Friend: “Oh she just gives off the kind of vibe, but once you get to know her she’s cool.”
Me: “No thanks, I’ve seen enough.”
People who are inherently rude are a nightmare.
I don’t know how the phenomenon started, but I don’t like it. I’m talking about snarky sarcasm everywhere you look. How it’s looked down upon to be inherently good and polite. People often make fun of me all the time for being a happy person in the morning while they’re still grouchy and grumpy for the rest of the day. Like I’m the crazy one. How did we become a society where negative, cynical and rude are suddenly the norm? I missed the memo on that one.
Whenever I see a customer being rude and snobby in a store, my favorite thing to do is ask “Excuse me, do you work here?” and then watch their heads explode. For some reason they hate that. I truly believe that every person needs at some point in their lives to work in a customer service position to really understand how to treat other people. I know so many people who are the nicest people you’ll ever meet when you’re just hanging out with them but suddenly turn into the worst people as soon as they set foot in a store or restaurant.
Why is that? The most logical explanation is that they feel that they are equal to a their friends so they’re nice to them but someone who’s a cashier or a server they feel are beneath them, so their behavior adjusts accordingly. Let’s make something clear, I don’t want to go into a “Tipping Culture” rant, because that’s not the point I’m trying to make. I just want to point out that this sense of entitlement that people have shouldn’t be the norm and doesn’t make sense to me.
Let me point out examples of things that would make everyone hate you:
Crime: A person doesn’t know to hold the door open for you, creeps it open just enough so that they can sneak their slippery body inside the opening and lets it close in your face.
Punishment: Pick your battles. This one enrages me, but what’s the plan here? Unless you’re ok with literally stopping them down the hall and confronting them, just leave it be and be nice to the next person. But for future reference, the rule of thumb is if they’re within 10 feet from you, you should hold the door open for the person behind you. Anything more is your call.
Crime: Someone with a giant cart full of groceries cuts in front of you at Trader Joe’s when there’s clearly a sign that says “Line Begins Here.”
Punishment: In this situation, you have a right to stand your ground. People were taught to wait in line in preschool and sometimes people need a friendly reminder. Just remember friendly. An “Excuse me, there’s a line,” will normally suffice. Over the weekend, I was at Ikea and accidentally cut in front of two ladies. They grouchily told me to get in back of the line. This one is optional but if you have a giant cart full of stuff, it’s nice to let the person behind you go ahead of you if they have like 2 things. I ended up having to wait 15 minutes behind the ladies in order to buy 2 tiny $4 lanterns. For my revenge, I ran into them again in the parking garage, and ran ahead of them to cut them off forcing them to make an emergency stop with their shopping carts. Whoops.
Crime: You want to buy something but you literally can’t get the attention of the cashier because they’re too preoccupied on their phones.
Punishment: Ok, customer service is a double-edged sword. While I feel like customers should be nice, working in customer service means really taking care of your customers. Particularly the ones who are trying to spend money. It would take a lot for me to complain about someone because I get it, people have lives. I normally just would walk out and not spend any of my money there. But for me to take the time to write a letter to complain? I don’t have time for that, it’s a store in a city with a thousand stores. Who cares.
Crime: An annoying co-worker keeps butting into your private conversations.
Punishment: This one is a tough one. On one hand, it would be so easy and satisfying to tell them to butt out, but on the other keep in mind this is someone that you work with, and just your luck will continue to work with for a long time. I normally just smile and politely end the conversation from there. The friend you were originally conversing with will figure it out and understand that you should continue your conversation in a more quiet setting. Unless they can’t figure it out, then maybe you weren’t missing much not finishing a conversation with that genius anyways.
Crime: A friend who keeps bailing on every time you try to set something up.
Punishment: This is another complicated situation. One one hand, I get it. My schedule sucks with school/work and is never consistent. So if it’s finals time or anything, just try to be a good friend and understand that they don’t want to be bothered until the semester is over. On the other hand, if you know they don’t have anything else going on and they’re just flaking, don’t waste your time. Give them one more chance to get together with you and if they cancel on you again, just stop trying. No need to be rude and have an official break up with your friend or anything, but just write them off as a friend you’ll catch on social media.
Crime: A continually-late friend who always keeps you waiting.
Punishment: I totally understand that it takes a minute for people to get ready. I’m 100% on board with the idea that you don’t want to ever have an off-day because you never know who you’ll run into. But when you set a certain time with someone that you’ll be getting together, it’s your responsibility to make it at that time. It’s that simple. If it was a job interview or a work meeting, you’d still somehow have the time to get ready and be there on time, so why would you put your friends at a lower priority. Someone who consistently makes you wait is someone who’s saying that their time is more important than your time. Next time it happens, call them out for always making you wait and emphasize how it’s really rude. End of story.