One of the things that really gets on my nerves is other people not caring about stuff that is not theirs. Here, in South America where money seems to be in such short supply, you would expect that people would be extremely careful with stuff that was not theirs because they could not afford to repair or replace it. This is certainly not the case that I have found.
The only times that I have seen people respecting the property of others it has been so different to the average attitude that it has stood out in a very obvious way. These people are different. Most of them however, seem to not give a damn. Literally.
One example is that when you loan stuff to most people, it never seems to come back. I am not talking about me only here. Each time I mention it to other people they smile and say that it happens the same way to them too. Each time I have had to go to that person and ask for that particular item of mine which they still have, following them to their house to retrieve it. It seems to be the expected, and accepted behaviour here.
Another is in the renting of movies and borrowing of commerical items. Today, I found three DVDs that have been sitting on the table since Saturday night… when they were rented for just one night. Today is Wednesday. I saw them there on Monday and told the person responsible, to which he nonchalantly replied, “Oh yeah, I forgot about them.”
These DVDs were still sitting there unreturned today. Finding this guy once again, I told him about them. His reply, “Oh yeah, I forgot.” There was no look of concern on his face, no indication of guilt, no care for the possible fees that are amounting… which he has no way of paying, and no concern that the store would be losing possible revenue. None of it appeared important to him. Water off a ducks back.
This is not an isolated incident. Many times people return these sorts of things late, if at all. In my experience they rarely return things at all. What is it that gives these people, and I am talking about those who struggle to get by on what meagre amounts of money they have, such an attitude towards stuff that is not theirs?
I am stunned by this attitude people have here towards other people’s stuff.