‘HOW do you deal with rude people?’
I was asked that question today – not easy to answer, I’m sure you’d agree.
There is one consolation. You usually know where you stand with the ignorant. They shut the door in your face, tell you you’re an idiot and it’s all over. Done and dusted.
They’re no problem compared with that real curse on society – the over polite! At least that’s how I feel right now.
Don’t get me wrong, a little politeness is a very good thing. I don’t even mind being kept waiting in a shop or a pub if he or she just acknowledges I haven’t suddenly become invisible.
I also appreciate staff when they overlook my silly questions.
I haven’t yet asked the price of an item is in the pound shop but I’m prone to querying where the razors are when they’re right in front of my nose.
In such circumstances, someone overlooking stupidity whilst keeping a straight face is greatly appreciated.
Politeness makes the world go round. If it’s in moderation, of course.
Sometimes, however, it’s just plain daft. I listen to radio phone-ins and get increasingly frustrated when each caller asks after the well-being of the host?
The answer is exactly the same as when the last person called a couple of minutes previously.
And, of course, the asker isn’t really interested. “How are you?” or “are you alright?” usually slips from our lips as a reflex rather than a genuine question.
Sometimes politeness is comical. I’m a living survivor of that awful ‘missing you already’ comment from McDonalds. Almost made me choke on my Big Mac when I first heard that one.
Of course, they weren’t ‘missing me’ – I wasn’t even out the door.
My point was the comment was pointless.
There really was no need to be nice. Had they thrown rocks at my head, I’d have still come back when I was extra hungry and had nowhere else to go – or, more likely, needed a public loo.
McDonalds saw sense and I haven’t heard that comment for years.
But earlier today I came across politeness from another well-known company that was truly world class – and completely exasperating!
I won’t name the mobile phone provider involved but let’s call them ‘four’ – got to be better than ‘3’.
All I was doing my cancelling my mobile broadband.
After negotiating the usual ‘press one for this….. two for that…. three, if you’ve still got the will to live’, I finally located a human being.
Carefully ignoring ‘hope you’re having a wonderful day’, I explained my simple request. A long list of questions, as I was praised for my patience, and I thought I might be getting somewhere.
Instead I was passed on to staff member number two – via at least half of a song I really don’t like.
Again, I was wished a wonderful day – since when has Monday ever been wonderful? – before being apologised profusely to for having to wait for their attention and going through exactly the same questions a second time.