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Given the Opportunity, Most People Will Totally Take Advantage of You

Yeah, that’s a pretty cynical statement, but I’m starting to wonder if it’s true.

I don’t know if I’m more aware of it or if I’ve just had enough of of people’s behavior, but I’ve conducted an informal social experiment and have determined that sometimes people just suck.

Take this morning for instance. I was walking into Starbucks (as I usually do on my way to work) and as I opened the door I noticed out of the corner of my eye a woman approaching The ‘Buck, too. I started to walk in, but I held it open behind me so she could come in—she was just far enough away that I didn’t want to stand there and hold it open but I didn’t want to slam the door on her either.

Suddenly, the woman sped up and ran past me, pushing me aside and tried to jump around me in line. Now, at this point, I’m already approaching the counter, and the employees know me and my drink so they’re already ringing me up. She starts to move in front of me while I’m paying and demands to be waited on. The girl behind the counter (bless her heart) tells her she’ll be waited on when it’s her turn.

Order placed, money paid, I walk to the bar to wait for my drink. I’m chatting with the Barista, and she hands my drink to me—to my outstretched hand—and the woman who pushed me, swooped in and grabbed my drink out of the Barista’s hand and started to walk out.

Dude, I was PISSED. I grabbed her arm, told her it was my drink and demanded she put it down. She insisted it was hers. “Really?” I asked. “Your name is Maureen and you ordered a Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte?” She stared blankly. “Sweetie, I heard you order a small frappuccino, which is a SMALL COLD drink. This is NOT yours.”

She slammed my drink on the counter, sloshing it everywhere, and leaned over the bar and asked the Barista where HER drink was. The Barista told her she’d start it AFTER she re-made my drink (have I told you how much I LOVE my Starbucks?). The woman starts freaking out about her drink, badgering the Barista, telling her to hurry up, she’s gotta go.

Of course, I can’t resist. “If you stop harassing the girl, she can focus and get us both out of here.” (Translation: Shut your fucking pie hole.) The woman just stared at me like I’m the biggest piece of shit she’s ever laid eyes on.

My drink comes up and the Barista puts it directly in my hand so no one can grab it.

As I’m walking out the door, the woman rushes up behind me, drink in hand, and tries to push around me. I swung around and hold her to back the fuck off. I walked out the door and slammed it shut (like I should have done to begin with).

What the fuck is that?

Yeah, I got pulled down to her level, and I’m not exactly proud of it, but I’m not all that upset about it either. Sometimes you need to treat people the way they treat you. It’s not my style to be a bitch for no reason (Shut up! It’s not!), but if you push me, I will definitely push back.

But I don’t get it. Why do people have to be like that? I know it sounds like a naive question, but I want to know. Are they really that clueless about themselves and their behavior? Do they just drift through life without any thought to anyone other than themselves, or do they just feel like being mean because they can?

The sad thing is, it makes me less likely to do something nice for someone again.

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13 Responses

  1. Wow. Just wow. And here you just wanted to hold the door for her!

    Please don’t let this sour you on the whole world. If I had been behind you, I would have thanked you for holding the door, gotten in line behind you and we would have had a nice conversation. And most people are like me. Don’t let this nut job ruin your day.

  2. What Kathy said (above me). I have to tell you, I get happy just thinking about Starbucks, and when I am going to one, I am immediately filled with endorphins. I would have thanked you, too, and made a stupid comment about Starbucks love.

    She’s right — don’t let this whackjob ruin your day or your view of “people”. (not that people don’t suck, ’cause you’re right — they kind of do). I am bound and determined that the non-sucking people will win!

  3. I completely agree with everything in this post, and as sad as it is the only way to get through to most people is by treating them like the pieces of shit they are. And this is why I am mostly a hermit.

  4. Now it’s your turn for someone to be nice to you (and restore your faith in humanity.)

  5. Today, on my way into work – already very late – I noticed a little old lady manhandling a very large cardboard box, possibly holding a huge picture frame, down some steps from a shop towards her car. Seeing that she was having considerable trouble manoeuvring it, I offered to help and soon had it comfortably nestled behind the driver’s seat. She was ever so grateful.

    Then I stole her purse.

    Nah, just kidding. I stole her car.

  6. You’re pretty brave for a wee thing, I must say. And please don’t let a few people like this make you not want to be nice to the many more people that just go through their lives trying to be kind or at the very least neutral. The rude ones just take up so much more space than everyone else, which is why we think there are so many of them. I think the best policy is to make a big show of treating them as if they were mentally ill — which they are.

    • I never thought of it like that. I guess you’d have to be a little mentally ill to walk around so angry and aggressive all the time. Otherwise, it takes too much energy.

      Next time I’ll just give people like that a wide berth (and motherf*&k them under my breath!)

  7. While this broad COMPLETELY sucked, I’m with everyone else – don’t let it sour you on people in general. On the whole, people are awesome. It’s hard to remember that because the douchebag minority is much more obvious.

    At least that’s what I tell myself.

    • I can be a bit of a bitch myself, but I don’t usually go on the attack first, you know? I don’t think I’m ever mean for the sake of being mean. I don’t get that.

  8. Wow. I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone THAT rude. I agree with XUP. She’s mentally ill. I hope she finds another Starbucks, although conversely, I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.

    I probably would have just let her go in front because I’m a wimp.

  9. I’m on record as a proponent of the ‘people-suck’ sensibility.

    But, at the risk of sound, mmm, optimistic, I’d say the takeaway from this encounter is that the folks at your Starbucks do not suck.

    • Wow! I don’t think I expected optimism from you! Kidding.

      No, MY Starbucks peeps definitely do not suck. They are awesome because they know how hard it is for me to function in the morning before I’ve had my caffeine, so they make my drink when I walk in the door, I hand over my gift card to pay, and I’m handed my drink. Very few words need to be exchanged. Just some “please” and “thank yous.”

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