Today's New York Times has an article about a cruise ship at sea that lost power for 72 hours. At first I felt bad for the passengers. For many people, vacations are a rare treat, and I couldn't imagine how upset I would be if I was stuck on a cruise ship without a flushing toilet for three days. Then I read what people had to say:
“I hated that there was no electricity or room service,” said Caitlyn Harlen, an 8-year-old who was on board with her family from Buena Park, Calif. “I love room service. I always get brownies. This time, the only time I got a brownie was the first night.”
When I was eight, I didn't know what room service was. But that is a side note. More upsetting to me is that her parents did not use this opportunity to explain to Caitlyn that these were really unfortunate circumstances, but that there are people all over the world who've never even had a brownie. Let alone a brownie from room service. She should consider herself a very lucky girl, indeed.
Of course, her parents probably would not have told her that because they were probably thinking about how much it sucked that they were put out for a few days and that their choices in life might be cramped. Like this vegetarian guy:
Mr. Newman said that while most of the crew members had been exceedingly cheery, one snapped at him when he asked for extra salad or fruit. In the end, Mr. Newman said, he marched to the kitchen himself to find something he could eat.
Seriously, can you believe that crew members who live in the belly of a ship, in fairly horrid quarters even while there is power, would snap at him while they tried to do their generally difficult jobs under outrageous circumstances? Ridiculous.
Or this guy:
Ken King persuaded the crew members to allow him to be the first passenger off the boat by explaining it was his 42nd birthday. All he could look forward to, he said, was “coffee, a hot shower and meat,” explaining that he was tired of eating bread.
Yes, eating bread for a few days is tedious, I know. I'm also certain that there were no people among the thousands on the ship who might have had more pressing medical needs that would suggest they might get off first.
The only person who thanked the crew for their work, incidentally, was the cruise director. Everyone else was too busy talking about how awful it was to lie around "the pool for hours, unable to jump in because there was no chlorine pump" or unable to access the casino. And again, while I really would not want to stand in a line on a cruise for Pop-Tarts, hot dog salad, pickle sandwiches, and warm yogurt, at least they had food, unlike a good portion of the world's population. Plus they received full refunds and a voucher for another trip. Did the crew get bonus pay for working through such extreme circumstances? Not that I'm aware of.
The lack of gratitude and understand the people in this article exhibit makes me want to put them back on the boat - sans crew - and set them adrift in the seas of their own moral morass.