I am by no means a perfect person. I've never claimed to be, nor have I ever even thought I was. My self-awareness is such that I know I have faults, and plenty of them. With that being said, though, I have always considered myself to be a pretty good guy. I'm usually friendly, or at least cordial, to people I meet. I'm easy-going, for the most part, and can get along well with a wide variety of different people. I possess most of the skills and characteristics attributable to basic human decency, and often will go out of my way to avoid confrontation. Not necessarily because I'm afraid of it, but more because I look at it as a, in most cases, needless inconvenience that usually accomplishes nothing. Obviously, that's not always true, but if it were too far off-point, then the old adage "don't sweat the small stuff" would have never been coined. I'm sure there are people that have had nasty things to say about me, and I'm sure I have rubbed some people the wrong way at one point or another...But that's life. When you meet roughly 80,000-100,000 different people in your lifetime (obviously far from exact research points to that), it is bound to happen.
I try to give most people the benefit of the doubt. I may sit around with my wife and constantly make instantaneous judgements about weirdos we see on television, but I don't do that in real life. Most of the interactions we have with people outside of school, work, family, and friends, last a few seconds or minutes. So it's logistically impossible to make any kind of real assertion about the type of person they may be.
That is, of course, assuming those fleeting interactions don't include the other person doing one of these things:
1. Not allowing people to cut in line at the checkout counter when their transaction will take less than 30 seconds. I was at Dollar General the other day to pick up two items: a half gallon of milk, and a bag of dog food. I wandered up to the small line that had formed at the checkout line, and took my place behind a woman with shopping cart full of roughly $100 worth of stuff. Seeing as we were at the Dollar General, you can imagine just how much stuff she actually had. As I took my place in line, she turned and looked at him, glanced down at the two items I was holding, then turned back around and began placing her items on the counter. I instantly became furious. Now, I know I shouldn't really be all that angry...I don't know how long she had been standing in line herself. But, I do know that if the roles were reversed, I would have allowed her to cut me in line knowing that my transaction would take five times as long as hers. Stuff like that just irritates the hell out of me.
2. Being a rude employee. I wasn't present for this particular incident, but my wife called me with a string of obscenities shortly after it took place, so I will just relay her story. She was feeling a little under the weather on Saturday, so she decided to go pick up some Mucinex-D at the pharmacy. The first place required her to have a prescription...No big deal. She had other errands to run, so she figured she'd just make another stop. So, she decided to go to Wal-Mart's pharmacy instead. There were two or three other customers in front of her, and she stood patiently in line waiting for them to pick up their respective prescriptions. When she approached the window, the pharmacist looked at her (with no other customers waiting behind her) and said, "We're going to lunch. You'll have to come back in 30 minutes." Now, I understand that large corporations like Wal-Mart can be extremely strict when it comes to break times, but would taking an extra minute and a half on the clock really hurt anything? I know one customer that won't ever be back to that pharmacy because of it. Not that Wal-Mart really cares...But it's the principle.
3. Being an inconsiderate patron. When I worked at InTouch Communications in Glasgow, our store hours were 9-7 Monday through Friday, and 9-5 on Saturday. Almost without exception, we would be absolutely dead for an hour or more before closing...Until around 6:58. People would walk up to the door, read the store hours, look at their watch, and stroll in saying, "Y'all still open?" Well, technically we are still open...For two more minutes. But, sure, I'd love to help you open 3 new lines and stay until 8:30. I mean, it's not like you didn't have 10 other hours throughout the day to come in here. It never failed...If someone came in 5 minutes til close, it was never a quick thing. Drove me absolutely nuts. I understand that people are busy and have other obligations, but you wouldn't want me coming to your place of work to make you stay longer than you've already been there. If I had to get a new phone, I would make the time to go during normal business hours...You know, like a decent human being...Not 90 seconds before the place closes, forcing the staff to stay. And even more than that, we'd turn off the lights, lock the doors, and have customers come up and bang on the door...After closing time. I guess some folks just don't get it.
4. Blocking the entire aisle or exit at a store. This one never fails to happen when you are in a hurry. Like after a long day at work, you just want to get home and fire up the grill because it's beautiful outside and you've spent the entire day cooped up inside, but you know you need some hamburger buns and ketchup and nothing else. You practically sprint down to the bread aisle, grab the buns, make a quick Barry Sanders-esque spin move and find yourself blocked in on either side by two shoppers completely oblivious to anything or anyone around them. If you go right, you'll run right into an overweight woman and her two unruly children acting like total idiots. If you go left, you're face-down in a cart filled with frozen pizzas and Old Milwaukee cases. Neither person makes even the slightest effort to move to one side or the other and you're forced to play that "I'll go this way, you go that way, no, I'll go that way, you go this way" game with a total stranger. You finally squeeze by one of them (they still haven't moved), knocking Bunny Bread loaves off the shelves along the way, pay for your items, and then get behind the lady pushing two carts, while trying to simultaneously write out a text and put her wallet back in her purse. Completely unaware of you, or anyone else, they finally notice your presence just after walking outside. You're already out of earshot by the time they say, "Oh, I'm sorry." You're not the only person in the store.
Ok...I feel better. Have a great day.