead of a community. We accept that political correctness means never having to say you?re sorry, no matter how selfish or inconsiderate you?re actions; because the individual perceives that they have a right, he/she must BE right, no matter what it means to others. Aside from changing our own behavior, our only realistic impact on this mentality is when we teach the young people in our lives that this foolishness doesn?t really work. The caveat is that if we don?t practice respect and courtesy ourselves, they will believe our actions more than our words...
The subject of road safety for cyclists goes beyond just manners. It's a matter of following existing laws that are there to protect everyone, including cyclists. Cyclists enjoy the status of a vehicle, the same as motorized vehicles under Oregon law, but also have the responsibility to to follow the rules of the road, traffic signals, etc. We should do as much as possible to engage friends, family and co-workers and discuss the issue of driving and riding habits and help educate each other in an non-confrontational setting like work or around the dinner table and explain how we should all be behaving behind the wheel or on a bike so we can all share the road. It's all about education.
I find this subject very interesting and have had several conversations on this very topic with others since having moved up here from another part of the country. I was very recently scolded by another who was clearly in the wrong within ear shot of many strangers and felt intimated and shamed and humiliated--all those things one felt when being chided in front of the class on the first day of school before you had a chance to explain to yourself.
But I found this incident to be an exaggerated case of what I have seen so much of since having left the South. Up here I am more apt to know someone food philosophy, political views, intimate family details even before I know the new acquaintance?s last name. I find that people are more demanding regarding their personal needs than I was accustomed to. There is more of that individualism here or at least an individualism which is advertised and expected to be catered to. I deal with a large group of people and the expectations of meeting individual food preferences I have found to be at an over the top high level. I was very surprised that once having moved here, I not only had to deal with the somewhat pleasant stresses of meeting new people but also had to make sure their were no holes in my socks when I went to someone?s house! The shoe removal rules I have found amusingly odd.
I would not trade PDX for any place in the world?but it does have its attitudes clearly broadcast from sleeves.
I agree with Rileys, this is a particularly regional convention. My husband and I are originally from the Midwest and East coast and we both have noticed that people in Portland are much more likely to reprimand a stranger for any kind of behavior from smoking to littering. We have agreed that anyone who speaks like that to a stranger back East runs the risk of getting clocked. I love Portland and the people here but that is one practice here that grates on my nerves. What good can it really do? Other than put some bad blood out there with a stranger who feels criticized. It is quite rude and self-righteous in my opinion.
Your smoking and littering have a deleterious affect on the health of the community. Prior to West coast smoking regulations (banned smoking inside any public place;some include outside areas as well, like beaches and ballparks) my family had to leave restaurants mid-meal as our asthmatic son couldn't breathe due to smoke. Why should other people have to be breathing the residue of your CHOICE to undertake risky behavior. Why should all of us bear the costs to health care caused by the diseases you voluntarily take on?
Litter attracts disease carrying vermin, those critters carry fleas,ticks,rabies that put the public at risk.
For me, the health of the public at large trumps selfish behavior of individuals.
PS Have you ever tried to walk the city streets in New York or Philadelphia? Move there if you think disease prevention is self rightious!!!
My husband and I had been out of the country for over a month, and our welcome back to the U.S. consisted of listening to two TSA officers make fun of the people ahead of us in the security line (some of whom had a minimal grasp of English). I was appalled and by the time I got to the officers, I was fuming. I scolded them for being rude, and told them I was embarrassed by their conduct and the fact that they were the welcome that so many international visitors get when coming to our country.
Walking around downtown, I once had a pregnant woman ask me for a cigarette. I haven't smoked for more than a decade and I don't have any children. Even without any first hand experience, I do possess common sense about the health risks of said behavior.
Her request enraged me. I will never forget it. I responded so irrationally, it was almost embarassing. I raised my voice so everyone around us could hear me scolding her. I told her she was selfish and ignorant and the worst mother anyone could have. She had some choice words back for me, about minding my own business and not being judgemental.
I told her that if she wanted to give her kid birth defects and a rough start to life she shouldn't expect others to contribute, and that she opened the door to the criticism by begging to me.
She started to cry. She told me I didn't know how hard it was and that she just needed a little help. I did feel a little bit sorry for being so harsh, but not that sorry. I told her that 'help' is completely different than a cigarette and that she was only making her situation worse.
I walked away and the guilt set in. I couldn't believe I was so mean to her. About 1 block away I decided to turn around and apologize. You know what, I saw her behind me; getting a cigarette from the next passerby.
Although you overreacted, I understand your point. I suspect you may also have been reacting to unspoken messages she was given.
When I hear someone say 'I just need a little help', it it often a euphamism for 'I gotta feed my habit'.
While walking my leashed dog, I have had numerous confrontations with off-leash dogs and their owners. I've heard "oh my dog is friendly" more times than I can count. I have completely given up on suggesting a leash, mentioning the law, etc. In Portland, you do so at your own risk. From personal experience I can guarantee that you'll be greeted with indignation at best and complete hostility at worst. It is not like this in other areas of the country. Portland IS NOT a friendly city, unless maybe the comparison is New York.
I agree totally with sojourner01. I find many (not all!) dog owners to be very discourteous. For example, I attended an evening event at an elementary school in May. Dozens of young children were playing outside on the playground and in the field, ranging in age from toddlers to teenagers. Several dog owners were allowing their large dogs to run freely through the field, chasing balls and frisbees and playing with each other. I told one woman that her three large dogs should be on leashes in this situation, and she reacted in a irrationally hostile and defensive manner. Why is it that so many dog owners feel like every greenspace in the city belongs to them and their dogs, at all times and under all circumstances?
