A hermit by nature, if I were continually forced into the world at large there would be frequent bloodshed. There is one type of person that irritates the hell out of me – the ill mannered, inconsiderate and vulgar among us – in short, the disrespectful.
And if I have a hot button it’s people being abusive to the vulnerable, especially the elderly, young or animals. Put those two issues together and I see red.
WHY do I bring this up?
Yesterday morning I went to Outpatient services at a local hospital for a routine mammogram and while standing at the desk going through the registration process, I noticed a man walking in with a small boy in tow. I was only aware of him because he was speaking loudly into his cell. Stopping at the desk, he asked something I didn’t hear and one of the three ladies sitting there asked the first question they all do: “do you have your prescription?” I’m guessing she was in her late 60s to early 70s and the pin attached to her chest identified her as a ‘Volunteer’.
He made a big production of “I didn’t know I needed one”, complete with hand gestures to illustrate his impatience and proceeded to make another loud phone call about his pressing need. He then turned back to the volunteer with a full load of insolence.
“I’m so sorry I upset you by not having a prescription”
“You didn’t upset me”
“Well, you really seemed upset, so I’m sorry”
“I’m not upset”
“You really did seem upset…”
Written down, it looks perfectly fine. But the horribly snide tone he used to talk to this older lady, a volunteer, whose primary function seemed to be giving directions to radiology… There was something so vulnerable about her and malicious about him that I wished my cluebat out of the truck and into my hand. Not that she cared. She probably sees 20 like him every day; if not outright assholes, they’re worried or stressed and not thinking about being courteous to a stranger. I can understand that, but intentionally mean just gets to me.
He glanced my way and I directed one of my mother’s patented glares toward him, not that he’d have cared.
Some people are just like that; it’s all about them and others are simply filling bit roles in the play of their life. The rest of my day was pleasant, as I greeted and spoke with a number of nice folks on my rounds.
I’m not saying that I’m always Little Mary Sunshine, but like my mama taught me, if you can’t say something nice, keep your damn mouth shut and try to smile anyway. Must be a southern thing…