I love you. Unless you’re an entitled jerk. Then I hate you.

I’m essentially Dug, the dog from the movie Up, and not just because of my ADHD. If I’ve just met you, chances are really good that I’ll go out of my way to help you. As Dug says in the film, “I just met you, and I love you!”

Unless you’re one of the eight people currently traveling with me on Amtrak 2154 to Boston who felt the need to literally push past the conductor of the train who, when the train arrived in NYC, asked passengers to wait until all departing passengers had gotten off the train. About halfway through, eight people, led by a short woman in her fifties with a perma-scowl, pushed past the conductor, pushed past the people still trying to get off the train, all in an effort to snag one of the coveted single seats on the Acela.

Posterboy for the Entitled Jerks

To those eight people: You’re what’s wrong with America. You’re the people who are in boarding group five yet line up to block those in boarding group one, delaying the entire plane in the process. You’re the people who park in the handicapped spaces when you’re not handicapped, and I guarantee that you’re the people who put their mobile phones on speakerphone when you’re in a public place. You’re the people who occasionally force me to lie when I’m outside the US and tell people I’m from Canada.

You’re entitled jerks, and I hate you. You don’t deserve to breathe the same air as the rest of us. Grow up.

But – To the rest of us – The ones who are caring, decent people, who believe in doing good things, I have some good news: As long as a small subset of our world continues to be entitled jerks, this is actually a huge win for us. Because we don’t have to go super-out-of-our-way to be amazing. All we have to do is be slightly better than the rest of the world, and we’ll win all the things.

And considering that the horrible bar is set so low thanks to the short woman with the perma-scowl, all we have to do is smile once in a while, and we, by the simple action of being alive, will make the world a much better place.

Don’t give into the entitled. I promise you, in the end, they won’t win.

And if by some chance, any of the eight entitled jerks happen to be reading this, I’m on the train for the next three hours. I encourage you to come find me. Let’s have a discussion.

To decency,


PS: Early bird tickets are live for our June all-day ShankMinds conference in NYC. This is the least expensive that ShankMinds NYC tickets are ever going to be, and they include an in-person coffee with me the day before the conference! We’ve already announced our first keynote, a 30-year retired Marine Sergeant Major, who’s going to give a talk about finding your self-discipline. This is 100% required listening for entrepreneurs! These tickets are going to sell out super-fast – You need to be here!

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • vickie Smith says:

    I always like to read what you write. Karma will catch up with everyone….do you think you’ll do a Shankminds in UT again? I now have a laptop and maybe by then I’ll know how to use it 🙂

  • Lisa Fahoury says:

    And when confronted in said handicapped parking spot, they say, “I’ll only be a minute.” Jackasses.

  • Simon Ponder says:

    Kindness costs nothing but can purchase everything.

    Hope your day improves.

  • Angel O'Hanlon Tinnirello says:

    One of my jobs is in Retail and this gives me a lab and a lens through which to observe humans in action in all possible moods, so I’ve deep experience with all kinds of behavior: the good, the not so good, and the really, really not good; when I have to work with/respond to the sorts of actions you described, I find it best to float my mood and actions above it. I try to remember that everybody navigates their day with luggage, on the Acela or otherwise – bringing the good and not good experiences along with them. Their choices are a chance for me to take a breath and maybe make it better. A kind greeting to the pusher and/or the pushee goes a long way to alleviating some of that bad energy.

    If I am so lucky as to be seated near, be shoved by, or have to chat with one of these charmers, I will usually smile, and ask how their day is going. (Although when shoved, I’ll often say in a louder voice, “I’m sure you’re sorry you just pushed me.” If having to deal with them further, I’ll mention that they seem stressed and will offer them help to get them through.

    As for the, “…am Canadian.” Sadly, these traits are not limited to my co-citizens. I travel a bit and have been shoved in and on trains, plains, and museums around Italy and England, usually by other tourists from Asia, around Europe, Africa and S. America. I chalk those actions up to ‘they must come from a place where this is accepted behavior. ‘ and try to be very aware of my own behavior.

    Have a better day and hang in there! I got a chuckle out of this piece. The truly rude are a small and in their own minds mighty tribe 😉

  • Fanci says:

    My office is located next to a historical mansion that open for tours on weekends and to get to my office or to the house behind the mansion is two drive ways. These two driveways are located entrances is located on a main road in my small town that happens to be next to the schools. Parents park on this main road to wait for their precious entitled children to dismiss from schools. Did i meant that we do not run buses so you either let your kids walk or you must pick them up. As you may guess some of these entitled parents block both driveways to my office and to someones home. Just yesterday I encountered one these entitled jerks why returning to my office that she could not park there because she was blocking a driveway. She of coursed replied cant you use the other drive? No ma’am because that drive is used by the Elementary School kids to walk down during a current construction project going on at the High School and you will need to move so I can get to my office. She huffed and puffed and reluctantly moved. I drove up the drive and when I looked in my rear view mirror she had moved right back in the same spot. Here is the twist, little did she know is that I work for the City and it is City owned property she was blocking and I have every city cop on speed dial. Five minutes later she was handed a pretty little ticket and forced to move! Also BTW the first letters of her licenses plate are P-I-G!!!!

  • Madison Willoughby says:

    Traveling is the worst- it seems to always be filled with entitled people. I agree with the bar being set too low, but it sure does make it easier to stand out as a good person.

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