Here is an answer:
Why is it that so many dog owners feel like every greenspace in the city belongs to them and their dogs, at all times and under all circumstances?
Because some breeds need more exercise than they can get on the end of a leash, and there are not adequate areas for them to get this. Because local governments have not provided adequate space, each one makes their own decision, and this leaves a few in every area.
Suppose the NorthEast 1/10 of each park in the city were relegated to off leash areas. Every owner would know where they could go, there would be a location close, and the rest of the park would not have non-dog owners and dog owners scowling at each other.
As I mentioned in other posts, I often walk my dogs off-leash. However, my dogs are prohibited from approaching a dog on leash without permission. I always carry a leash for each animal, and if someone requests, I will put my dogs on leash in their area. I do so identifying understanding they have the right to request this.
One thing I would ask; I have my dogs trained to not approach if a dog is on leash. Instinct, however, makes this challenging if the other animal is directly approaching. They feel the other dog is approaching them, and they do not feel safe turning their back to that animal to face me. Please, pause when I call my dogs. I do not walk to them to leash them, I require them to come to me. This keeps the hierarchy straight, but if your dog is approaching, it is really hard for them to obey.
As a runner, I frequently stop at any of the water fountains that I come across on my runs and refresh myself. Last week I ran up to a fountain at the same time as an older lady with her mid-sized dog. I was happy to let the lady go first. As she drank she was fighting off her dog?s attempts to drink from the fountain. When she finished she started talking to her dog, and I stood there waiting for my turn to drink. Finally she said to me, ?would you like to go before my dog drinks?? I was floored, but my shy public side couldn?t do anything but quickly take a sip and run off with negative feelings about what had happened. I simply want to know if it is unreasonable for me to expect that people should keep their pets from drinking directly from our public water fountains. I love animals, but those fountains are for people, right? They make collapsible dog bowls that could be filled in that instance anyway, right? Am I way off base? This seems like simple common courtesy.
I have a problem with the motivation for the reprimand involving cycling. We are a biking family ( 1 car, husband commutes by bike) and own 13 between the 2 of us. The idea that a bad rider "makes the rest of the community look bad" is not a good enough reason to scold a stranger. I am also a female driver and there is a stereotype that we are all bad drivers. I do not scold every bad female driver out there because she is fulfilling the stereotype. We have to let that stuff go. There will always be drivers and riders who run stop signs, lights etc. Our best bet is to look sharp and be defensive on the road.
In my driving around I will see cars with missing brake lights. I try to get the driver?s attention. It?s broad daylight, other people around. I can see the driver gripping tighter on the steering wheel, and the driver won?t acknowledge me. We seem to be terrified of each other.
Within the last year I have moved to a fair sized community in Oregon from the Midwest because I was interested in more awareness about energy use, the environment and fairness/justice to others. Part of what I wanted was to be able to walk most places. I was almost immediately confronted with drivers/cyclists who did not respect pedestrians and dog owners who did not leash their pets. I walked the few miles to the local police station to inquire about the local laws/regulations, if any. I was told that the community did have them, in the usual format. I then asked if they were ones that would be enforced. Then I got hedging and vague disclaimers.
I am from a different part of the country. My values may be different than yours. I don't have the right to change the laws and regulations of the community if I'm in the minority or if I fail to respect the guaranteed freedoms of my fellow citizens. but if a community does not support a law/regulation GET IT OFF THE BOOKS. I am leaving this community because on these specific issues, which happen to be high priority for me, the community misled me: it was not politically correct for them to drop the local regulations or to tell me that they chose not to enforce the state DMV provisions.
I am one individual and the community can go on well without me. But communities should think very carefully about the messages that they send, both with what they enforce and with what they choose not to enforce. And citizens need to think about the same thing: be a witness when you see an infraction that sends the wrong message about your community even if you are not the direct victim. A community, no matter what its values, takes individuals to pay attention.
I was recently reprimanded by a neighbor. The problem is, I don't know which neighbor.
My husband had built a brick fire pit and so we had friends over for a barbecue. The evening ended with us all sitting around a small fire. A couple days later I checked the mail to find an envelope addressed to "The Backyard Burners," which contained a printout from a webpage concerning burning trash and yard debris, which is illegal, complete with highlighted sections. Whoever sent it actually stamped it and sent it through the mail, apparently afraid of getting "caught" if they simply dropped it in the mailbox. The return name was "Your neighbors who don't want you to pollute." How very socially responsible of them.
I spoke to the Fire Marshall, and though he assured me that it sounds like we were following the city laws and regulations on backyard fires, we don't know who to pass this information on to. He also pointed out that unfortunately, "just like anybody can sue anyone else, anyone can call and have a firetruck sent to your house."
It seems to me that if someone feels the need to try to correct someone else's behavior, they should at least have the decency and respect to identify themselves. How else am I meant to know who's so much holier than I am?
Could you clarify the urban biking laws? As a newcomer to Portland I was aghast when observing a cycler running a red light. Then my companion said, "Oh, that's legal in Portland. Cyclists don't have to stop." Is this true? Or just urban myth?
