Sunday, October 01, 2006

Rudeness

After church today, we went out for brunch. This time we went to le peep, which is a place my wife likes. The food is all right, but it's not my favorite place. She likes it, and the kids didn't want my choice, so le peep it was.

We got there and had to wait for a table. There are a couple benches to sit at while waiting, but there's not really a whole lot of room, and a family of five takes up a bunch of that space. So I decided I'd stand, let others who might prefer to sit, sit.

Le Peep also has coffee and water available at a service counter for those who are waiting - not a bad idea. It turns out that my wife and kids were seated right next to the service counter with the coffee and water, which means that I was standing right next to it. I didn't consider this to be an issue - I didn't even consider it at all. Until this man whose family came in after us decided he needed coffee, and rather than asking me to move, or saying "pardon me," or "excuse me," he merely walked past me, pushing me (not a shove, but a shoulder push) aside without so much as making eye contact. As he did so, I said "pardon me" (politely) and moved.

This upset me some. I'm not exactly a confrontational person, but this ticked me off. So, I passive-aggresively stated that courtesy must have gone out of style. Of course, the guy didn't hear me, but his wife apparently did. She didn't say anything though, which means she was either turned off by her husband's rudeness or mine, and in either situation didn't feel comfortable commenting on it. I probably wouldn't mind so much, except the man and his two teenage sons all looked as though they were somehow "above" us common folk flocking around where they deemed fit to be. To be fair, I decided that these folks were elitist jerks after I was bumped, but since I feel secure in the thought that I probably won't encounter this family again, at least not in a manner where we'll recognize each other, it doesn't matter that much to me; I'll think of them however I want.

In conclusion, if you're going to bump someone out of your way, be courteous enough to excuse yourself. It's the polite thing to do, and you won't have some random guy in Houston thinking you're a complete ass.

5 comments:

JMJanssen said...

It is a troubling trend. The other day on the bus a middle-aged woman came on, couldn't find a seat, so grabbed a pole about 2 yards away from me. There were 6 young people sitting around her, none of them offered her their seat. I got impatient with the stupid kids and offered her mine. She smiled and declined, but it really ate me that the thought probably hadn't entered the other young people's minds, or if it did they had ignored it for some reason.

At least you're teaching your kids proper (albeit passive-aggressive) courtesy.

Gramma said...

Sometimes it seems like our country has a "Me First" philosophy. At Costco yesterday, I was in everyone's way. It took me twice as long to shop because I courteously waited and allowed others to cut me off or careen around me. I think most people out there don't even see others. You just keep on being a good person. And, I challenge you to see how many well-mannered people you encounter between now and next Sunday. Report back.

Hannelie said...

Good on ya Steve. I agree, it's becomming a trend and then every one sues every one !? Gosh, what's the world becomming?

Bookworm said...

That kind of rudeness is so pointless. I've come to the conclusion (pardon me for being sexist) that some men are simply clueless about the effects of their physical behavior. They sprawl over seats, push people aside, are loud, etc., because they live in a world of one -- themselves. This means that they don't intend to be rude to you; they just aren't even aware that you're in "their" space. It's narcissitic, not active rudeness, in a way. You were right, though, to be annoyed.

Bellejar said...

I agree with Gramma about the me first thing. I also have a beef with bachelor men now. I had a very bad experience at the Puyallup fair last month. My daughter was having a melt-down as two year olds all hoped up on sugar are bound to do at some point and a man walked by and said the nastiest things extremely loud to me. Very bothersome. I was already embarassed and ready to head home, but his words were down right evil and made me feel like a total failure as a parent. Now I think single men without children should be banned from family establishments - such as the Puyallup fair. People suck!