Lets Just Call This a Rant about our Narcissistic Behaviors

Is it just me or is our country actually becoming more handicapped? Or has our egotistical/narcissistic personality merely found new ways to feel special?

Case in Point:

I observe the use, and unfortunately abuse, of the handicapped placard as one example. Here people use their relatives’ placards when they aren’t present because, heck those spaces are being wasted by non-use anyway. Or they sometimes exaggerate and request placards when truly a little more walking would do them some good. (Note I could qualify for a placard because of my current heart condition but I am in the camp of “a little more walking does more help then harm” so I have elected to not request or apply.)

Besides prime parking spots, many cities allow handicapped parkers to avoid paying parking meters and tolls. And who wouldn’t like that?  It is understandable, and frankly no program is foolproof and subject to some reasonable policing, we will have to live with a certain level of fraud and use more ridicule to help the Abusers kick their habit.

What has certainly been on the up rise, much like the spread of a virus, is the Service Animal. I am not speaking of seeing eye dogs or hearing dogs or the ambulatory type service dogs that are certainly helpful; and, we as a society should support such use. I am talking about the 30 year old that just “can’t be without his or her pet” and insists it flies for free (or goes to the grocery store, or sits inside the restaurant).

We know many of the service dogs are just that. Solely for people who are so self centered that they just feel it is their right to have their family pooch with them 24/7 (probably why I like Cat people).  I place our dog in a doggy hotel when we all leave town. I would never support its claim as a service dog even though I can guarantee that my wife would certainly feel better with her family pet licking her face.  But feeling better isn’t a handicap. If it were, then I am handicapped too; as I would feel better with lower taxes.

I have seen hunting grade retrievers, with rope for a leash, connected to someone who has been bird hunting in Canada claim the dog is a service dog and is allowed to fly for free.  And the agents and security people are unable to question the right of these passengers.  Hogwash. There is no right to fly the pooch for free. Yes, I know about the ADA. The intent of the ADA was to help free barriers to the disabled – not the lazy, simple, or egomaniacs I too frequently encounter. Well intentioned legislation that is extended through regulatory or legal expansion beyond any rational measure.

Accommodating real needs should be expressly desired. Trumped up ones should be told to take a hike (without the aid of their pet).

Also, I have been on delayed flights where a passenger who is allergic to dogs was unfortunately in both a middle seat and next to one of 3 dogs on that flight. She had to move. Did anyone volunteer to help?  No. So we waited for the stewardess to negotiate a change.  At some point to get the flight going I would have exchanged my 1st class seat for a middle coach to get the plane down the runway.

The challenging thing is I know there are real non-visual handicaps like Epilepsy where a trained dog can help. I am sure there are others. But the numbers in reality are way fewer then the percentages I witness of flying public. That is where I just know the system is too easy to abuse.

Who is at fault?  Well we all are. We start by giving all the kids trophies for showing up. We teach them they are so special.  We treat them as all smarter than average and then we reward every student a Student of the Month award for merely showing up.  We reward them for seeking special treatment. We demand their teachers and schools accommodate every nuance.  We demand higher grades for Johnny and Bessie as God forbid any one is Average.

We look at others and feel short changed. We want that better mortgage rate, nicer car, and then we see the Service Dog. Or our friends have one and we don’t, so we become envious. So we plead with our doctor for a note and voila, we have the required note. And pooch doesn’t have to suffer the kennel and we all pay the price of these insecurities.

Let’s face it. We all want to feel special. And sometimes we are. Oftentimes we aren’t. And having others subsidize one’s behavior and choices is unfair to those that pay and foot the financial and psychological price. The real cost is the implications to those that really and truly need to privilege because We, the Public, simply see the picture in front of us and deem the person guilty.

Think about it.


  1. You ought to have a different place to post your rants. The mission of your organization and VeraSage’s tagline “Revolutionary thinking for
    professional-knowledge firms” just has no room for this venting. While I can agree with many of your comments, and while this is your website, I think you are seriously diluting the effect of your company with this type of writing.

    • Dan Morris says

      Dear Peter – Apparently you aren’t too familiar with the roots of VeraSage. Besides improving the professions, we aim to Kill the Billable Hour and Timesheets. And you are correct, it is my (really OUR) website so your opinion doesn’t really matter now, does it?

      Regardless, this is the perfect spot for such a Rant. Hell, I have referred to CPA firms as nothing more than a Modern Day Assembly Line akin to Henry Ford. Too many CPAs treat their team as untrustworthy cogs in their billable hour machine. I have ranted about the PC use of Work/Life Balance and what a crock of dog excrement that concept is.

      I even went so far as to advise it was a Rant. Where else besides a Think Tank can one openly share such opinions without the PC Police coming and silencing my words?

      VeraSage is about ideas. All ideas. Those ideas that generate thoughts and comments. We (Ron Baker and I) teach a world-class ethics class where we discuss…..Ethics. My rant is part of the Ethics conversation. The ethics of cheating when abusing the Handicapped Placard. The ethics of using a trumped up illness to fly your pet for free. The ethics of the silence of the rest of us and especially those of us who believe we are leaders and why don’t we put our foot down. The ethics of the silence of our Profession as it comes to Social Security Disability abuse by lazy people unwilling wot work. The silence of our profession as it comes to the federal spending (not the blowhards with a Woody for a balanced budget) and the moronic ideas generated by Congress. The ethics of our profession as it comes to the ethics of hourly billing when timesheets are full of lies, cheats, and mistakes.

      All of these and more are what VeraSage is about. My understanding is that you feel that some of our radio guests are extreme. Well hopefully they are. Nothing lives in the middle of the road, except road kill. Pablum is for children and smell pets and not for adults.

      Ultimately, you continue to read our posts and you think enough about yourself to reply to postings and we encourage the dialogue. The privilege you have to read and comment is yours however if after a while you continue to tilt at our our proverbial windmills, I suggest you pick up a book and stop stressing about what we write, say, and believe.

  2. I think that your mission is to “kill the timesheet and billable hour.” The interview with Dr. Sowell was interesting, but showed a political leaning that probably does not do much for your cause. The rant was just that and was self-indulgent.

    Yes, this is your toy and you can do with it as you wish. I would find much more interesting if your blogs were more on point about timesheets and billable hours.

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