Friday, August 06, 2010

Since When is it O.K. to be Rude?

I've noticed lately that people think it's o.k. to be rude. I've seen children talk back to their parents. I've heard sales people giving attitude to customers. I've been flipped off while driving for NOT running a red light. When we went to the O.C. Fair last weekend to see a concert. There were 3 tall teenage boys with I think was their dad (who was enjoying his beer and high fiving everyone who walked by) in the seats in front of us. Our seats were pretty decent and no one was really standing when the concert started and they were quite tall so they could see the stage from a sitting position. They continued to stand, blocking everyone behind them, a wall of teenage boys. The ladies in front of me were not happy campers but would not do anything about it. Me, I'm a squeaky wheel. I reached over, tapped the 3 boys and asked if they could please sit down because we can't see. He proceeded to tell me, "Why don't you stand up?". I so wanted to backhand his cocky little teenage face, but I said, "Why do you have to be so rude? I'm asking nicely" and he continued to say, "Why don't we all stand up?" and I asked, "Were you raised to be rude?" Finally I gave up and was not happy. The other ladies ended up finding other seats. It's not like I was asking for anything unreasonable! They stood the whole time. I really felt like asking them to name 5 songs from each band that played to see how big of fans they were.

A similar incident happened when I took my daughter and friend to see Michelle Branch at the Grove. It was a teensy patch of grass for us to stand on, then the stage for the performer. Tall people cut in the crowd and stood in front of me. I am a huge Michelle Branch fan and I wanted to see her. They stood there texting the whole time, I doubt they even knew who she was. I proceeded to lean on them heavily until they moved. I figured, if they were going to be rude, then I will too.

I have gone to plays and movies where people brought their babies and they screamed through the whole performance and they never got up to leave even when we were glaring and shhhing them. That is really rude!

Today I got scolded by a woman in the accounts payable department of one of our customers. She told me that she wasn't going to pay my invoice because it wasn't signed and didn't have an approval code on it and after trying to explain why it was sent in that way, she proceeded to tell me that I need to handle it with the salesman and that she's not paying until it's right. She pretty much tore my head off over the phone for something I had no control over. Talk about killing the messenger.

I think that we're so used to being rude and to being treated rudely that we've be as a society have become desensitized to it. I am in shock when someone is nice or helpful or agreeable to my terms. When I started in the work force, I was a waitress and I had to be nice and take all the attitude in order to get good tips. Although sometimes the rude people wouldn't leave a tip anyway. Then I started working in retail where customer service was key. I guess that's not such a big deal these days (See my blog on customer service) and it's a sad thing.

I'm going to try to do or say two nice things everytime someone is rude to me. Maybe if I pay it forward with random acts of kindness, it'll come back around and the world will be less rude. I know I have lofty dreams, but it can happen! Lets at least try!