Service of “You Do It”

December 9th, 2010

Categories: Annoying, Arrogance, Attitude, You Do It


Walking down a Manhattan street early the morning after a bad storm recently I saw a remarkable number of broken umbrellas on the ground and I thought, “Why didn’t these people carry their umbrella to the nearest trash can? Why should anyone else lean over and pick up their busted bumbershoot to dispose of it?” I ask myself the same question when I see tossed items on an otherwise spotless RR platform.

dishesinsink1You do it” is an attitude in offices where a bunch of people use a communal fridge and coffee pot but most never clean up or police the equipment. There’s no guilt associated with adding to a pile of soiled dishes and coffee cups in the office sink or walking away from a conference table filled with debris from a meeting as though an imaginary maid will surely materialize to clean up.

Then there are the people who submit sloppy work to their bosses expecting them to catch typos, misspellings and inaccurate information as well as spruce up lackluster copy.

Isn’t that what other people are for, to do what you don’t want or can’t be bothered to do?

Where does this attitude come from? In what instances do you see evidence of such an approach? By asking you to comment, am I also suggesting you do it [my work]?


4 Responses to “Service of “You Do It””

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    The “you do it” syndrome starts early when doting parent(s)make everything easy for cherished Brat. He grows up with the sense that things will get done by themselves, or at least not through his efforts. If his friends and teachers don’t bring him to his senses, Mr./Ms. Brat grows up with a sense of entitlement that will be hard to erase. Ergo, the broken umbrellas on the sidewalk, and that’s just the beginning……

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    If what you write is true, there are a whole lot of parents like this out there. Here’s hoping that new parents turn the tide on this trend to be excessively self-absorbed.

  3. Zeke Hoyt Said:

    It seems to me that we are really addressing two issues here, both in part derived from the nature of how we allow ourselves to be governed.

    The first is that although we live in an overpopulated world of diminishing natural resources and wanton excessive consumption by everybody of everything, we are vehemently egged on to consume, not just by salesmen, but by virtually every stripe of politician in existence. In my youth, my parents’ umbrellas were valuable and cost good money. Both would have brought any broken umbrellas home and taken them around the corner to the little shop, that is no longer, where a skilled worker, who is no longer, made his living repairing things like umbrellas. There was far less litter then, because we collectively couldn’t afford the luxury of throwing things away.

    The second is that our politicians, over many years, but especially the last seventy-five or so, have been telling us with ever increasing vehemence that society and government owes it to us to take care of us if something goes wrong, and even when it doesn’t. Self reliance is a concept which is difficult to grasp if people are told, for example, that if they are poor, out of work, old, or “different,” they have a right to have the government pass out cash, housing, food and even schooling and medical care!

    If it has been dinned into us since childhood that somebody else is going to care of me if I don’t take care of myself, then it is not unreasonable to assume that that somebody will take care of everybody else as well.

    Picking up umbrellas and washing cups is somebody else’s job, not mine.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Self-reliance. It makes a youngster feel good amout him/herself. What a shame that so many no longer value and encourage this ambition.

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