Monday, January 24, 2011

The Raging Bull

Some wild eyed, roaring representation of humanity walked into my life and took every frustration of his miserable existence out on me. It wasn't my fault he was unhappy. I didn't urinate in his cheerios. I was just here to help. Trying to do my job. Just trying to be of assistance in any way I could. But there I was. Forced to take that discourteous drivel and disrespect at a volume that would rival a rock concert!

Infuriated thoughts went racing through my mind! But no... I'd end up in jail. Lose any difficultly obtained respect from anyone who knew me. In the least, lose a job. Moreover lose any chance of that job bringing another. Now it was clear that I would never be working for him, but losing the respect of the customer I was working for or anyone else just wouldn't be worth it. Good reputation is to hard to acquire and next to impossible to repair.

I was there to install siding on a house. Trying to make someones life a little better. But the neighbor felt it was to early to be disturbing his sleep. I understand that people like and need their sleep. But I had a job to do. Would he rather that I would erect lights and do it at night? Then just how many would I upset? I wouldn't be there for long anyway. Just long enough to finish!

With inquisitive neighbors peering out their doors and windows and a worried customer standing on her porch I looked at the bellowing bull before me. I smiled as politely as I could and apologized for waking him. Then while holding back my own anger, I tried to explain that I had a job to do. Told him that there were no covers for hammers that would quiet them during their use and the noise of a power saw bothered me too. I went on to explain that I would not be there any longer than was absolutely necessary to finish that job and when I was through he could sleep to his hearts content. But the longer he was going to keep interrupting me and keep me from finishing my work, the longer it would take for me to finish and leave. I kept my anger and contempt pushed way down inside and spoke in the most calm, respectful tone I could.

He huffed, called me a few more nasty names and stormed away.
Later that day the lady of the house and a few of the neighbors told me this guy was the neighborhood jerk and was always looking for a fight. Then they asked me how I got him to just go away and not start fighting.
Seems a few of the neighborhood guys had problems with him and police were called as a result.
The lady of the house I was working on gave me a smile when she chimed in that I fought him with intelligent words and he could not possibly fight that kind of battle...

Courtesy and Respect. They are just as important today as they ever were!

As adults, what we say and how we say it, are important. One thing to keep in mind is, anything and everything we say will be mimicked by teens and children... They will come up with plenty on their own, do they really need our help?

Dealing with angry people is best done by walking away. When that's not possible, with calmness, a pleasant voice and intelligent words that makes them think. Maybe when they have to think they become confused and even forget their anger. Maybe they just get to embarrassed because they can't understand. I don't know for sure what it is but it works.
I know of one guy who with his smile and politeness, with at times a little feigned dumb thrown in, manages to get out of police writing him speeding tickets. And on a pretty regular basis... Even I am not that good! But he does have those puppy dog eyes...

There are now, have always been and always will be, loud mouthed, uncaring, selfish, ignorant people in this world. There is just no way around that.
We can try teaching our children better and try to set good examples for others in the hope that we can make things better but, I doubt we can put an end to all ignorance.

What's the worst you've had to deal with? How do you deal with them?

Maybe with a few answers in the comments we could help others deal better with bad situations they may face someday!

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