Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sticks and Stones

I nearly feel the need to apologize for all the name calling I am going to do in advance of writing today's post.  I guess I will hold off to the end to see if I feel sufficiently guilty or not.

Early warning signs of Crabby-ness
Today I am talking about jerks. You know who I mean...the rude pushy people that seem totally devoid of being considerate and feel somehow entitled to behave in a way that removes all consideration of how those around them might feel. While I have to believe the majority of people in the world are kind and well meaning, it appears that I am seeing more and more appearances of  people intent on being mean-spirited jerks.

There seems not to be a definitive definition of a jerk but it's kind of like the Supreme Court's  view of porn, "you know it when you see it." For the purposes of the discussion today, I am limiting myself to just those people that are your run-of-the-mill-jerks, not the truly evil, psychopathic law breakers that harm other people...because, frankly if I get started on people like Brock Turner and Bill Cosby, we could be here until the end of time.  Yes, I am thinking more of the common, everyday variety of people that are more the equivalent of Kanye West or Donald Trump.  People that are just full of themselves and have to keep reminding us how "special"  they are.  For the most part, pushy obnoxious types are pretty commonplace in all walks of life. 

Georfrey Nunberg, a UC Berkeley linguistics professor and author of Ascent of the A-Word: Assholism the First Sixty Years defines this group of people in the following manner.

“It’s somebody who is deliberately obtuse about his rights and entitlements and his relations with other people, who imagines that his position in a marriage, in an office, or on a line, gives him privileges that it doesn’t, and someone who ought to know better.”

How did I happen to decide to write about this particular topic,  you might be asking? Honestly, I have no one person or even any group of people in mind. I am just talking about random jerks.   Last week it seemed I had the displeasure of running into a higher than usual weekly allotment of people being jerkish. if the universe was colluding to give me a blog topic I receive an email from someone with an article from Men's Health aptly named What You Can Learn From the World's Biggest A#@holes. (Supposedly, they were giving me a blog topic and not thinking I needed a tutorial....I will take their word that was their intent.)

Still last week seemed to have a lot of examples on the TV, on the Internet and right here in Kansas City.  Maybe the hot weather has caused people to be surlier than normal or maybe there is a strange virus with the unfortunate symptoms of rude behavior being spread by anti-social mosquitoes.  Whatever the reason, there are ample example's of masses of asses among us. 

Typically, I would describe myself as a fairly easy-going, roll-with-it, type of person....and now that I think about it, I suppose all the short-fused, intolerant, asses of the world describe themselves as "easy going" as well  ...but that is strictly a coincidence, I assure you.  Unlike the Texas lady that shot the person in the "20 and under" line over at the Walmart for having the gall to tie up the line with a cart full of "stuff", I wouldn't have  done more than give the chick an eye roll. It would of been a significant eye-roll but no one would have been injured.  The closest I ever veer toward rage is when exposed to crappy drivers and partially blind, spatially challenged parkers. (I am assuming they are partially blind as they can't see those two rather significant white lines that tell them where to park.)

The fact is that I rarely speak up when dealing with a rude person nor do I typically  make a scene when confronted by some type of douchbaggery.  That's not to say that I don't find these pushy, inconsiderate types annoying. Thankfully,  I have years and years of experience dealing with this species of passive/aggressive  humans (?) as my extended family has it's own fair share of annoying people.  It is my experience that when someone says "Oh that's just Susy Q being Susy Q, that is code for saying Susy Q is a Bi**** but given enough time, you will get used to Susy Q and recognize it is her normal behavior. (*Note: the name has been changed to protect the guilty and keep Susy Q off my back.)

ANYWAY...I have developed a list as I know how people LOVE lists.  I am 99.9 percent sure that none of my readers are jerks, A#@holes, or scumbags but I am pretty secure in thinking you KNOW some, so in that vein here is my list for things that might help the  poor inconsiderate jerks out there be a little less douchey.

#1.  Treating others disrespectfully based on anything connected to your finances is a sure sign you are a jerk. The amount of money in your bank account or lack there of, should NOT be an indicator as to how you treat someone.  

#2.  Empathy doesn't make you a weenie.  The next time you are treating someone like the dirt beneath your boots, try to envision how you would feel if you were on the receiving end of your treatment.

#3. Give respect to get respect. Funny how that works.

#4. Ask yourself this simple question when you are doing some asinine  move, "Is this action benefiting  me more than it inconveniencing others?"  Let's go with the assumption that the answer is nearly always NO.

#5. Despite your expectations to the contrary assume that others can't read your mind.  Don't fault people for not knowing what you expect and then faulting them for it.

The license plate says it all..if it was turned upside down.

OK...I am now sufficiently feeling bad if anyone felt any of my name calling was directed at them.  It wasn't unless you cut me off in traffic,  cut in front of me in line...or you were generally rude to me with in the last 30 days. (anything longer has been forgotten)  In that case...I apologize.

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