Friday, March 10, 2006

Rude People = Evil!!!

(After re-reading this, I realize that some of what I say could be considered rude and mean, but I don't care. I'm pissed, dammit!)

So I went to one of my favorite, FAVORITE blogs yesterday and I found something to comment on, so I emailed them (as comments are disabled on that site). Perfectly innocent email, with no ill will behind it. Well, I was greeted today with an incredibly rude email back from that site. It was a one-liner, but it was so nasty in tone that I was like, "what the fuck?!?" and almost shot back an equally wicked message back to them. But I didn't because I've been conditioned my whole life to believe that getting mad is a cardinal sin. I also saw no point in starting an email war with someone I don't even know outside of that blog. It's not like I'd get any real satisfaction out of it. Well, I re-read my message and I could see where someone who has little intelligence and even less sense of nuance could construe it as something mildly offensive (but not the apparent personal attack it was taken as...there's no way in HELL that it could be taken as an attack). So, being that I've been conditioned not only to not get mad, but to assume guilt that isn't mine, the autopilot in my brain told me to send an explanatory message back. I did and also said that I meant no offense or rudeness and even apologized if it seemed that way to them. I haven't heard back, since I just sent it, but I'm sure I'll get yet another rude response. After the autopilot kicked off, I found myself wondering why I should even care about what some twit across the country thinks of what I say? It's not like she was commenting on my meager blog and said something rude, she was just rude in retaliation to my rude-only-if-you-twist-it-all-to-hell comment. So why am I so irritated by this?

After pondering this for a few minutes, I realized why it is that I'm annoyed. I find it incredibly bold of someone to get so rude to a person whom they don't even know. I also find it incredibly base and without manners. But mostly, I find that it shows a profound lack of character. Honestly, what kind of person must you be to lash out at a complete stranger? What makes you so special that you have the right to be a bitch to everyone who crosses your path? Do you not realize that there is another human being on the other side of that remark?It's not just this one person who sent me the email, no. It's happening everywhere, online and off. It's become so commonplace that the bulk of the population seems to be constantly mean and rude. Have we become a society that celebrates being mean to each other and acting as if some people are better than others? Is this the norm now? It seems so, and that nice, considerate people are the freaks.

I'm at a loss. I try to be nice and at the very least civil to people I come in contact with. Most of the time I do pretty well, too. No, I'm not always in the best mood, but at least I try. And I know there are a lot of people who are very good to everyone they come across. I work with several of them, so I KNOW that nice people exist. But I fear that the balance between consideration and rudeness is surely tipping away from good side. I witness this every day at work, as I am employed in the wonderful world of retail. It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who think that because they're on the other side of the service counter, they're automatically better than I am. They then think this gives them the right to be as nasty to me as they possibly can. And since I work for a company who stresses customer service above all else (which I'm not criticizing in any way, shape or form), I've been molded to be nice no matter how badly I'm treated. I do this, most of the time, and if I can't be nice, I try to at least be neutral (unless there's a particularly belligerent customer, in which case sometimes I use the same tone...I'm not proud of this, but people don't realize how hurtful they are). So why can't other people do this? What makes it so hard to be nice?

So this is why I'm currently pissed off. I probably shouldn't be and I'll probably have people telling me not to take it personally or that I shouldn't care so much. Maybe I shouldn't. But I do care. Why? I don't know. Perhaps it's because I'm fed up with nice people being verbal punching bags. Maybe it's because I think people should treat each other with some decency, 'cause we're all in it together, people. Or maybe it's because I believe that no one should have the right to act as if they're better than others by belittling them, whether in person or online. Who knows? What I do know for certain that no one deserves to be treated like shit, whether it's in their real life or their online one. There's no excuse for that.

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