Who Do You Trust?

johnny carson photo: Johnny Carson DVD Disc1Menu.pngSOMETHING ABOUT NOTHING Column published in the Albert Lea Tribune June 23.2014

Who do you trust?

“Who Do You Trust” used to be a popular show on television in the 1950s. It was originally emceed by Johnny Carson. Three couples were chosen for the show. A man and a woman were chosen because of their unusual backgrounds. Carson would tell the main contestant, who was the man, the category, and ask if he was going to answer the question or trust the woman to answer the question.

I was young, very young, when this show was on. I had to look up the rules. I found it interesting that Carson asked the man to trust the woman and not the woman to trust the man. Remember this is the ’50s before woman’s lib.

Trust is a word that is bantered about in relationships with one another. We have all heard it: We have to earn someone’s’ trust. Once trust is broken it is hard to forgive or more importantly forget. We think long and hard about the relationships we enter into, and the trust that we put into people that we had a relationship with.

However, every day we trust those we don’t know without thinking about it. For instance, we trust the bus driver on the city route will drive safely and get us to our destination. We trust the pilot of the plane knows how to fly and is alert enough to do it. We trust our friends and neighbors to give us a ride around town. We hop into the car without a thought about trust.

Take a moment to think about who you blindly trust that you do not know that impacts your life on a daily basis. Who do you trust without question that you do not know personally that performs a service for you?

I love to eat out at fast food restaurants, fine dining restaurants, unique restaurants that are not part of a local chain, and also chain restaurants. You have heard my rants before about dirty bathrooms in restaurants. My appetite wanes in an establishment where I am eating when I visit a dirty bathroom. I always wonder what the kitchen is like. I do not mean the towels-on-the-floor type of dirty, but actual dirt on walls and corners and toilets that show the bathroom has not been given a good cleaning. If I can’t trust the establishment  to clean the bathroom where I need to wash my hands, can I trust them to prepare my food?

Recently I have expanded that aversion to buffets in some restaurants. I was dining at a restaurant that offered a buffet. I ordered the buffet. As I picked up my plate at the buffet, I noticed all the grime and crumbs in the corners of the cart that housed the plates. I let that slide.

I looked at the buffet. There was food and a layer of dust on the glass that covered the buffet. I let that slide. I was hungry. I got my food and sat down to eat.

I went back to the buffet to get some soup and salad.  I picked up a bowl from the many bowls that were sitting in the corner by the food I was going to choose. Bowl after bowl had a rim of soup or some sort of dried food on it. I wondered if perhaps they were storing the dirty bowls next to the food, and I had picked it up by mistake. This time my appetite was going away.

I mentioned to my husband that we were not going to eat at this establishment again. As I thought about it, I thought perhaps I should pursue this a little more. The waitress brought our check and inquired about our meal. I explained to her my feelings about the cleanliness of the buffet. She wasn’t shocked. She agreed with me. She asked me to speak to the manager because the staff complaints fell on deaf ears.

I did speak to the manager and actually took the manager over to show what I felt needed to be cleaned up. The response was not what I hoped. I received defensiveness and excuses that things were cleaned all the time. Clearly the manager’s eyes were different from mine and the staff.

Who do you trust? We blindly trust that the rides we take from carnivals we don’t know are safe. We blindly trust the food we eat and are served from places where we chose to dine are safe. We blindly trust  the business that sets up our zip line when we chose a daring adventure will keep us from falling.

We trust without question, and when we see something we don’t trust, we do not always take action for fear of causing a problem for others or thinking we don’t need to deal with it because we don’t have to frequent that establishment again.

Think about what may happen if we see something broken in those establishments where we blindly put our trust for our safety and we stay silent. The next person may be the one to pay for our broken trust because we had been silent and left without trying to mend that trust.

“The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.” — Stephen King


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