I took my daughter and two of her friends to an Easter Egg Hunt a few years ago at a local farm (so it wasn't a public 'town' event.) The organizers, as they laid out the instructions, said that when the hunt would first begin, each child was to only collect five eggs, come back to the start line so that each child would be sure to get five eggs - then they'd start again and every kid could collect as many as they could find. When the hunt began, the child next to us took off and collected as many eggs as he could find, with his parents encouragement. I didn't say anything, but what it seemed to me was that his parents were teaching him that rules don't apply to him.
I've set that up by splitting into two teams, one hiding and the second searching, and then trading so the second does the hiding and the first searches. It gets everyone involved in all parts of the egg hunting and hiding, from babies to grandparents and you can keep doing it until everyone has their fill of it. Then everyone keeps as many eggs as they feel they can eat.
And the best place to hide is in the open, people don't look because they think only for hiding places and I've watched kids run right by an egg sitting on the lawn in plain view. What fun!
total myth. bicycles in the state of Oregon have the right to use the roadways, but also must obey all traffic signals and follow the rules of the road. There is an excellent publiction from the Oregon dept. of Transportation, The Oregon Bicyclist Manual, available from their website for download or you can get it from the DMV. It lays out quite clearly the legal obligation of cyclists as well as safe riding principles.
I used to get upset as much as the next guy, but that was before I moved to Oregon.
This place is so close to perfect, how could you let things bother you? You gotta keep things in perspective.
I agree with keeping things in perspective. I have let go of attempting to influence anyone's behavior unless it is an immediate saftey issue. I also used to feel that Portland was like a Shangri-la, but I've been here for 5 years now and the "kool-aid" effect has worn off.
I don't know what Ms Zack is talking about. Why is there a pressing need to reprimand someone with their dog off-leash, but not someone who is driving dangerously? Law enforcement isn't around most of the time, and we need social pressure to encourage responsible driving.
A Car vs. Bike conflict is going to almost always escalate by fault of the driver. Vehicles are sociopathic devices. They create barriers and distance between people. People behave rather badly behind the wheel - a behavior inexcusable in everyday society. Cars ARE blunt metal objects, and therefore, safe.
even as a cyclist, I have to say that's an unfair statement. Unfortunately, I've seen more than a few cyclists escalate a confrontation. not all drivers are sociopaths just because they drive. More often than not, drivers are simply unaware, that's why we need to educate. for those drivers who intentionally harass or menace cyclists, it's for law enforcement to deal with them. Just as motorists shouldn't generalize about cyclists. Cyclists shouldn't generalize about motorists.
In Eugene we have a lot of weird one-way streets or narrow two-way streets with parking on only one side. There is a particular two-way street that I regularly use to exit my neighborhood and when I first moved here there were often cars parked on the no parking side (and thus parked in the traffic lane). Soon after I noticed that this was a regular trend that the city parking enforcement didn't seem to be paying attention to, I took it upon myself to program in the Parking Enforcement phone number and give them a call and describe the vehicles parked any time I saw someone doing it. Amazingly, after two weeks of this the problem ceased almost completely. Occasionally I'll still see people parked there, and I call them in, but it's a sporadic activity rather than constant. The worst part of the whole thing is that the street this occurs on regularly has semi trucks maneuvering down it and the parked cars can cause a major traffic bottleneck to occur.
On one occasion I arrived with a person in the process of exiting their vehicle. I stopped and rolled down my window and said "Sir, you're parked in a no parking zone." He responded "Oh, I didn't notice." But he didn't make any move toward his car. So I continued, "Sir, I suggest you move your vehicle as I will call the parking enforcement because you're parked in the traffic lane." He kind of got huffy but he said, "Oh Ok." And moved his van...
I was once reprimanded for talking too loud on my cell phone on the max train by a man. He spent about 5 minutes yelling at me and telling me how incredibly rude I was. He then proceeded to involve everyone else on our section of the train by asking them if they thought it was rude. Basically I didn't know how to react or what to say so I just said sorry and didn't say anything else to him. Now I hardly ever talk on my cell phone on the train or if I do I keep it brief and almost to a whisper. People that react that intensely to a small thing makes me nervous to confront because it almost seems as if they are on the edge and ready to snap and do something dangerous to themselves or others. So I didn't want to add fuel to the fire by arguing with him.
My answer to him (were I one of the riders he asked) would be 'Sir, your rudeness overshadows any other action I have seen'.
It baffles the heck out of me...1) why do cell-phone-in public users think that their conversations are SO fascinating to others that they, often loudly (males in particular) jabber on,on,on.
In May, while taking Amtrak to Seattle, a middle aged couple felt the need to LOUDLY repeat to their cat sitter, the excruciating details of their cats' bowel problems---each repeating virtually the same info.
Thank heavens for Amtrak conductors who REMINDED rude "conversationalists" to take the talk to the vestibule!!!
2) I think our societys' misbehavior/rudeness stems from our high tech/low touch lifestyles and people no longer know how to politely interact with other humans. Many times I've seen shoppers enter our local grocery store talking on the phone, done their shopping, and gone through check out, and exited the store...still on the phone and having never acknowledged other humans around them!!!
I cannot believe how hostile our roads have become. Just last week I was yelled at by a driver who thought i should pull further into the intersection while waiting to turn left...he was in a lane on my right and completely unaffected by my left turn yet somehow felt furious enough to tell me to pull my vehicle up into the intersection. I think people need to mind their own business...people are too quick to anger...it is so sad.
"people are too quick to anger"
Coffee. I think that our coffee crazed society winds people up to too close to the edge so that once minor events hair-trigger caffeine fueled rants too easily and too often. I know I do that anyway.
