Star Wars and The Matrix and Kmart

Strollers bring annoyance and destruction upon the land and its inhabitants. They take up the whole sidewalk, move slowly, and stop frequently.

Bikes are noble steeds, working together with their masters to evade transit costs and traffic laws.

Why then, are strollers allowed in stores and bike summarily ejected like droids in A New Hope? “We don’t serve their kind in here.”

“Ma’am, bicycles are not allowed in the store.”

“Well, it’s obnoxious as a stroller, and strollers are everywhere. I’ll be quick.”

“Ma’am, bicycles are not allowed in the store.”

“Okay, I don’t have anyone who can watch it for me, can I just leave it with you in the front for the five minutes it will take me to-”

“Ma’am, the store is not responsible for private property.”

She checked someone else’s receipt, and I strolled briskly back into the store with my bike. I heard her futilely calling, “Ma’am. Ma’am!” behind me, but I had no desire to repeat the same stupid conversation again. I was in the store to buy a bike lock, not to argue about my bike being allowed to someone who didn’t matter.

On my way out, I said she could check my receipt. Because that was her job. Sometimes when you don’t follow rules, you look like a jerk. That poor woman was just trying to do her job. She tried to explain why she had been trying to prevent me from bringing my bike in the store: it’s not allowed, she would get “written up,” it wasn’t the store’s policy. I said”It’s not worth talking about.” But she kept trying to explain as I walked away.

I don’t give a fucking shit about Kmart’s rules that they have for their employees. What a demoralizing, Matrix-y job. Trying to enforce stupid rules without any authority to back them up to people who know you have no authority. Security guards are not allowed to touch even shoplifters, so I know that she wouldn’t physically stop me. Box stores bend over backwards for their customers, not their employees.

I usually try to be polite. But following the rules in this situation would have made me poorer and bikeless.

Today I learned that I can be polite without following stupid rules, they are for other people who are trapped in the Matrix.


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