Random acts of rudeness
Some people walk in a room and own it. Lately, I’ve been lucky if the door doesn’t get slammed in my face.I thought people would be nicer when I moved to Colorado from New York. I thought I’d be nicer. It’s generally worked out that way. Just not recently.First there was the parking incident outside of Boogie’s. Some guy with Gordon Gekko hair in a white car with Florida plates pulled into a spot where there were two, parking just strategically enough so that another car couldn’t fit in front or behind him. When he opened his door and stepped out, I rolled down my window and asked if he wouldn’t mind, please, pulling up so I could fit behind him.He narrowed his eyes at me, paused, and then abruptly hollered, “Get back in the car, kids. Some lady doesn’t know how to parallel park.”Two little boys returned to their car seat-less spots in the back, and he begrudgingly moved the sedan forward a few feet. When I parked and got out, I thanked him with only a hint of sarcasm for being so accommodating.He halted and screamed at me, “Why don’t you learn to parallel park?”I looked at the kids, who were standing in the middle of the street staring at their dad, and suggested he might act more civilized in front of his children and attend to them instead of me.”Oh, get lost already, will you?” he growled, scurrying the boys out of the street and into Boogies.I thought people in the mountains were supposed to be kinder, gentler and more respectful. Then again, he had Florida plates and more grease in his hair than the deep fryer at Burger King.Still. It might not just be a Florida thing. When we were moving out of our old place in Basalt in the pouring rain last week, a construction worker at the enormous house-to-be next door allowed us to put an old bed in their dumpster. Unfortunately for us, someone else evidently disapproved of our garbage touching their garbage, because when we returned to the house the following morning to retrieve a few last things, the waterlogged mattress and box spring had been deposited on our front lawn.The owner of the future McMansion next door, a short little guy with round glasses, was milling around his property at the same time we tried to figure out where we would now dispose of the bed. I asked the little man if he knew how or why the bed had been removed from his dumpster. Like a child who hadn’t mastered the art of lying, he locked eyes with mine and squeaked, “No.”I turned to my husband and said with, again, barely a touch of sarcasm, “What a shame we’re leaving such a friendly neighborhood.”Mr. McMansion became enraged. “What did you say? Are you accusing me of lying, bitch? Do it again and you’ll be sorry!” he yelped, his beady eyes shooting me a look of death. He jumped into his Nissan Maxima, revved the engine and pealed away Dukes of Hazzard style.When we moved afterwards into our new home in Aspen, Comcast was supposed to call and let us know what time a technician would be arriving to install our cable. No one ever called, and we missed the appointment. After getting berated and hung up on by a customer service representative for being naïve enough to think we’d actually get phoned, a supervisor took pity on us, waived the installation fee and offered to send a tech back over that night. He arrived just after seven o’clock. Grateful that he showed as scheduled, I offered him everything we had – beer and pretzels.He glared at me. “I don’t need YOUR food. I WAS eating MY dinner until I got a call that I HAD to come here. And by the way, there’s no extra charge for me doing this AFTER HOURS,” he said, little gobs of spit flying out of his mouth onto our shiny new bamboo floor.We figured whoever from Comcast had failed to call us that afternoon could give this guy the tip for which he angled the entire 20 minutes he was at our place. When he figured out what we figured, he shot us his very own special look of death.And then there was Norman at Lowe’s. We were there buying a washer and dryer. Even though he works in the appliance department, Norman didn’t take much of an interest in our laundry needs. In fact, there wasn’t much of anything that seemed to interest Norman – except anything and everyone but us. He laughed meanly at our space concerns, yawned loudly while we browsed at our options, walked away several times to offer help to other customers when we were in mid-sentence and never returned our calls when we had some questions after making the purchase.When I called Norman on our scheduled delivery date after waiting four hours for the Lowe’s truck that never arrived, he casually told me the washer and dryer hadn’t even shipped yet and then remained silent when I asked why we hadn’t been notified. I whined to his supervisor that it wasn’t so much that we didn’t have the washer and dryer yet, but that Norman was just so cruelly indifferent. She offered to waive the delivery fee, refund us 10 percent off the purchase price and become our contact for future questions or concerns.Some people are born with an air of authority. It’s not something that can be bought or learned – either you have it or you don’t. I used to think I did. Clearly, I was mistaken.My dad thinks I get treated poorly because I’m a girl. My husband theorizes that if you meet three jerks in a day, chances are you’re the jerk. Either way, if I can’t get any respect, at least I can get a 10 percent discount every now and then and some occasional satisfaction.E-mail questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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