As a police officer it is my job to encourage good manners through law enforcement. While issuing bicyclists tickets for blowing through stop signs / lights I have had other bicyclists yell at me "oh I feel real safe now". I recognize they might feel it is their problem if they get in a crash as a result of failing to stop however; I'd like them to consider what it does to the driver of the car they hit. I have been there at multiple crash scenes. The drivers are devestated, shaking, crying and I have no doubt they will be negatively impacted by the event for a long time through no fault of their own. Everyone needs to be aware, courteous and cautious when driving a car, riding a bike, motorcycle or as a pedestrian. If they aren't then I have the kind of job that can help remind them.
It's important to clarify the leash law. There are signs in parks that say dogs must be on leash, but unless that rule is posted, the rule in most places is that the dog must not be "at large", and must be under control. If I have a well-trained dog who stays with me and doesn't run up to people, then he's as controlled as if he was on a leash.
So, when people decide whether to say something about a dog off leash, I think it's important to clarify whether there's any harm or potential harm. I once took my dog swimming at a local lake. I was standing on the bank and she was swimming after a stick. A cyclist rode by an yelled, "There's a leash law in Oregon, you know!" In this case, he wasn't objecting to any real or perceived danger; he just thought he could call somebody out.
In contrast, I once asked a man to control his dog at an off-leash park. His big dog was jumping on my nephew. My nephew was crying, and the man did nothing to call his dog or correct the behavior. So, the issue is not whether somebody has a leash attached to the dog or not. The issue is - or should be - whether there's an actual problem.
People who litter, speed, run red lights, let their dogs run off-leash, etc are aware of the law. They are making their own, albeit poor, choices. They already know what they are doing, and a reprimand from a stranger won't change their behavior. Reprimands only work when coming from someone with authority (parent to child, referee to player, judge to convict).
Once when I (legally) rode my bike through a 4-way intersection, a motorist rolled through a stop sign and passed a mere couple feet in front of my bike. I screamed (just my knee-jerk reaction). The driver stopped and asked if she hit me. She told me she couldn't see because of the parked cars. I thanked her for stopping and suggested she nose forward slowly until she could see it was safe. She didn't get mad and seemed like she'd actually change her behavior. I wonder what she would have done if I'd flipped her off and beat on her car? OR if she hadn't felt like she had truly put me in danger?
"Reprimands only work when coming from someone with authority (parent to child, referee to player, judge to convict)."
I've seen a barmaid woman reprimand a rude male customer with "I thought you were a gentleman", in front of his friends and the guy apologized with a very red face.
Reprimands can appeal to what Nixon called "our better angels" and bring about desired behavior change by acknowledging the persons better self and then asking them to respect their better selves. Then you might even get a thank you.
Thank you Dr. Zack for explaining what Road Rage really is. It is an attempt to "control" "fix" others and I don't think any of us can or should do this.
I have a dear friend and a sister who suffer from "Road Rage" and when I am with them in a vehicle, it is a nightmare. I think the only person we can control is ourselves, and I think it is our responsibility to be the change we want to see. When someone honks at me or flips me off, I throw them a kiss. Molly
Our new next door neighbors always leave their trash cans and bins out on the street for days after trash day. Sometimes they blow into the street or sidewalk. Sometimes they stink. Should I ask them to put them back? Should I put them back myself? I don't really know how to be polite about it.
One thing I noticed after moving to this area a little over ten years ago is that many simple things in Portland become highly politicized and polarized, and quickly become elitest. To me, a bike ride is just a bike ride. It?s not a political statement, I don?t want to get patted on the back for doing it. I'm an avid bicyclist, and have been all my life. I?m an ex racer and a huge racing fan. I follow the traffic laws, and I wish all bicyclists would follow the laws, because the anger that people have for those that don?t gets directed at those that do. Yes, I get nasty comments from car drivers all the time, even though I follow ALL of the rules. On the elitest thing, I?ve come to learn that I'm not cool enough for Portland since I ride a Trek (hey, it was hand build near my home town and I've had Treks my whole life). I remember when Trek was a funky startup challenging the big guys in the industry so to me, it?s still cool to ride a Trek. I don't ride an old fixie, so I lose cred there too and get the look down from the trendy lemmings in Portland.
Oh?and by the way?.the roads were NOT built ONLY for cars. Bicycles have a legal right to be on the road?so California dude, get over it.
Have you ever stepped in a nice warm pile of dog poop? And tried to clean it off? That's assaulting my shoes!
I'm always very careful about who and when I correct. In 1995, my cousin was murdered in Philadelphia when she was out for an early morning jog and saw two young men breaking into a car. She called down the block "hey, don't do that!" (according to their later testimony) and they chased her down. There are definitely times when I say nothing now when I weigh the value of safety over the issue.
One more incident regarding the bike vs. car issue. My husband was riding home from work recently after a biker was hit and killed in N. Portland. A USPS truck nearly hit him, making an error regarding who had the right of way. He yelled at my husband "That's why you bikers are getting killed!" thinking my husband had made the error, when in fact is was he. I think Portland needs some education for both riders and DRIVERS about right of way.
I can't stand it when I see smokers throw their butts on the ground. I want to just hand it back to then or yell at them, but I know they will not handle it well.
I had a person who was walking their dog try to walk away after their dog had left something on my small lawn. I quickly opened my door and yelled, "Ma'am, do you need a plastic bag so you can pick up after your dog?" The owner actually said "Oh yes, thank you!" And then explained that she thought she had a bag in her baby stroller but hadn't been able to find it.
