Rude People, and the people who call them on it

I’m not one for confrontation. It sort of runs in my family (Beth, if you’re reading this, I hope your coffee didn’t just go through your nose as you read the understatement of the year). I’m the one who looks away when someone goes postal on a cashier. I’m the one who smiles and says, “no problem” when someone barges in front of me. As long as my baby bear isn’t involved, I’m pretty passive (and even then, I tend to put Bgk up to bat).

So these are just observations, because well, I would never do such a thing!

Scene A:

Yesterday I went on a shopping spree at Kohl’s (more on that later) and as I was checking out, a line formed. I had a lot of things (yippee!) and up until that point the front end was dead, so there were no other cashiers. After two people got in line behind me, my cashier called for back up. Cashier #2 came up and said, “I’ll take the next person in line” as I was signing the credit card machine. That’s how close I was to being done. The second person behind me bolts over to Cashier #2. As I grab my bag, the person directly behind me says, “I thought that was me. I guess it wasn’t.” The next person now in line says, “Oh it was you. I guess you weren’t fast enough.” “I guess I wasn’t. I am pretty sure I was next in line.”

All while she was getting checked out anyway. Was that really necessary???

Scene B:

Today MAM and I went into a bagel shop to get a baker’s dozen for her fabulous teachers. This is a cluster-f of a shop, I’ll grant you that. I walk in expecting bad service, because that’s what always happens. But it’s the closest bagel shop to her daycare, and their bagels are good, so I suck it up.

Anyway, today, there’s a line of people getting breakfast made for them. There’s a lady over looking her bagel being made, and at one point tells the bagel-rista , “I said I didn’t want cream cheese.” Stupidly, the bagel-rista just scrapes it off and then continues to make her sandwhich on the same bagel. When she passes it down to the cashier, the lady says,”I want a fresh bagel. I saw you scrape the cream cheese off. I don’t want that bagel. I’d like a new one.” The bagel-rista obliges, and everyone else gives her a look like, “sorry she’s being difficult, please don’t spit in my food because of it.”

After said cream-cheese opposed lady checked out, the person behind me said, “Wow. Crazy lady.” And the rest of the line chimed in. As did the cashier, just shaking her head.

Now here’s the thing–pre food allergies, I probably would have agreed. But post allergies? No way, Jose. Granted, she could have stopped the bagel-rista before the sandwich was completely made, but seriously, I think she had a point.

So, tell me, are you confrontational? Not even confrontational, but do you speak up when you feel you need to or when someone else needs you to??

11 Replies to “Rude People, and the people who call them on it”

  1. Hi,
    Visiting from NCLM

    Having food allergies in my family I completely understand the bagel lady. But I wouldn’t have let her waste food and make the whole sandwich.

    Other than that I don’t really bother with confronting rude people. I just try to “kill them with kindness”. I’ve found that sometimes rude people snap out of it when someone is sugary sweet to them. Mostly due to shock.

  2. I’m wouldn’t say I’m confrontational, but a lot people probably would! Basically, I’ll stand up for myself. In the first situation, I probably wouldn’t have said anything but I might have given an eye-roll to the gal behind me who decided she needed to dart ahead.

    In the second, I absolutely would have said something, even pre-allergies. When I am paying for something, I expect a certain level of service. I figure the employees are being paid to give it to me.

    My mom used to be so embarrassed to shop with me because I’m the first to ask for a manager or write corporate if I receive crappy service, but she has since learned that it does raise the standard for everyone around me. Plus, I’m also the first to give kudos or write a company about excellent service too.

  3. I hardly ever do and avoid confrontation as much as possible. My mother is the opposite end of the spectrum. I hope someday I find a happy middle because, when I do speak up for myself, it feels good. And it doesn’t have to be rude. The bagel lady sounds like she was polite enough and not too bitchy.

  4. I would have to say S and I are confrontational…but it also depends on the situation, and whether or not I have R with me. I wouldn’t have said anything at Kohls, but the bagel, yes.

  5. I’m not confrontational, but I’m with you re: speaking up about food issues. Besides allergies, people may have religious or ethical reasons for not eating meat or dairy. I wouldn’t eat a bagel if it had meat on it (even if the meat were scraped off).

  6. Also here from NCLM and I support the “kill them with kindness” option. The ruder and angrier people get the sweeter and calmer I try to be. It can drive them crazy when you won’t step into the arena with them and you’re so nice that they have nowhere to go.

    That said, I would have said something about the cream cheese, because she really should have started again with a new bagel. If someone asks for “No cream cheese” then even the remnants left after scraping are too much.

  7. I tend to be far more defensive of other people than sticking up for myself. For crying out loud I’ve even eaten the wrong food in a restaurant (It was something I liked).

    One instance I can recall though is standing in line to buy A can of paint. I get to the front of the line and a guy comes up behind me and tells me he’s going to go in front of me because he’s in a hurry. I told him he absolutely was not. For one thing he TOLD me he didn’t ask if I would let him go ahead and for another I was buying ONE item… then he proceeded to stand behind me in line and bitch about how rude I was?

  8. I’m dropping by for NaComLeavMo – Hi!

    After reading a this post, I skipped over to the one where you talk more about the food allergies – man, do I know what that’s like! My son is allergic to milk (SEVERELY), eggs, soy, wheat, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, beef and pork. It’s LOTS of fun! (notice the heavy sarcasm there).

    But even before that I would have had a fit with the bagel lady. I’m a very go-with-the-flow gal and rarely make a fuss, but that would have really ticked me off.

    Anyway, just thought I’d throw my 2 cents in! If you’re still looking for allergy advice/tips/conversation, let me know. 🙂

  9. I never used to be confrontational. And, then I had kids. It seems the older I get, or the younger everyone else becomes the more I tend to speak my mind.
    I completely agree with the food allergies. I have a son with food allergies, it does make you look at food differently.

  10. Juicy topic! I try to confront, but in a non-hostile (non-confrontational?) manner. Like Tanya, it’s always easier for me to jump out of my seat for someone else than to stick up for myself.

    Favorite cashier exchange: the guy in line in front of me was being a bit of an asshole. As the cashier handed him back some change, he just couldn’t resist muttering under his breath in a stage whisper,“asshole.” Yes, cashier boy was wrong-o. But asshole customer goes on to throw a profanity-laden tantrum as if he’d been punched in the face or something.

    And because he just kept going on and ON, I finally had to tug on his sleeve and comment, “Hey, Sparky, do you think you’re proving him WRONG?!?!”

    Though I would normally just appear aghast at outright rudeness, and offer something pretty harmless, like “My goodness, I can’t believe you just said that.” Sad that we’ve all become Super Nannies to the etiquette-challenged, but if you don’t call them on it, it’s only going to get worse.

  11. I wouldn’t use the word confrontational when describing myself, but I would say that I am assertive. I don’t, generally, complain in stores or return food (as long as it does comply with my allergies) but I DO get rather assertive with people when I need to. For Example, if I need to have a serious discussion with the hubby or a student, or other family member, I will. However, I am not rude about it as a general rule.

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