Thursday, April 05, 2007

Just a little personal aside...

Maybe it's just me. It's been a long week.

So, maybe I was just in a bad mood when I walked into the minimart this evening to use the ATM (I was on my way out to dinner and I prefer not to use cards in restaurants if I can avoid it). But this really bugged the crap out of me.

I was trying to get to the ATM, which is the far corner of the store, and as I walked past the counter a woman, not looking where she was going as she backed up, nearly stepped on me. I tried to be polite. I said, "Excuse me," and waited for her to move so I could get through. She looked around and said, in a semi-nasty tone, "Well, I didn't see you." But she did move, just enough so that I could get by her. Which was fine. Maybe she'd had a bad day, too. But, after I had moved far enough away from her so that she had to say it loudly enough that everyone in the store could hear, she said, "Maybe you should wear a bell." Slightly nastier tone that time.

Excuse me?

I held my peace. Not that I didn't think of about five other things that I could have said back, all of which would have taken me right down to her level. But I didn't say them because it would have been rude, provocation aside. I went ahead, waited for my turn at the machine, used it, and left.

What I don't understand is why some people feel that they have to be needlessly rude to people they don't even know, and who haven't done anything to them. Maybe it goes back to upbringing. Maybe we're all like those rats in experiments where they put too many rats together in too small a space and they started, after awhile, to tear each other up, and we just do it verbally sometimes instead of physically. I don't know.

I do know that it seems that, more and more, being polite seems to be considered a sign of weakness...the moral equivalent of a "Kick me" sign, in neon, on top of one's head. Whatever the causes of it, I think it's a shame.

Anyway, if you've got any answers to why this is so, drop a comment.

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