So instead of just reprimanding her I offered to help her with a solution. It worked pretty well.
Sounds like that turned out very well. I am surprised to hear a learned commentator solicited for this show believes this type of interaction was assault. That is the same mentality that promotes rage instead of just taking responsibility. We have a societal shift against taking responsibility and blaming others for everything that we should be doing our part to prevent. There were no rights infringed upon. Since when should we ever consider it assault when a person comes up to you and respectfully reminds you to take care of your responsibility. This sounds like the perverted yet ever popular view that we should be able to do anything we want, anytime we want and damn those that think otherwise or get hurt by those actions. Would we say it is assault if a home owner picks up a baby?s pacifier off her driveway and returns it to the unsuspecting mother?
Your (OPB) commentator really needs to review what ?assault? is before so loosely declaring that a woman was ?assaulted? when a home owner verbally asked the dog owner to take care of her responsibility and remove fecal matter left by her dog.
There is also just the accumulation factor. I have a friend who lives on a popular route to the park and the accumulation he gets from the "occasional" lapse is staggering - worse if he doesn't keep it constantly cleaned out because then some people seem to think it is an "appropriate" place for their dogs to poop.
I know how he feels. I live in a cul-de-sac and we get about 60 cars a day making illegal u-turns so that they can get to the light around the corner. It may not seem like a big deal to each individual driver, but from our perspective it is a constant barrage of rude and sometimes destructive activity.
Once when my daughter was two, I was entertaining her while we were grocery shopping. She was giggling and playing, then let out a single scream of joy. Someone close by rudely told me to keep my kid under control. I approached him and explained to him that his comment was rude and I thought it was inappropriate. I explained to the gentleman, my daughter wasn't throwing a fit or running around wild. He came back with the same bad attitude and I told him to @#%$ off and walked away. Perhaps a bad response on my part, but i didn't punch him like I wanted to do.
Cat owners are the most obnoxious ill-mannered people in the world! They use my flower beds and vegetable garden for their cats toilet, and cat feces can be horribly dangerous. Although cats keep themselves clean they are filthy animals to have around. We need leash laws and the sooner the better.
And cat owners flaunt the federal and state laws against hunting protected species like songbirds and small mammals like ground squirrels, when they let their predators outside they are committing state and federal crimes.
Wow. Tom Ford - All you cynics, telling others "what to do" isn't working so well.
There is a culture in portland of people intervening to stop crime,(on MAX, etc) that has modified the social contract about what is appropriate intervention. I liked the bike portland guys response that it's important to be humble when you decide to call someone out. be aware that it may be none of your business, but that you can observe and have perspective. At the same time, I often respond to screaming children who typically just need to be reminded that they are embarrassing themselves in public. Didn't some stranger remind you of the "rules" when you were being obnoxious to your parents? Those moments stuck with me longer than my parents reprimands.
What ever happened to asking politely for a behavior change? The neighbor instead of chasing the dog owner down with a bag of poop, could have just asked for the owner to return to clean it up. Or he could have offered an empty bag to the woman for her to do it herself seeing that she didn't have one. Taking each infraction as a personal assault, is the escalation. It's ok to offer help and perspective. Maybe the old [ghast!] asking nicely will encourage a more generous spirit toward one another and engender community and social evolution.
"Maybe the old [ghast!] asking nicely will encourage a more generous spirit toward one another and engender community and social evolution."
I've asked cat owners to leash their cat or keep it inside and was told "I'll be damned if I'll do that to my cat". So it is obvious that "nice" doesn't work with cat owners. It is time for a well enforced leash law for any and all outdoor cats.
This is a great topic - There is a difference between imposing yourself on one other person (unleashed dog) and continuing a behavior that affects everyone. Some behaviors - such as leaving dog poo on the ground - can pollute our waterways and environment. In this case, we just need know the repercussions of our behavior. How can we educate on these important topics if we're not open to listen to each other. I am sure reasonable people would change behavior if they understood the lasting effects of some of our behaviors!
I recently moved to Oregon from the midwest. On my first visit to the shore with my 12 year old son, we literally walked into a young seal laying on the beach. We were both excited having never been this close to a wild sea animal before. We knelt down near it to get a better look. My son became concerned that maybe the seal was injured. A woman ran from a home at the top of the beach toward us. She was yelling. I stood and walked toward her. She stopped in my physical space and began yelling directly into my face. She threatened to call the authorities and chastised me for not knowing th regulations around leaving seals alone. I tried to explain that I was new to the state and had no idea that there were such rules. But she was not interested in hearing my explanation. Finally she marched away. I felt totally disrespected and my son was left concerned that the authorities were going to come and arrest us. To this day I feel anger over how she felt so privilaged and empowered that she could approach me so. I also wonder if she would have addressed me differently if I were not a man of color.
I like to be the voice of the downtrodden retail worker. Whenever I witness an entire transaction wherein a customer is being completely unreasonable and belligerent, I will call them out in subtle and not so subtle ways. The most inspired yet was when an obviously important lady at the New Seasons meat counter was berating the staff for not having an odd cut of meat that she needed that evening. The manager was doing his best to maintain control, was offering the cut in a few days and apologized for not having it available. The lady was apoplectic and incredibly rude. I pulled up to her and said "Excuse me, I believe the w(h)ine section is that way, it sounds like you need a double magnum of crabernet". She was speechless and I saw the slightest smiles on the staff who heard.
HAHAHAHAHAHA! OMG! Sooooooo Funny!
