Saturday, November 29, 2014

So ... I Lost It.

I have had a long and busy and very productive week. I've worked days where I went to work in the dark and came home in the dark. Yesterday I was sitting at my desk at 6:45 AM and driving out after night has fallen. When we got home, I simply wanted to go out for a few minutes just to feel the fresh air on my skin and to relax and have a cup of tea in the local mall. We were worried about getting space, it being Black Friday (why we imported that American tradition, I don't know) and all.

But there was space. I was exhausted from the day so I asked Joe if he'd go and get me my green tea and he agreed. I saw that the line up was long and started to just people watch and otherwise entertain myself. The table I was at had this sign saying that it belonged to the coffee shop and was reserved for customers of the coffee shop. We figured even though we weren't buying coffee, we're still customers.

I didn't see him coming. I was almost dozing - as I said, I was tired. I notice him when he's standing over me. He says, "This is for customers." I say, I am a customer. He looks, and makes it obvious that he's looking, "I don't see any coffee." I said, getting a little pissed now both at the intrusion and at the type of intrusion, can't I just go our for a fucking tea, "it's coming."

He changes tack, "You were almost asleep here,' it's an accusation. "I'm tired," I said, not yet realizing that that's exactly why this has gone on so long, if I'd been more alert this would have gone differently. And probably with a lot more grace. He said, "Why would you be tired? Now me, I work and pay taxes so people like you can spend my tax dollars in places like this."

It was out of my mouth faster than I could stop it. I don't usually swear in situations like this, but I just said, "Oh fuck off, you're nothing but a bigot. You think you fucking know what my day was and where my money comes from? Really, are you a fucking psychic? I don't have to justify myself to small minded pricks like you. I'm buying tea with money I made and my taxes are probably putting your fucking brats through school. Now piss off."

Joe arrives with two teas in his hands. This man is frozen to the spot. I now notice he's wearing an expensive business suit, he looks like an executive that  is spoken too in only deferential terms. Joe looks from him to me. I said to Joe, "Ignore him, he's just a bigot with a mind barely big enough to fit the word 'prejudice' in it."

He turned on a very expensive heel and headed out the door. He didn't stop for coffee as I think he had planned.

Ah, poor dear.

I need to admit something. Though I never advocate this way. I think that swearing at someone is NOT an effective way to engage someone or to encourage change. But, if I told the truth. A little part of me, well maybe more than a little, enjoyed that.


Mark P said...

'effing hell Dave. An 'effing good rant is good for the soul (occasionally!!) See you Monday!

Jayne Wales said...

There are just some awful people in the world and why did he feel he had to question you at all? Yes I agree, swearing was the only option other than a karate chop and as Im assuming neither of us are black belts, then swearing the next best fucking thing!

Kay C said...

One things for sure Dave, he won't forget you. Sometimes you just have to say it as it is.

Ranvaig said...

What a busy body! What business was it of his? At first I thought he was someone working for the cafe, but that still would have been rude.


Glee said...

I think "losing it" every now and then is actually a good thing. People need to see our anger. If they never see it then they never will really know the bad things that they are doing.

And why the hell does he care if you are sitting there or not? Is he the manager? Seems not. He was just a nasty man who needed a good fucking telling off :)

Onya Dave.

Jenni said...

I had a similar incident in our village. There was a car parked half on the pavement in a no-parking area outside a shop. There were free (empty and no cost) parking spaces on the other side of the road. I had to sit in my powerchair and wait for the driver to come out of the shop. A mum took her kid in a pushchair (stroller? buggy? pram? not sure what you call them on your side of the pond), into the road to get by.

When the driver comes out he was an able bodied white chap who looked about 20. The words came out of my mouth before my brain had the time to stop them:

"are you F-ing taking the piss? You see those spaces over there? You see your fully functioning legs? You could have parked just there and walked 10 extra steps. But no, you have to be right outside the shop, blocking the pavement so I have to wait for you to finish. How F-ing selfish are you?"

To his credit, he looked ashamed and apologised profusely.

But I felt terrible later. I'm pretty identifiable in our village. Anyone hearing the story from him will know it was me that verbally abused him.

And I worry - if people think I'm a nasty rude person, will they assume all disabled people are nasty rude people? Do I have to be on my best behavior because every time I interact with someone I could be breaking down their mindset and prejudice, or I could be adding to it?

Bite Two said...

Sometimes, you get to advocate for Dave's peace and quiet, not an entire social group and political philosophy. It sounds as though you did so pretty effectively!

ABEhrhardt said...

You had a legitimate rejoinder. That is almost too bad, because that guy shouldn't have spoken to ANYONE that way.

I am still chuckling at you letting him have it. And telling it so well.

Sadly, getting an earful probably won't make a difference in that much hatred.

Anonymous said...

use vocabulary like any other precision instrument - there are times when a scalpel works best, and times when a sledge hammer does the job! (and I love the way I feel after using a sledge . . .)

kstableford said...

Good on you, Dave. You didn't seek that interaction out, the captain of industry started it.

Maggie said...

Sure, it's generally best to avoid swearing at strangers. But really -- all that happened to him was that he didn't get to successfully intimidate (a person who he saw as) some hapless welfare recipient into caving in and giving up a table so he could sit his expensive suited ass down at it.

People that clueless occasionally need some waking up. I think you did just fine. And I'm SO glad you let yourself enjoy it, just this once.

Kristine said...

Seriously, Black Friday is a thing there too? Even though it's not the day after Thanksgiving in Canada? I'm so sorry....

I can't help grinning at this story. :) I often think of you when I'm trying to figure out how to handle a situation calmly, strongly, productively. I'm glad you let the filters down sometimes too. :)

wheeliecrone said...

There are some people who do not understand what they are being told unless it's the sort of rant you threw at that unspeakable pri-oh! excuse me.

There is an old story about a renowned mule-trainer. He would arrive, walk around the mule, checking the animal, making sure that the mule was healthy, then he would haul back and hit the mule firmly across the top of its head with a baseball bat. "First", he would explain, "you have to get the mule's attention."

So, Dave, you got the mule's attention.

B. said...

Yes, I enjoyed that too, Dave.

I recently had a situation getting into an elevator where I raised my voice (well, I yelled). There is definitely a moment when the words and tone erupt.

And thanks, Kristine, got a chuckle when you said sorry when you realised Black Friday had come to Canada.

Anonymous said...

I too get ticked at those that sit in tables meant for customers, just like I get ticked with people parking in handicapped parking spots, or those who have 19 items going through an express 10 item line. What made me angry was that he challenged you, not only for the space but why you would be tired. Really? Pulling the "I pay taxes" routine? Ignorance supreme!!

Robin said...

Sometimes, people just need to be put in their place. Sounds like that man didn't think before he spoke, so why should you have? :) Sure,it's good to be nice to people, but we also don't have to advocate in reasonable ways 24/7.

Anonymous said...

Well done mate, some people need swearing at some times! Also agree with your view on this "Black Friday" nonsense. We now have this in the UK as well what ever next? Will we have to shoot our teenagers in the street to be more like our transatlantic cousins?

Ron Arnold said...

Swearing is an EXCELLENT way to make emphasis when needed. I doubt he will forget the encounter any time soon. Sometimes a good hard slap in the face can bring one's biases right to 'fore.

Anonymous said...

This is, what my mother calls, an "authentic response".
If the children in her class are aggrevated and get there rage out at once.

That it was happened to you; and it is absolutly okay!