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Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > How Do You Deal With Public Rudeness?

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments How do you deal with public rudeness?

Yesterday I was at Costco and this lady in front of me was a BITCH to the checkout people (it's always plural at Costco). I don't know what her problem was, but she bitched about the fact Costco didn't have bags (must have been her first time), bitched that she had to write a check, etc. Go somewhere else, lady, if you don't like the system. Anyway, I tried to be extra nice to the checkout people to balance off that lady's behavior. Maybe the bitchy lady, to be fair, was just having a bad day.

How do you approach situations like that? I don't feel like engaging the bitch in conversation about her behavior is going to make much of a difference, but I also don't want to silently approve of it with my silence. What do you think? Have you ever been in a situation like that? What happened?

I also, and I think this may have come up in another thread, consider public rudeness a deal breaker with any of my friends. If you treat a waitress/counter person/anyone working like they're your personal servant, get the (bleep) away from me.

message 2: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i totally agree. anyone who is flat out rude in public is out in my book. and that out is hard to recover from as that is your true character. some people think they are so much better than everyone else that they can be an ass. i simply find that the old rule of treating someone how you want to be treated is a great way to be. doesn't always pay off but i can sleep good at night knowing i was kind and thoughtful to someone else regardless of their response

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) They need to videotape these people and then make them watch themselves. Most people don't even realize how pathetic they look to the people around them.
Getting involved would probably make the situation worst. Best thing to do is report it to those in charge. Call in security if it gets out of hand.

message 4: by Matt (new)

Matt | 819 comments I agree with what you both have said about how this rudeness reflects one's true character. I always jumped to the conclusion that such people have had really cushy lives also, because anyone who has ever worked in retail or food service knows how much those jobs suck and are usually mindful of how they treat these folks. I'm not always in the mood to engage in conversation while paying for groceries, etc, but I try to be generally pleasant and courteous.

I know that this might be harder for people with kids, but I generally feel the same way about people who trash their tables in restaurants too.

message 5: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i have worked in restaurants when i was younger and i always stack all my dishes and trash up neatly and pick all my paper and such up when i am finished trying to make it easier for the server or bus person. I am more patient with servers and always tell the manager when someone did a very good job. People usually complain when things are bad but seldom give a shout out when things are good. On a similar note to what tadpole said, i have found that in traffic people in expensive cars think that they have the right of way over people driving crappy cars or trucks.

shellyindallas I worked in retail and in restaurants (still work in a bakery once a week) for the better part of the last twenty years and we are taught to be mindful that some people could really be having a rough day and not to take it personally. Unfortunately, though, it's often the case that people are just assholes and weren't taught to treat others w/ respect. Who hasn't heard of The Golden Rule?

I caught a new show on TV the other night where the contestants believe they are competing in a semi-traditional beauty pageant but are unaware they are also being judged on their inner-beauty. The girl they sent home was incredibly rude and failed their test to see if she would open the door for a stranger holding a bunch of coffees. This guy is standing there struggling, ringing the buzzer, pressing the coffees to his chest and using his chin to keep them in place, and she goes "it should be open" and waltzes right in. Doesn't even hold the door open behind her as she walks in.

It's so easy to be courteous to strangers. It's the people I know and love that I have a hard time being respectful to. ;)

message 7: by Heidi (last edited May 27, 2009 03:38PM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10826 comments Oh man, I'll be honest... I ABHOR bullies! I already have a tendency to open mouth, insert foot, so it shouldn't surprise people who know me that I will put rude people on the spot... publically. I'm not mean about it. I don't give them a dose of their own medicine by being rude to them. I'll ask if they're having a bad day or if they're upset about something. And I will call them out on their behavior in as neutral of a tone as I can muster up... try to give them something to think about.

I will also kill them with kindness. Once, a lady honked at me because I wasn't getting out of my parking space fast enough for her. I could see her yelling at me through the window of her car. She was also laying her hand on her horn so that it wouldn't stop. As I backed out, I waved to her and said (so she could read my mouth), "Hi!" She flipped me off.

In that same breath, I'll go out of my way to bring attention to someone's supervisor, parent, superior, whatev, when someone is kind and professional. Or if they've done something that demonstrates thoughtfulness. A letter, a phone call, an email... I'm not too proud or busy.