Thanks for the belly laugh!
Cool. Well done.
I think a lot of this is the result of decades of descent into conservatism, of decades of their hate radio, their divisive politics, their singling out minority groups to pick on and demonize.
I remember when this nation was a lot more civil.
It was an "assault for the home owner to give the dog droppings to the owner who illegibly left them on his property?
Oh come on..really? Your guest playing the "assault" card for some one who is well, well, within their legal rights is absurdest at best and a plain example of polite pandering at worst.
Being polite is often a guise for passive aggressiveness of the worst kind.
The dog owner knowingly left dog pewp on the home owners lawn with out any thought to clean it up, she admits this freely. If anyone was "assaulted" it was the home owners lawn.
There is a line, not even so fine, betweeen politeness and passive aggressiveness, your guests examples of smiling during an encounter yet tossing accusations over the radio seems to speak to that more than to any sainted nature of being polite.
Being truthful, now that is a civilizing force.
I have been considered a "griefer" more than once as I believe that it is our public responsibility to talk with each other as citizens if we have a problem with someone's activity whether it's about their dog off leash - which can be dangerous and is illegal is most places or, as a cyclist, if a car acts dangerously. It may not be the absolutely safest way but it seems to be the right thing to actually engage and talk with one another.
Great show. Jon
I love confronting people in public, which is strange considering I am generally a very shy person. Someone should! I wish more people would confront me, how else can you improve your manners? You need feedback! So you get killed by an angry person you confront, not a terrible way to go. We are a country at war over nothing and I'll be damned if I can't heckle someone blocking the creamer for ten minutes at Starbucks.
I personally find it hard to think much about the plight of cyclists in Portland. Through my observation the majority have a chip on their shoulder and see themselves as the repressed victims of Portland, just waiting to find a wayward driver to berate. I love riding a bike, but I hate that it has become a cliched wannabe punk culture. There really is not a problem with drivers in Oregon being rude---they were after-all rated the most polite in the country. So---the problem is functional and cultural.
The problem of manners, most of the American people are rude and not self-critical. Just drive on the road, even in the polite place of Oregon. Try to ride in the fast lane. The difference between the American mentality and the European can be found there. Americans see a car approaching from behind and they slow down, in Europe they move over.
Most of the problems on Oregon roads are not people driving too fast, it is people driving too slowly, people not using the fast lane as a fast lane and drivers being foolishly polite. Holding up ten cars, so one car can go. This kind of behaviour doesn't help anyone.
I think more people should call more people out on everything! Strangers, friends and family included. Plus it will have the added benefit of weeding people out of your life, figuring out who has some good ideas and good criticism or who is a waste of your time.
Philosophy and ethics are relative.
They really boil down to one's opinion.
I disagree with Zack.
The man who ran 2 blocks to hand Beth the bag of dog feces she left in his driveway is absolutely in the right.
Beth was breaking the law.
Beth was breaking the social contract.
Zack made excuses for Beth's illegal and anti-social behavior by making Beth, the person who desecrated the man's private space, the "victim" of an imaginary assault.
In addition to making excuses for Beth's illegal and anti-social behavior, Zack provided Beth with the "rapist's defense" in which the perpetrator tries to blame the victim by saying, "If she hadn't been wearing that tight dress I never would have raped her."
Beth, like many other dog owners, should never own a dog. A dog is not a human.
Never will be.
Dog owners like Beth anthromorphosize and then blame their dog(s) for the bad behavior that they, as the dog(s) owner are responsible for.
This makes the dog owner feel no responsibility or guilt for THEIR actions by blaming the dog.
Witness Beth's dog "deciding" to go on private property. I've owned dogs all my life and when I the HUMAN, tug on the leash, the dog follows me and can't poop.
The ironic twist is that the permissive dog owner(s) is seen, by his or her own dog(s), as the pack's second-class beta-male or beta-female.
This then means that the permissive dog owner's dog (not plural because in the pack there is only one alpha) instinctively sees itself as the pack's alpha male or female .... the boss.
It's at once amusing, sad, yet frightening to think that a fellow human being would unravel the social contract and value himself or herself so little that he or she would surrender his or her humanity to an animal from the order, carnivora, which, by the way, gives us the name of the teeth, canines, used to cut and tear flesh.
As hysterically funny as it is to see dog owners in public bent over day after day ... after day ... after day ... after night ... after night ... after night picking up feces, bagging it like groceries, and then carrying it like a treasured relique or expensive clutch purse it has to be done.
Dog feces is toxic. It is raw sewage. It contains E-coli, Leptospira, round worms, hookworm, tapeworm, and other disease that easily infect humans.
Dogs off-leash in human play ares are dangerous. They dig holes in the sod that lead to twisted ankles and broken bones, and if there's an open cut, possible infection.
Dogs off-leash degrade the environment. They disrupt mating, attack wild life (and people) and their feces percolates directly into our region's groundwater.
Maybe Professor Zack could comment on the pervasiveness of "No Fault" in our culture. "No matter the facts, never ever admit being wrong in any situation."
One problem with throwing a kiss at another driver who has flipped you off is that he/she may interpret your action as asking him/her to kiss a certain part of your anatomy.
I'm a dog owner, and my dogs spend quite a bit of time off-leash. If somone mentions it in a polite manner, and leaves it conversational rather than confrontational, I can identify that
A) I do know my dogs, because I have spent time and effort to learn how they think,
B), I also recognize I have the responsibility to keep them under control, and
C) I spend so much time off-leash because I am teaching them (constantly, even after 10 years) that they need to mind their manners in complex situations, not because a leash is pulling, but under voice command.
