Rudeness on the upswing in Atascadero

leallan@tcsn.netMarch 3, 2014 

Rudeness is on the rise in Atascadero.

Or maybe I’m just noticing it more. My tolerance of rude behavior has dropped significantly over the past few years.

One dictionary I have here at home (Webster’s) defines rudeness as “…implies a general and habitual deficiency in manners, grace or polish...” and even, “…coarse and vulgar.”

What got me so irritated is what happened last weekend when my wife and I attended a movie. We are always the last ones out of the theater because we like to read the credits.

As I grabbed my empty popcorn bag, I noticed that other such bags, soft drink containers and candy wrappers littered the floor. “Doesn’t anyone pick up after themselves?” I asked a young man coming in the door with a trash can and a broom. He shook his head “no.”

I’ve noticed that same the same lack of picking-up in Paso and San Luis Obispo theaters, too.

The day after the movie experience I was sitting in our car outside Von’s while my wife ran in for a few items. A healthy-looking man I would guess to be in his 30s or 40s pushed the shopping car to his SUV, put the groceries in the back and stuffed the cart between two cars next to his.

It is rude to the rest of us when this happens. I don’t know how many times I’ve avoided a parking space because a cart was blocking my way.

When I can, I squeeze in and then take that cart.

Someone was rude enough to break a wing off one of the plaster/concrete geese adorning the fountains around the City Administration Building. I wasn’t surprised by the vandalism, just surprised it happened so soon after the fountains were restored.

Sometimes we luck out and catch the person, such as the man who drove his truck through the Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial at Atascadero Lake Park.

I encounter more and more rude people who glide through stop intersections as if the rules of the road don’t apply to them.

It is rude when patrons at Home Depot park under the covered loading area, lock their vehicles and go inside to “shop” when signs point out the area is for customers loading their vehicles only.

Rudeness is nothing new. I don’t even know how to stop it, except maybe we can all be more aware of it and take action where we can, especially as parents, because more often than not our children were not made accountable for their actions.

Lon Allan's column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades and his column appears here every week. Reach Allan at 466-8529 or

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