My thing is I'm not responsible for the behavior and actions of other people, but I take full responsibility and accountability for myself.

message 8: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments in the immmortal words of the great philosopher Thumper:

If you can't say something nice... don't say nothing at all.

message 9: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17360 comments Mod
Oh man, this is a hard question. How do I deal with public rudeness? I don't know what I do. Ignore it? There is a certain store downtown that I just love to shop at, but the sales clerks can be complete a-holes. I've been known to flat out ask: Is there someone else who can help me with this? That usually helps their attitude significantly.
I loathe rudeness. Especially having worked as a waitress and barista for years - just make some sign that you see the other person, recognize their existence and that they've done something nice for you. It is the least you can do.
Rude customers just blow me away. It was the worst working at that hospital, serving coffee to a bunch of MDs with God complexes. Not only did the doctors like to stomp on the little people, but then of course the nurses and technicians would also shit on the coffee girl, having just been deemed incompetent by the same doctor who abused me at 6:23 for not making his foam "fluffy" enough. For being a bunch of life savers, people who work in hospitals need to figure out how to treat one another a little nicer.

message 10: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i worked in restaurants when i was younger and believe me, there are ways to get back at rude people (in the kitchen)

message 11: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 347 comments :shudder:

Kevin, it is my fear of just such retribution that make me overly polite and friendly with even the worst servers (I'm talking above my normal kindness for workers in the service industry, who truly are paragons of patience. I could never go back to those jobs now). I've seen what happens to the snide and uppity and it is not a fate I would want for myself.

message 12: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments yeah, a little saliva creamer in your coffee is never any good

message 13: by Cyril (new)

Cyril I figure rude people are more likely to shoot me.

message 14: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments actually i think rude people are mostly cowards. most of them are just bullying people in an attempt to lift them self up and/or they have a false sense of their importance. it is the quiet weird ones that scare me

message 15: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10826 comments I'm quiet... for the most part. :)

message 16: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) But you're not weird.

message 17: by Heidi (last edited Jan 09, 2009 06:14AM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10826 comments Says you. :)

message 18: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i think self proclaimed quietness and weirdness is ok. it's the ones who don't know it who are dangerous

message 19: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Ha! Yup.

I believe people who go around being pushy/obnoxious/rude pay the price in the long run. They are not happy people, with every day full of misery. They're focused on looking for things that are wrong -- and they always find plenty of it.

There's also an epidemic of people just being self-absorbed/oblivious, which is rude in a different, more passive way.

I try very hard to not allow these behaviors I see in others to ruin my days. There are, after all, only so many days allotted for each of us in which to find the joys of life. Next thing you know, it's time to die and you've been freaking miserable more than half the time. Such a waste!

So all you rude bastards just stay the fuck away!

message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

I think the problem is that you never know if some one is being rude, or are on the edge. I would hate to be the person that pushes the person on the edge over, not only for the retribution they may do to me, but also for anyone that is close.

For the record Larry, that last comment was kind of rude.

message 21: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Uh huh.

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh oh, Larry's turning a little quiet on me, time to walk away.

message 23: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Get off my lawn!

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Man I am so gone, I'm not even in your county anymore.

message 25: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) ::puts shotgun back on the rack::

message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

::changes pants::

message 27: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments [mental note: heidi=quiet+weird]

message 28: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments
I believe people who go around being pushy/obnoxious/rude pay the price in the long run. They are not happy people, with every day full of misery.

Yeah, I agree with this. Sometimes waiting in line at the supermarket is the best time to practice the Zen breathing thing.

message 29: by Sandy (new)

Sandy (FoggedIn) | 138 comments There is a great line from Absolutely Fabulous that I may gather enough courage to use one day with those makeup women. "You can drop the attitude, you only work in a shop."

message 30: by Cyril (new)

Cyril Some people who are rude love it, it makes them happy and fulfilled.

message 31: by Sandy (new)

Sandy (FoggedIn) | 138 comments I find this to be the case with seniors in high school.

message 32: by Gus (new)

Gus Sanchez (gussanchez) I've had rudeness happen to me at Costco. Remind me to link to a blog I wrote about a racist incident that occurred to me there.

I'm too lazy to look it up right now.

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