Well first let me get the pleasantries out of the way and wish you a Happy New Year. Let's all pause for a moment while we pretend that this greeting actually carried real emotion and that either one of us has a vested interest in how the other's year is going to work out. Ok. Done.
I'm not a total Grinch, but I will confess that there's a lot about the holiday season that makes me glad to see the back of it each January. I don't like holiday sweaters, Christmas carols, and obligatory gift giving. Sure. I like giving gifts, and I certainly like receiving them. What I don't like is the idea that I'm required to give presents to people that I might not otherwise have bought a present for under other circumstances. I really hate the stock issue holiday gift sets,complete with festive holiday shrink wrap straight from the factory, that people give you because they feel obligated to give you a gift, but can't really think of anything personal. I don't want you to give it to me, because I don't want to have to owe you a gift. I O U fuck all.
The idea of owing and being owed, that sense of being entitled to something is seemingly more and more pervasive these days. It's a gift with purchase mentality. As consumers we prefer to buy when they give us more because we deserve it. We're entitled to it. In fact damnit, we're owed it. I can't buy just one Eggies without them wanting to throw in a second one to sweeten the deal. They expect, and they are right, that I won't think it's a deal for $10 if they don't double the offer. (We'll talk about the sheer pointlessness of the Eggies another time.) We can't get people to donate money to charity without offering them incentives. Nearly every charity drive you encounter offers some kind of fundraising bonus - donate $25 to get a T-shirt, and they'll throw in the indispensable tote bag if you up the donation to $75. Why? Because they are sure, and they are right, that you are not capable of giving money just to give money. You feel you're owed some kind of compensation for your generosity. That is other than a tax break.
In both the retail and service industries customers regularly demand compensation when things don't go their way. Your Christmas package arrived later than anticipated in the mail? Yeah, sure you're owed an apology. Sorry about that. But are you really owed a refund? Credit towards your next purchase with the retailer? No. No you're not. You're not owed anything. In the end you got what you wanted, Aunt Agnes got her fuzzy slippers, and Armageddon is not yet upon us. It's all good. You are owed fuck all. The waitress forgot your drink order and you had to wait a little bit and ask her again? Sure, you're owed an apology. She's sorry, she's human. Are you owed a free drink? Are you entitled to stiff her on the tip in compensation? No. No you're not. You're owed fuck all.
I hear a lot of you talking talk about what your government should be doing for you. What many of you have forgotten to mention is that you've spent way more than you've been earning on things that don't matter like leather seats and DVD players in your SUV, purses with someone else's initials on them, and venti half-caf double whip frozen whataccinos, instead of being fiscally smart. I hear that you can't find the "right" job or need to find yourself before you can really focus on a career. You bitch and moan because someone's willing to come from the third world and do the jobs that you're too fucking precious and navel contemplative to do, and what's your solution? Instead of cleaning the toilets or picking fruit you apply for another credit card that comes with air miles because you're owed a gift with purchase. And when you can no longer meet your minimum payments, no, I don't think you're entitled to file bankruptcy and make the rest of the world suck up your debts. No you're not entitled for special government programs, like food stamps, meant for people who really want to work and can't find employment. You and your first world problems are owed fuck all.
Yeah, you heard it here first. You're not entitled to fuck all. You want rewards? Earn them. Take responsibility for yourself and your actions. Do something for others just because you can. Teach your children to be better people than you are. Kwitcherbitchin' and get off your ass. And if you think I'm calling you out, and I probably am, and you think I owe you an apology. I O U fuck all. Remember that.