We Used to be Neighbors

Every 10,000 miles, I take my car over to my neighborhood Jiffy Lube for an oil change. It usually takes 12-14 months to hit that marker. I don’t mind going, in fact, I enjoy the fact knowing that I’ll be buying lunch for some neighbors that I never met.

I’ll explain.

On the Jiffy Lube website, there is always a coupon for $5 off any service. This week it was $7 off. While I am in the waiting room, I share this info with the 2-3 other people that happen to be there at the same time. They pull out their phone, find the coupon, and thank me. It’s always nice to collect free money.

This year was different, but I’ve seen the trend building in recent years. Nobody makes small talk or even eye contact. Everyone (except me) is glued to their phone with their headphones on.

I waited for an opening to share the coupon info with my fellow customers like I’ve done every year since returning from California. But they never looked up or removed their headphones. They had zero interest in anything around them.

Maybe next year, I’ll plug my headphones in and knock out a Duolingo lesson or two?

The digital world won.

phone zombies

Photo by Jens Johnsson

6 Comments

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  1. Don’t give up man, I fight the urge to stare at a screen when bored in public but it’s ALWAYS worth the chat with someone, usually older folk that haven’t been conditioned to this new norm

  2. When I was just in Seattle I LOVED it! I found very few folks on their phones and with many strangers I engaged in a lot of conversation! Can’t wait to be back. I think this was just a bad day at Jiffy Lube. Haven’t been to Jiffy Lube in years as the last time I did one of the service technicians crashed my car. I still have the car but them being very desperate to settle was annoying. And, well, they crashed my car!

  3. @All – Maybe I overreacted. It could be a January thing. Once these massive rains stop, perhaps people will look up from their devices. ‍♂️

  4. Apropos… maybe one day you’d want to do a post about the extreme health risks of 5G. Say “hello tumor!” I would urge everybody to look into that. This is a very serious matter, way more than we are led to believe!

  5. @Roland – I am not smart enough to know who is telling the truth on those sorts of topics.

  6. i had to laugh at this post, sad as it is…

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