Just when I think I have come to accept putting up with rude people as a part of everyday life, I encounter another one that takes rudeness to a whole new level. I realize sometimes people don’t intend to be rude, they just are. However, the ones that really get me are the ones who say something so incredibly rude, you can’t help but wonder if they actually intended it to sound that way; No sane person would say some of these things, and you have to wonder if it’s a reverse psychological game they are playing.
For example, I was working patrol once and a call came in for Guy vs. Table Saw. I happened to be only a few blocks away, so I arrived several minutes before any other officer or ambulance. After I parked in front of the house, I saw the man holding his hand upright, blood running down his arm, pacing in front of the garage. I saw that he was missing parts of two fingers: his pointer and index. I gathered up the amputated parts and wanted to get them on ice so they might be able to reattach them later. I didn’t have any ice, so I ran next door to a neighbor’s house. The door opened immediately. I asked the 50-something woman if I could get some ice. I held the two pieces of finger tightly in my hand, and explained that I would need the ice in a plastic bag. She returned with ice and then I asked for a towel. (A kitchen towel, a bath towel, a hand towel, anything.)
The woman looked at me, sighed, and with a serious face said, “All my towels are good towels.”
I secretly hoped that woman would be stuck somewhere bleeding profusely and in need of a towel and someone would have the audacity to say to her that all their towels were good towels. Only then would she realize how rude she had been.
Another good example of sheer rudeness occurred to me yesterday. I had an appointment to get my hair cut and colored at a salon here in town. I had never been there before, but have several friends who go there. I opened the door and stepped inside. There was a stylist behind the counter that was not my stylist. She was speaking with another client, and it appeared they had just finished a style or cut. I assumed my stylist was in the back room cleaning up or taking a quick break. I sat down in a waiting room chair and began to browse the magazines on the table. The stylist popped her head around the side of the client and said, “Um…..are you in the right place?”
Seriously. Who asks that? What ever happened to “You must be Jessica” or “Welcome to *name of salon*, how can I help you?” She just assumed that because she herself had never seen me before, I must be in the wrong salon.
I replied, “Yes….this is *name of salon*….I have an appointment with *name of stylist* at 11:30.”
“Oh, *name of stylist* didn’t get ahold of you? *stylist* is sick. You can call *stylist* on Tuesday.” The other client then offered, “I’ll cut your hair” with a smile. Nice attempt at humor for a stranger…at least she was trying.
I said, “It was a cut and color.” I was so angry with the stylist behind the counter that I said nothing more. I quietly put my coat on and was about ready to run out the door when the other client said, “Oh and I’ll bet you were really looking forward to it.”
“Yes, I really was.”
Not another word had been spoken to me by the stylist behind the counter. No offer to make a return appointment, no apologies, no fake smile, no explanation of her rude comment, nada. I turned and walked out the door.
Maybe I should have checked if there was a sign in the front window that said “Rude spoken here.”