Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's a Mean, Mean, Mean, Mean World

I recently heard a woman speaking about how very mean the world has gotten and I'm right there with her.

Driving through a parking lot and see someone walking stop abruptly because you're coming, you slam on the brakes, smile and wave, mouth sorry? No return smile, just a dirty look.

I had someone throw a ham sandwich at my car at a four way stop once. I still have no idea why. I let him go first.

If you live in a city larger than 5000 and someone is making eye contact and smiling at the library, what is your first thought? Creepy, right? I have to force myself to not break eye contact. I give them the benefit of the doubt that they were raised in a small town.

Don't make conversation with the cashier. She doesn't want to be there and won't pretend for your sake.

What happened to customer service, in general?

Totally OFF topic, but still kinda on. Last night on the news I heard someone interviewed at the grocery store where the guy was shot and he said, "It's a nice, neighborhood store. Never any problems." I've been shopping there for more than ten years. The managers are nice. I think they recognize me. And, in general, I would use the same words to describe the store IN COMPARISON to other city stores. But, no. I've shopped at nice neighborhood stores. This is a pleasant city grocery where people rarely give you trouble, but are pretty much going to ignore the fact that you are present. On that stream, engage someone over the age of 80 in conversation and you might get a response.

But today....TODAY I was insulted by someone I'd never seen before, had made no judgments about, would frankly had no thoughts regarding her AT ALL had her bumper sticker not screamed at me "I may be fat, but you're UGLY and I can DIET."

I found my blood pressure actually rising. She's judging me. She's assuming that I'm judging her without giving me the chance to perform above her expectations. And she's going to skip right to rudeness rather than give me that chance.

And before you get all "it was supposed to be a joke" on me, since when is it funny to insult a perfect stranger? Is that how we are supposed to treat our fellow man? I mean, I'm not perfect. I have no illusions. I catch eyes and drop them as much as the next guy, but I do try to practice common courtesy. I "please" and "thank you" and "so sorry" and "excuse me." But my patience is wearing thin with people who act like I'm invisible and their story they are telling another person in the Walmart aisle about their daughter's cousin's boyfriends next door neighbor's arthritic cat is more important than my kid's triaminic. Hello! I'm here! And I really, really, REALLY need something just behind your butt! AND I'VE HAD NO SLEEP LADY! THUS THE NEED FOR THE COUGH MEDICINE!

And no, I don't think the lady in the Triaminic aisle affected my response to the bumper sticker at all.


Senior Citizen said...

Your great grandfather told me never argue with an idiot - they don't even know why they are stupid and their only joy is making you uncomfortable. Ugly? a lot of fat, and not so fat folks would like to have your ugly. Happy eyes and a pretty smile fixes most stuff - except stupid. Ugly is fixable - just smile and be nice - and don't argue with the darn idiot.

Now, where did that darn woman hide my coffee cup - now that is an ugggggllyy thing to do to a semi fat, and partially ugly senior citizen. Hey, I can quit taking my daddy be nice pills. Mrs. Senior is taking hers, so I don't need mine....... Darn cup.

Michelle said...

I agree. There is rudeness everywhere. I like to smile at people just to freak them out, it's fun.

MotherT said...

Oh, Jamie, I so understand what you are saying! We work so hard to teach our children to be polite and well-mannered, and then they get to see folks "joking" with rude comments/bumper stickers, etc.

I work in a small town bank, and I'm still amazed at the rudeness of people. AND they think they are justified.

Senior Citizen said...

Bumper Sticker? Hey, forget them. Who in their right mind would spend 20,000 to 40,000 dollars for a nice car then stick crap on them. That must be at least as close to an idiot that there is - Unless they hide an old Senior Citizens coffee cup all over the ceiling. Darn cup. Sr.