Keeping up the practice is part of the key that will keep the dogs safer in these situations when they get older; often an older dog that bites because of fear, and not knowing what to do in this circumstance. If the dog is more confidant the situation is in their safety zone, the less likely they will react with an extreme measuer. I do recognize that there is no reason a person or person's clothing should be inside a dog's mouth (unless it is an owner or vet doing an examination). 100% of the time, the dog is in the wrong, regardless of the reason.
When I am walking the dogs off-leash, I also try to find locations where there are not a lot of other people; the entire situation of confrontation could be eliminated if there were enough realistic off-leash areas relative to the dog population (the small contained areas are more a breeding ground for disease, because the density of use exceeds the biological capability of thearea to regenerate; overuse shows there is inadequate area allocated to the purpose).
I do take my dogs in manuy places listed 'leashes required', not out of desire to flaunt therules, but because there is really no option for me when I want to train my dogs to make the right choices without a physical control.
I do, however recognize that it is my OBGLIGATION to keep the animals under control.
I moved to Portland only a year ago after two and a half decades in Alaska, and am amazed at how many people dont mind their own business here. There is social consciousness and then there is just this sense of self righteousness that is remarkable. Is this unique to Portland or is it a prevalent thing in the lower 48?
Barb in Lake Oswego
It is much more prevalent in Portland. Portlanders have an unjustified sense that they know better and want to inform others that they do. Too many do it in a strident, smug, self important tone that gets exactly the reaction that such a tone always gets.
I'm a student of Nonviolent Communication and when I encounter an unpleasant situation my goal is to keep the focus on myself and not on correcting another individual.
My technique is to state what I observed, just the facts; How I feel about my observation (fear, confused, disappointed) and what needs cause my feelings (a safe environment) and finalize with a clear request (would you be willing to follow the safe bicycle laws).
It's unfortunate our society spends so much time on who is right/wrong by shaming and blaming them for some action that we don't particularly like.
Marshall Rosenberg, PhD and the website of his life enriching method of communication (www.CNVC.org) offers a more compassionate way of communicating with the hopes of bringing peace to our very violent world.
I'm a rule freak - rules make my life easier.
Rules make it clear what is right and what is wrong, and as such, I don't have to apply any litmus test based on my likely warped sense of responsibility - my wife is always telling me I'm too responsible :)
So, when I see someone breaking the rules/law, I get irritated, and feel they somehow expect to be above the law.
Throwing butts out the car window. Taking three parking spaces to ensure no one dents a new car. Not needing to use a turn signal to let others know what way a car is going to go. Not picking up dog poop.
All of these things irritate me, and at least in my mind, smacks of privilege.
I respect your intent to stay within the rules, and I thing our goals are similar. I focus on doing what is right more than what an external rule may say. There are frequently times that the rules allow more than my concience. However, I do frequently walk my dogs off-leash, and it is not to break the rules. It is out of frustration that muninciple governments will spend hundreds of thousands on tennis courts that possibly 15% or less of teh population use, while over 35% of the population has at least one dog in the household, but the public resources allocated to dogs are a pittance. It does not even need to be fair; it just needs to be closer to balanced. Because of this, I submit to the intent of the rule (I have an obligation to keep others safe, and in their comfort zone), but I do break the letter of the regulation.
NOTE: For off-leash laws, most of them are administrative rules, not created by elected officials but by hired administrators that are not chosen by the public they serve.
You're the type of person that this conversation is about.
You know the law.
You break the law.
You rationalize and justify your illegal and potentially dangerous behavior.
Maybe you see your dog as a person? As equal to women and men?
Always remember that dogs, including yours, are PRIVATE PROPERTY.
They can be bought, sold, given away, and euthanized.
Just as there is no public responsibility to change your car's oil, inflate your car's tires, or repair your roof, there is no entitlement to public responsibility to care for your private property.
This includes providing parks or places to run your private property off-leash.
Off-leash parks are a courtesy, not a right.
Tennis players ARE the public.
One tennis player has more value than any and every dog on this planet.
If you can't see that, then I'm afraid of you.
If you don't own a piece of property big enough to let your dog run free on it, maybe it's time to either buy some land, follow the laws, or not own dogs.
I agree with you that off-leash violators are just trying to rationalize their behavior and really don't care about others. I have a tiny dog (which I always keep on leash) and she could easily be harmed by another dog (quite innocently) thinking she's a rabbit or squirrel. My niece is mildly autistic and has a great fear of animals. When people have their dog off-leash that comes up to her and she freaks out they say, "oh it's ok he's friendly." Well it's not about their dog, it's about my niece and her right to have her personal space free from dogs when they are not permitted off-leash. And, no, it's not ok, even if he's friendly.
I'm sorry you are afraid of me. But I do vote, and I recognize my dogs are not people. However, dog owners are people. I do happen to own a couple significant chunks of property, however it does not assist in the socialization issue.
As a side note, any sentence you start with the word 'you' I see as a threat. Please do not threaten me.
We are cyclist, not bikers.... bikers ride motercycles. The woman with the dog could have knocked on the door and asked for a bag. If she had the means she could have left a note saying she was comming back to pick it up. However, as she expresed it that was not her intentions. As a home owner who has often found dog droppings I do not think what the home owner did was wrong. That is not attacking anyone. It is a sound way of getting the dog owner to take resposibilites without blame and it let's them know that it is not OK to leave the poop on their property.
