Sunday, November 15, 2009

"I see Rude People"

Advice Columnist Amy Alkon has a new book that just came out, I See Rude People: One woman's battle to beat some manners into impolite society, which is terrific. She is featured in a New York Times article on people fighting back against rudeness:

Ms. Alkon, the advice columnist, shares this philosophy. Extreme shaming can work, she said, adding that the next time she saw Barry, the guy from Starbucks, he was talking on his cellphone outside the store rather than in it. She likes to think she had something to do with that.

“There are people in this world who just don’t care about you or anyone else,” said Ms. Alkon, the author of “I See Rude People” (McGraw-Hill Companies) coming out this month. “They are going to inflict themselves on you, and the only way to stop them is to show them there’s a cost.”


It depends how people are rude as to whether I would say anything. If they say something in a way that tries to restrict freedom or that puts an entire group down, I might speak up. You know, like when store clerks yell "All men are pigs!" Guys or gals on cells phones, not so much.

What about you? If someone is rude in public, do you say anything?

Labels:

97 Comments:

Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

Combatting rudeness in public places is an important undertaking, but it's fraught with dangers. The rude are not uniform; some are merely thoughtless or negligent, while others are deliberate, looking to cause irritation, even to provoke confrontations. The incident described here might have turned out rather differently -- rather badly for me -- if its target had been the latter rather than the former.

In this connection, Lynne Truss's recent little book Talk To The Hand is of great value. Miss Truss is an Englishwoman, but her experiences are comparable to much that Americans witness and suffer, as well -- and her observations about the implications of wallowing in rudeness are disturbing.

6:08 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Tether said...

A man better be ready to back it up with force if a fight ensues.

A woman can pretty much say whatever the hell she wants and has immunity. A man is far more unlikely to attack her in the first place, but if he does she will be aided by all of the other men there.

There are even women who are out of place with their shaming - and thus the rude parties themselves - and even they are protected.

That's how it works in society.

6:47 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Tether said...

Also:

A man attacking another man is routinely categorized as a "fight" and the district attorney or a tort lawyer does not want to take on that case.

A man attacking a woman is a violent, cowardly battery of another human being. The district attorney and tort lawyers will pursue it.

6:49 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Tether said...

Conclusion: Enjoy it, ladies. You truly are the Royal, Entitled Gender.

6:51 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Dr. Helen, et al.
RE: Heh

Amy's recognition of 'rude people' is best described as people who disagree with her and won't simply 'shut up'.

Her means "to beat some manners into impolite society" is to 'kill' them. At least that's the experience at her web-site.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Where there is no religion, hypocrisy becomes good taste.]

P.S. And markets well in the book business.....apparently....

8:09 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Dr. Helen
RE: What Do I Do?

What about you. If someone is rude in public, do you say anything? -- Dr. Helen

It depends on the situation....

If I see someone without a proper tag or decal or whatnot parking in a handicapped parking spot, I'll remark to them, "Is it a mental handicap? As it doesn't appear to be a physical one."

If they get back into their vehicle and move it. No problem. If they don't, I take out my cell phone and photograph the vehicle—include the license plate—in the parking space and turn that over to the police.

I've got a number of other approaches to other situations, but they'd take up too much bandwidth.

Suffice it to say I do what I just did—immediately above—to people like Amy when THEY'VE behaved 'rudely'. I.e., I point it out in the public venue when the situation arises.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day.]

8:19 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Debbie said...

I must say that Francis has hit the nail on the head. Those who are rude aren't always doing it intentionally. However, I seem to see more and more incidents where intentional rudeness is obvious. Saw it last night on a plane flight and it was obviously intentional rudeness. I am VERY careful when I do and don't say something. But, I am not deterred from pointing out rudeness if I think it necessary.

8:22 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger MB said...

There was recently a situation here where a group of teenagers (maybe "gang" is the more appropriate word) were smoking on a train at night right under the No Smoking sign. An off-duty cop, apparently without his gun, told then there was no smoking and to put the cigarette out. He was beaten and stomped, nearly to death.

8:33 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

Francis W. Porretto,

The incident you linked about cheering the suicidal man to his death was appalling. People can be more than cruel. That example really makes me question humanity at times. The real trick is to try to change those traits in culture that are immoral such as what you described and when to let something go that is just annoying.

I read the book you mentioned, "Talk to the Hand." It was good.

8:44 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

Like most, I choose my battles. The statement in a Paul Simon song "one man's ceiling is another man's floor", can be applied many ways, and stand without further explanation.

I have only seen the screaming boom box on the subway scenario, in movies and on TV. I don't have to ride commuter trains / subways (yet, give Obama time) to get around.

