Rudeness vs politeness

I don’t like rude people.  Possibly because I am rubbish at being rude back.  I tried it recently when someone pulled out in front of my car, nearly causing a crash.  I tooted my horn in a terribly British fashion but felt more was needed;  I meant to stick my middle finger up at him.  Unfortunately I got my fingers in a muddle and instead did a ‘you’re a very naughty boy’ gesture while waggling my index finger instead.  I don’t think it had quite the desired effect.

In person, I usually take any rudeness given and get upset about it later.  So I was quite surprised with myself the other day.  I was in a meeting with what turned out to be a very rude little man (who I didn’t have to meet with – I was just trying to be helpful) and he was rude.  Now, this man was doing the equivalent of asking for the stars to be delivered on a silver platter.  I pointed out that this wasn’t possible, but perhaps we could aim for something more within our reach and forget the silver platter?  (I don’t work with either stars or silver platters.  I’m not really sure where that came from.  Sorry about that).  Anyway, he informed me that he’d wasted his time talking to me as I’d not helped him do what he wanted and questioned whether I could actually do my job.  I wasn’t impressed with that, so I walked out of the meeting.

The smiley bit about that incident is that, while I walked out calmly, I put a ranty status on Facebook (as is customary in these situations) and two friends offered to beat him up*, one suggested I beat him up myself** and a lot more people said I’d done a good thing.  So I moved from ranty to smiley really rather fast.  The funny bit is that I’m 90% sure that rude little man will have to ask for my help again in the future.  I’m looking forward to that :o)

The converse is true too though – I really appreciate a bit of politeness.

It’s a long and boring story, but I had to go to my doctors practice to sort out some things.  I avoided it all last week as I find doctors receptionists the most terrifying species who seem to work out what you need and then do everything in their power to achieve the opposite.  Yesterday I bit the bullet, went in and was stunned:  the receptionist was a human.  One that smiled!  It took ages to work everything out – I was there a good 30 minutes and by the end I was getting annoyed with myself, I was being so frustrating.  The receptionist though…she was still smiling!  We finally worked out what was where, when and how and she decided it was best to write it all down for me.  And you know what?  She even drew a smiley face on my list!


She was so lovely that today I called the practice and told her manager that they need to clone her.

So the moral of this story is:  be nice.  Being rude can result in someone being a bit ranty about you and you might need their help again in the future.  Being lovely could make someone’s day better and may mean they tell your boss / your whoever is important to you how great you are.

I’ll get off my soapbox now :0)

* My friends aren’t the sort that actually beat people up.  I don’t think.

**I definitely don’t.  Please see first paragraph on coordination issues with digits.  Using fists would definitely end badly.

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