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A Pandemic of Rudeness

Marion Charatan

Posted on September 19, 2021 12:16

1 user

Unpleasant exchanges are becoming more common. Deteriorating standards of behavior are increasing during the pandemic.

It is obvious we live in trying times, but please, give me a break! Every single time I'm out and about lately, I observe an unpleasant interaction or am involved in one myself. I'm not used to this.

I'm going to backtrack now by stating unequivocally that I am not a volatile person; direct perhaps, but not an individual with a temper or who gets frazzled easily. After all, my professional background is in the media and I've dealt with enough ego in my day to make raging bulls seem easygoing. '

But back to my point, I'm getting reticent to go out in public and I don't want to become agoraphobic.

The last two times I've been out for a simple errand, there's been a snit between a customer service person and me. This is not a pattern: I have a tendency to get along well with others. In fact, I've been told I am quite easygoing.

I went to a drive-through for coffee recently. After I paid at the first window, I drove to a second to pick it up and the drink had a stopper in it. Well, I made a comment (big mistake) "Oh, it has a stopper," and a woman who appeared to be middle-aged went off on me and said in a nasty tone, "You look perfectly able-bodied. You can take it out yourself." I replied that it was just an observation. I don't like stoppers in my drink because I am a germophobe and don't want someone's possibly unwashed hands near the spout. Naturally, I didn't say that to the already pumped-up worker.

The manager overheard and came up to the window. She took my card; said I was being refunded and to keep the coffee--and confirmed that I was not combative and her employee was in the wrong. Whew! I always like to examine my own behavior to see if I contributed to a poor interaction, but the manager assured me I did nothing to set off the hostile reaction.

Two days ago, I wanted to use a coupon in a local beauty supply store. I previously returned an item and hadn't utilized a $10 off coupon. I thought the original purchase could be cross-referenced with my debit card-WRONG! The clerk made such a big to-do--got someone else involved who was not a manager who announced, "We have to get a manager," in loud tones, while I was waiting for ten minutes. I was embarrassed. I've been a customer of that shop for almost 20 years. I just said, "This has become too high maintenance," and told the clerk I did not want the product and left.

These seemingly petty examples represent a larger problem. I sympathize with customer service people who take a lot--but patience is becoming a lost art. My new mantra in our changing world is never to react to rudeness with rudeness and quickly exit iffy situations.

 

 

Marion Charatan

Posted on September 19, 2021 12:16

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Bakersfield’s breakfast options will be as big as a bayou this month when Huckleberry’s opens in northeast Bakersfield.

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