There is a comedian whose perspective of things often makes me chuckle….Ron White. Sometimes he gets a little raunchy, but his perspectives on life, people, relatives, politics, etc often mirror mine. Hence the title of this post. Rude in Public. (Ron’s bit – Drunk in Public)
People in general amaze me. There are all sorts of us. It’s what makes the world go ’round, as they say. Some of us have incredible grace and kindness. Some of us have habits that are humorous. But some of us are just down right rude. I’m not sure where these people grew up or where they have gotten their idea that the way they act is acceptable. I wish sometimes that I was rude enough myself to tell these people what I think of their behavior.
You know what’s coming. The examples.
Example One: Rude with Children
One of my peeves as well as one of the rudest behaviors I see is moms who act like their children are someone else’s responsibility. It was very recently that we were in Target where a mom (probably early 30s) was shopping with her 3 children – all under the age of about 7. (of course, all ages here are approximations…) As she pushed her cart (from which children were hanging in various ways at various times) she had no regard for who or what she hit, cut off or blocked. It was our misfortune that we were shopping in the same aisles that she and her troop of bandits had taken over and – despite our best efforts – we couldn’t get away from them.
At one point, the 5-year-old had control of the cart. He grazed me the first time since he really couldn’t see where he was going. The next time he hit me head on. I let the first glancing blow go but on the head on, I had to say “excuse me” in the irritated tone that I recall my mother using on occasion. He tired of driving the cart and quickly took up a group activity with his siblings of bouncing off of the bulk paper towel and toilet paper packages on the lower shelves. They were all over the place. I rolled my eyes as I got our toilet paper, quickly exiting the row before he or a sibling took control of the cart and rammed into me again. I can take care of myself. But – at one point not too long ago – it would have been quite painful to me for this kid to crash into me. There was also an elderly lady who was shopping – slowly pushing her cart. You could tell she was a little tentative and not so steady on her feet. Meeting Mom and the crew coming around a corner would have been detrimental to this lady’s well-being.
All three kids were screaming or whatever it is that you call that high pitched shreak that small children can emit at the most inappropriate times. A 3 or 4 year-old was in the basket of the cart attempting to throw the items in the cart out. The 5-year-old brother was trying to prevent this. The oldest – a little girl who was potentially 7 was lying on the flat “shelf” underneath the cart’s basket with arms and legs flailing.
It was quite the scene. We did what we had to do and escaped unscathed.
What was the most amazing thing about it was that the Mom was on her phone the entire time. Not talking but looking through Cartwheel for coupons and texting. She was oblivious to her children’s behavior. She didn’t call them down one single time. It was as if she couldn’t see or hear (except for what was on her phone).
Example Two: Rude at Checkout
I recently entered the checkout of a grocery store behind a woman who was approximately 40 years old. She was on the phone – talking. The person ahead of her finished paying and walked away as the checkout clerk began to process her order. She remained on the phone. The clerk finished scanning everything and asked if the woman had coupons…..no reply. She told the woman her total. No reply. The woman swiped her credit card without even looking up at the clerk and acknowledging her. She finished the payment transaction and almost ripped the receipt from the clerk’s hand and walked off without even looking at her. It was incredibly rude, condescending and inconsiderate. As the clerk began my order and I spoke to her – I commented on the rude behavior of the person who had preceded me. She agreed that it was rude and added “I’m used to it. Lots of people come through the line on the phone.”
Come on. Really? You can’t even tell the other party to hold on so you can actually act like a human being to the person providing a service for you?
Example Three: Rude in a Restaurant
We recently grabbed a couple of salads at Chick Fil-A for lunch. Near the back of the seating area, we noticed a man on the phone. We figured – work-related call – he was sort of dressed like a sales guy. He looked up during the conversation and started motioning with his hand like he was calling someone over. The Chick-Fil-A greeter who also comes around and checks on folks walked over to see how she could help. Without missing a word in his conversation, he pointed to his cup and looked at her. Never stopped his conversation to ask if she could refill his tea, to say please, or thank you when she returned with his refill. I actually wanted to walk calmly over to his table, take his newly refilled tea to the trash and throw it away – right in front of him without acknowledging him at all.
What a rude SOB. I don’t think the person he was talking to would have minded if he said “Pardon me.” and asked the nice lady for a refill.
Example Four: Rude in Restroom
There are a million ways people can be rude in a pubic restroom. One that I do’t experience very often (surprisingly) is being in a stall next to someone on the phone. I suppose I just think there are times when you should finish your conversations before engaging in certain activities… I wondered if the person she was talking to realized where the conversation was taking place. I can’t believe she didn’t hear toilets flushing and air hand dryers going in the background.
We’ve become so convinced that our phone conversations and activities are so important that we shouldn’t be expected to stop them for anything.
Example Five: Rude while Shopping
I’ve developed the habit of paying attention to what is going on around me. I call it being self-aware. This must be rare – that is – according to what I see out in public. I must say that this happens often while shopping. Even in stores where you don’t use a cart, people will walk right over you if you’re looking in a place that they want to look. I’ve been pushed away from items I’m looking at on a shelf and knocked sideways while trying to find my size on a rack. Sometimes I look at Dennis and ask him if I’m invisible. These folks don’t look up and say – “Oh, I’m sorry.” “Pardon me.” Even “Get out of my way” would be acknowledging my presence. No – they look through me. Seriously – as if I’m not there. It’s spooky.
It’s embarrassing to me if I even do something by mistake that is that rude. I can’t imagine making it a regular behavior.
So these are my examples. I could go on and on. There is an entire category when in the car.