As America reopens, businesses see increase in bad behavior
The crime is in place. Spirits are mounted.
Businesses across the United States are grappling with an astonishing increase in what can only be called “misbehaving people”.
Retail workers have been the victims of horrific attacks because of their race, gender identity or disability. Flight attendants were verbally – and at times – physically assaulted. Aggressive driving has led to road rage with fatal consequences. Buyers are scrambling in the aisles.
Experts indicate that skyrocketing stress levels are the trigger for the increase in these types of incidents.
In May, a Flight attendant for Southwest Airlines had two teeth broken by an angry passenger, according to law enforcement who arrested the woman in San Diego. This was just one of the latest examples as airlines grapple with an unprecedented series of clashes.
“We can say with certainty that the number of reports we have received over the past few months is significantly higher than the numbers we have seen in the past,” said Ian Gregor, spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Authority.
FAA follows incidents with problem passengers and says issues with face masks was a contributing factor.
Union representatives described the situation as an “epidemic of assaults and assaults”.
NBA fans returning to the arenas are a welcome sight for the league, which would have been $ 1.5 billion below revenue forecast last season, as the pandemic resulted in lost ticket sales. Still, the return of fans has brought a host of new issues for the league.
For example, in Boston, a 21-year-old Celtics fan was accused of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, after brandishing a water bottle at Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving as he left the TD Garden pitch.
In New York, the Atlanta Hawks keep Trae Young got spit on in a playoff game against the Knicks at the Garden. And the star of the Washington Wizards Russell westbrook got popcorn thrown at him by a fan as he left the field with an injury.
“To be completely honest this shit is getting out of hand.… The disrespect, the number of fans doing whatever they want to do… it’s just out of pocket,” Westbrook said at a conference post-match press release.
The league issued A declaration on recent behavior and has made changes to its Fan Code of Conduct accordingly.
“The return of more NBA fans to our arenas has brought a lot of excitement and energy to the start of the playoffs, but it is essential that we all show respect to the players, officials and our fellow fans. “said the NBA.
Many impacted teams do not tolerate bad behavior, place indefinite bans on rude fans attend the next matches.
“Something’s going to happen to the wrong person and it’s not going to be right,” Portland star Damian Lillard warned.
It’s not just stadiums and sports arenas, the retail industry is also seeing an increase in bad behavior, often directed at employees. According to Emily May, co-founder and executive director of the association Hollaback!, retailers are seeing an alarming increase in discrimination when room staff are targeted for who they are when enforcing security measures.
“With the increase in hate violence – which is at an all time high – frontline workers are more vulnerable than ever,” she said in a statement.
“We are trying to create a movement where everyone comes together around the values of inclusion and safety, where we can all be safe and accepted and belong to who we are,” said director Calla Devlin Rongerude. “We haven’t been in the crowd, we haven’t negotiated spaces with a lot of other people for a while. I think we’re not used to being human with each other anymore. others, ”she added.
As part of the campaign, participating retailers will have access to a toolkit and other resources to support frontline workers.
As the the resale value of Pokémon and sports cards has skyrocketed during the pandemic, retailers like Target and Walmart have seen the impact firsthand – adult men are arguing physically over these cards.
Last month a 35 year old man pulled out a gun when he was attacked by a group of men in a collectible card fight. He forced Target to temporarily remove collectible cards from its stores.
“The safety of our guests and our team members is our top priority,” Target said in a statement.
The retailer said the Pokemon cards have since returned to the store, but customers are subject to strict purchase limits of two packs per guest. The sale of MLB, NFL, and NBA collectible cards is still limited to the Target website.
Whether it’s road rage or other types of aggressive driving or the mood displayed at restaurants, gas stations or Little League games, bad behavior is caused by a confluence of factors, according to Thomas Plante, professor of psychology at the University of Santa Clara. .
“We have a tsunami of mental health issues with anxiety and depression,” said Plante, adding that our collective stress levels have never been higher.
People juggle multiple stressors, he said. Among them: the pandemic, death, illness, job loss, homeschooled children, isolation and other challenges. This frustration can lead to aggression.
There’s also “learning by observing,” said Plante, explaining that when people see bad behavior all around them, even from so-called role models, they’re more likely to repeat it. .
“People shape the behavior of others, especially highly regarded role models like… well-known politicians,” said Plante. “People watch how they behave, which is pretty bad, and so do they.”
What will reverse the trend? Plante’s suggestion sounds like something one might hear from the pulpit or from a parent: Treat others as you would like to be treated.
“People have kind of lost the habit of knowing how to behave in public and how to behave, behave in a polite civil society,” said Plante.
The Golden Rule can help us get back on track.