From my perspective and experience its unfortunate that exposure to public inappropriate behaviors is significantly influenced by the environment in which we live and stronggly associated with socieconomic levels. I have lived in both poor and weathly communities. I witnessed and experience far more incidents of inappropriate public behaviors in poor communities than wealth ones. By inappropriate public behaviors I am referring to cars speeding down residential streets, dogs running free and/or pooping on other people's lawn, people on bikes violating rules of the road, etc. Its always dangerous to confront another adult regarding inappropriate behaviors as even being polite can result in bodily harm. Perhaps this may be a reason while people are willing to witness another person being physically assaulted or even killed without intervening. The American Constitution and Bill of Rights was strong on freedom but silent on individual responsibility to their community. How sad.
I think one of the biggest problems is that we coddle people and allow them to behave in a socially unacceptable manner. Maybe it's because we are a nation of passive aggressives? Why can't you tell a parent that their child is misbehaving? If someone cuts in line or talks on their cell phone during a movie they should be immediately called out for their bad behavior. If that happened perhaps they might think twice about behaving in such a manner again.
In public situations where I witness "bad parenting," such as verbally berating your child, excessive physical force, etc. (not abuse yet, but certainly not constructive, positive choices), I tend to lean towards a passive-aggressive approach: I will make a loud comment to a companion, or perhaps stare at the parent. This makes it clear to the parent that others are witnessing his or her behavior, and it is unacceptable. On the other hand, I always try to compliment parents when I see them deal with a situation in a positive manner, or when their children are particularly well behaved. Point out the positive more often than the negative!
I'm sorry I wasn't able to respond when the show was still on. Two thoughts came to mind. In the case of the woman whose dog pooped and who found herself without a bag, I sympathized with her embarrassment and understood the perspective that that person who chased her down with the baggy of excrement was overreacting. However, would the situation be different if the pursuer continually observed people or even a particular person leaving their dog droppings on the lawn? Often in real life, people are goaded to act by repeated infractions as opposed to isolated incidents.
Also, I work in a setting which has a large public parking lot. Many of our guests are children. Employees here are often in the position of having to ask people--not customers-- to not use the parking lot as a place for 'expressing their affections" in ways better suited to private spaces. Often, these people get very irate at being asked to go elsewhere. I believe one issue is that we no longer share as many common cultural values.
I find the opportunity to confront people comes often and frequent. I have called to kids/teens/adults, "Excuse me, I believe you accidently dropped this..." and most times they sheepishly pick it up. I have also confronted drivers whose behavior was out of line, and when I do, I always do it from my perspective: "Excuse me, but your tailgating/driving so fast in the parking lot was really scarey for me". I find that when I put a personal reaction (especially fear) to a behavior (rather than to their personhood), the responce is usually, "Oh I'm sorry... I didn't realize, I wasn't thinking...". "It scares me when you dog runs straight at me and I don't know if I will be hurt" or "Would you mind going outside to talk, I can't hear the movie?" has always resulted in some compassionate and apology.
I have confronted teens in Costco breaking into a package, and later shared the incident with their parents. But I prefaced the interaction with, "I have been on both sides of this conversation, and as a parent thought you might want to know..." I really work to never demonize, but rather come from a respectful place for both the person and me, focusing on behavior and how I am affected.
In fairness, I try to acknowledge good and appropriate behavior (especially with kids/teens and in front of their parents) whenever possible).
On the times that someone has confronted me, I work to stay calm, take ownership of any part of the accusation that may be true, and offer an apology and thank you. Most times we end up in a caring dialogue and I learn more about me and others.
Yes, cool ideas and very different from traditional.
I don't know how else to do this so here it goes, I would love for you guys to a show on the job market in Portland, my fiance has been looking for a job since November and hasn't even gotten one job interview. He is intelligent and articulate, on top of technology and no one has given him the time of day. I know there has to be more people like that out there in the city. You can contact him at email@example.com, I think this show would at least help people release some frustrations. Thanks for your time.
We certainly welcome all show ideas. I'm just sorry you weren't sure how to submit your suggestion! We do have a "brainstorming" area on this site. In the future that would be the best place for a new idea. (Check it out here:
http://action.publicbroadcasting.net/opb/posts/list/712210.page) In the meantime, we'll certainly give your idea some thought. Unemployment numbers just came out this week, making us think we should do a show about that -- this is just more fuel for that fire! Thank you.
This topic struck me as I had a recent incident where someone lost something in my yard (while spitting sunflower seeds the person also claimed to have spit out her tooth!). The young person and her friends proceeded to dig and pull up plants out of my yard - looking for the tooth - and throw them on the sidewalk. My husband offered to help look for the tooth and did so; we both requested that they stop digging up the plants. They did not stop. After several pleas for them to stop pulling up the plants, as well as offering assistance to look for the lost item, I called the police. I felt terrible calling the police, but the rude behavior crossed the line when they were destroying property and multiple polite requests were not respected. The whole incident made me feel sick inside for my children who are growing up in a society in which some people have no manners and do not respect others. Was I out of line to "call someone out" for being rude and destroying my property? I don't think so, but I still had a very bad feeling after the incident.
Manners are learned. If you do not learn manners when you are young, you should expect to have people try and teach you what they know. It is not insulting, but is gracious of anyone to share a different perspective. This is how we learn. Social norms and ethics are usually taught by parents. Here is where the problem lies.
Comments are now closed.