Warning: Explicit Language
Humor me for just one moment. Imagine that you are a young woman (some of you are, so that’s not a stretch, tee-hee). You are working at your job, where you have direct customer contact and assist people in making purchases daily. A male customer, maybe in his late 40’s or early 50’s, comes up to your counter and you greet him with a “hello” as he hands you a product. You begin to assist him in completing his purchase.
A few short moments later, as you are still working on his transaction, the man says to you,
“Do you ever make eye contact with people? Because you haven’t looked at me once.”
Totally caught off guard, and trying to remain professional, you simply say,
“Yes, I do,” and hurry to finish your work.
The man continues and says,
“Well how do you ever expect to get married if you don’t look anyone in the eyes.”
You say nothing else, handing him his receipt and removing yourself from the situation now that your work is done.
How do you think you would react in a situation like this?? (Yes, this actually happened to a friend of mine.) Would you simply carry on and finish up your work because that’s what you’re supposed to do? Do you say something sarcastic back to this guy because he really has no clue who you are and has no business making assumptions about your personal life?
When my friend told me this story, I was furious.
First of all…
FUCK OFF, GUY. FUCK. THE HELL. OFF.
Second… Who do you think you are, saying something so ridiculous to a COMPLETE STRANGER?!
You don’t know anything about her or her life. Maybe she IS married. Or maybe she has ten boyfriends who are all in a biker gang and she’s gonna tell them so they can kick your ass!
Or maybe she’s perfectly happy being single and MAYBE she has bigger goals than to simply become someone’s wife! So thank you for thinking that every woman is not complete until they have a husband.
Third… did I mention fuck off?!
Okay… I can’t say what I would have said or done if this had happened to me at work. I probably would have said something incredibly sarcastic like:
“My wife likes it better if I avoid looking her in the eyes and simply stare at her breasts. She finds eye contact threatening.”
I bet that would have ended the conversation pretty quick. Or I would have punched him right in the face. Either way…
But here’s my question… when did it become okay to say absurd things like this to people we don’t know? When did it become okay to be blatantly disrespectful and inconsiderate? I’m sure if you’re reading this, you’re like me and when you’re at the store making purchases, you say nice things like, “How are you?” and, “Are you having a nice day?” and, “Thank you for your help.”
I know, if you’re reading this, that you’re the kind of person who would never say, “Wow, you look really grumpy, you should smile because it’s more attractive.”
And why would we never say something stupid like that? Because we’re nice people. Because we don’t know why that person is grumpy.
Sure, there are certain expectations that come with having a customer service job. But if a person doesn’t smile at me or doesn’t make small talk with me and handles my transaction like expected, does that warrant my making a comment like, “You know, you might be happier if you chatted with people while helping them.”
No… I definitely don’t think that’s appropriate. While I’m all about being kind and sharing the love, I also know that the world doesn’t revolve around me (shocker) and that not everyone has a good day… or a good week… and not everyone is obligated to be kind to me.
I’m not sure there’s really an answer as to why people say stupid shit like that, other than they’re just big assholes. But I definitely think social media plays a role.
When you post something or share something on a social media platform, you’re bound to receive comments from all types of people to include people who you may not know. You can say whatever you want to whomever you want… because why not? You have an opinion and a right to speak, so damn it, you’re gonna say what’s on your mind.
Does that trickle into our personal lives?? Just because we have the right to say something… does that mean that we SHOULD say something? I know there have been times where I’m ready to give someone a piece of my mind and then I think to myself… is it worth it?
Are the words that are going to come out of my mouth words that will help the situation? Or just perpetuate an argumentative cycle that will just end badly?
At the end of the day, I guess it’s just a choice. Sometimes, hard words need to be met with other hard words. There’s no denying that. But I think maybe I’ll start relying on some advice given to me way back when I was just a kid, “Think before you speak,” and, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”