Typically on the drive into work, there is something that I want/need to think about, perhaps in preparation for work, or not, but usually something. Today was one of those rare occurrences where there wasn’t anything pressing that I needed to worry about, therefore nothing to concern myself with during this time. It’s during these rare occurrences that it seems I take to thinking about, and coming up with some hypothetical situation and figure out how I would respond in the situation.
This morning the situation is this. Me and my wife and a few friends just walked into one of the trendy restaurants here in Halifax. We sit down and order a round of drinks. Its at a table in one of the secluded areas of the restaurant, just perfect for our little group, away from the rest of the loud customers in the restaurant. Shortly after we get our drinks, a person, who turns out to be the owner of the restaurant comes by and asks if we’d mind moving to another table. We inquire as to why he is asking us to move, and in a bit of excited glee, he announces that Mel Gibson, of movie star fame is here and would like to sit at this particular table. We all laugh thinking that he must be mistaken about who it is he is talking about, I mean why would someone like Mel Gibson even be in a small place like Halifax, let alone be at this restaurant. So I tell the owner, that if it is indeed Mel Gibson, and he wants this table from us, then HE should come by and ask us for the table personally. He agrees to that and leaves. A short time later, there is a huge entourage of people that come around the corner, leading this pack…Mel Gibson. He’d obviously been drinking cause he was very loud and boisterous. He walked right up to the table and asked if we’d mind leaving so that he may sit at this table. A few of my friends we in shock and couldn’t believe that it was actually him, Mel Gibson. They’re all gushing and babbling on about his movies and how great they all thought he was, but for some reason this all started to piss me off. So I asked him why he thought he was so special that we should give up our table to him? His first, drunken reaction was simply because of who he was…Mel Gibson! This disgusted me even more. I don’t think it was because he was Mel Gibson or a movie start, but because of his snotty attitude that he thought he was somehow better than anyone else in this restaurant, so I replied with “So?”. He chuckled and continued on his ranting about how great he was, and that because he had lots of money, we should just move to allow him to do whatever he wanted.. This infuriated me and I stood up and started berating him on his over-inflated sense of self-worth and told him that he was no more important than I was. When I was done, I suggested that he go and pony up to the bar and have a drink just like any other patron of this restaurant and if so, wait for us to finish and leave so that he may have this table. By this time he was so insensed by the fact that I was not letting him have his way that he just left in disgust. On his way out the door he had angry heated words with the owner but the owner was not one who would bully their patrons in the way Mel wanted. I think deep-down he really wanted Mel (and his money) there, but in the end he realized our money was just as good. He came by awhile later and brought us a free round of drinks and applauded our fortitude and “gaul” to not relenting to Mel’s pushy and obnoxious attitude. He told us though, that Mel requested he hold this table for him, as he would be outside in his limo waiting. We laughed and he suggested we stay the rest of the night, and we did.
This in some ways demonstrates my attitude towards others, and that is that we are all equal. Its not one of putting down important people, but just that we are all the same, and that these “important people” shouldn’t be treating anyone else as inferior in any way. When I worked out west, I had the occasion to visit the “corporate level” of the building, where all of the executives of the company worked, and quite often I would meet up with Board of Directors and CEO’s. When I met up with them, I would address them by their first names “Bob”, or “Tom”, whatever they were, other people would refer to them as “Mr. Smith”, or “Mr. Brown”. I don’t feel its a matter of disrespect on my part, I mean its their name. Its not like I’m calling him something derogatory or something, I’m calling them by their given name. From my perspective they’ve proven nothing to me that they deserve me calling them “Mr…” and since we are all “equal”, he shouldn’t expect it of me, or from anyone. This is why I try to stay away from courtrooms and royalty, because I’d have a hard time addressing the judge as “Your Worship” or “Your Honor” and royalty as “Your Highness”. It just doesn’t work for me. Thats not to say in those two particular cases I wouldn’t/couldn’t comply with doing that, its just that I wouldn’t want to.