8:45 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

On the other side of it, I was in a grocery store once - in front of the big glass doors with frozen food behind them - and moved a package of something that was in the wrong place out of the way to get the item I was looking for. The packages next to it were in a huge disarray, but I didn't do it.

A woman who worked at the grocery store said in a very loud voice, "Yeah, and now we have to clean up behind your mess, you [mumble]". Really loud, really bitchy.

I simply ignored her and kept moving. I try not to trouble other people or be rude, but I simply ignore shaming women today. If they were to get even madder and touch me in some way, I would press charges to the full extent possible and bring a civil suit if at all possible. I don't have to take crap from mouthy women that a man would be a bit more careful about.

9:02 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

On a subway, evidently, you say nothing, or get halfway beaten to death if you do, or if armed and forced to protect yourself, go to prison like Bernhard Goetz.

Or, at least for the time being, one can move to Texas.

9:03 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

I would say the following to shaming women:

1. Make damn sure that you are in the right.

2. I'm not your husband or boyfriend, and I don't have to accept your taking out your frustrations at the world on me.

9:04 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger kenlowder said...

You would be right to challenge a store clerk for saying all men are pigs. Everyone knows we are dogs. When you want to play we want to play. When you don't want to play we do. We like to eat nasty things and then want to give you a kiss. Lounging on the couch is a good thing. Rub our bellies and you have a lifetime job. See we are dogs. Ruff ruff.

Ken Lowder

9:27 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger BobH said...

To JG:

I couldn't have said it better. I love Amy's contention that the way to combat obnoxious behavior in other people is by being obnoxious.

10:52 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: kenlowder
RE: Dogs?

You would be right to challenge a store clerk for saying all men are pigs. Everyone knows we are dogs. -- kenloweder

I didn't think I ranked that HIGH on the evolutionary scale. I really think of myself as slimemold.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. -- Luke]

P.S. It was for such as that that Amy decided I must 'die'.....

10:53 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: bobh
RE: Looks Like Amy....

I couldn't have said it better. I love Amy's contention that the way to combat obnoxious behavior in other people is by being obnoxious. -- bobh

....has taken on Obama's suggestion of 'hitting back, twice as hard'.

In due time, she could wind up as Goetz did. Shall we get her a lifetime ticket on the New York subway system and a .25 automatic for Christmas?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. 'Killer' comments, applied for the purpose of 'battling rudeness' and hitting back, twice as hard....with a touch of irony....

11:06 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

What society is handling right now is a group of young people that have been brought up on the Internet and cell phone, and parents that may not have spent enough time teaching them basic etiquette skills. It's not so much they are purposely being rude as they don't know not to screech on their cell phone while in a public place, or that they should hold the door open for others or in the case yesterday....that when a pedestrian has the signal to cross the street in the crosswalk then you actually have to stop your car and let the person cross even if the vehicle traffic signal is a bit confusing. (I didn't appreciate narrowly losing my life yesterday to the person who insisted on driving even after I pointed to the pedestrian crossing signal).

This is a generation who has been taught that life is all about them and their needs. This etiquette challenge is compounded by this group not having a lot of interaction with the rest of the village before they get thrust into it to fend for themselves. You may start seeing the schools starting basic etiquette classes which will teach the children how to behave in public because the parents certainly aren't doing it.

I don't recommend stooping the the level of the rude person by being rude yourself, but if you are bothered then it is best to point out to the offender that one's behavior may be offensive.

11:42 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Amy Alkon said...


Amy's recognition of 'rude people' is best described as people who disagree with her and won't simply 'shut up'.

Her means "to beat some manners into impolite society" is to 'kill' them. At least that's the experience at her web-site.


Chucks is being untruthful -- he has a grudge against me as about one of four people who've been banned from my site after NUMEROUS other commenters begged me to do so. In general, I'm a total free speecher. As long as you aren't coming over to destroy my speech (as some "progressives" did -- who posted hundreds of "Are you a tranny" comments on my site after I dared to say that children need daddies, and it's wrong for a woman to have six different children by the age of 24 with five different drug dealers).

My book is not about cell phone rudeness alone -- that's just a small part of it. And I first stage whisper to people shouting into their phones, "Would you mind keeping it down?" Most do.

The people who need to have a cost imposed are those who don't care about your time, peace of mind, right to sleeping without being awakened by their shouting or loud music at 2am...those who think our attention belongs to them.

These people are stealing from us, but because we don't recognize these intangibles (like our attention) as resources, we let them victimize us.

I back up all my arguments with really good science, and while the Times piece didn't include any of it, the reporter called up Robin Dunbar, on whose research I base my theory of rudeness (that rudeness is the human condition, and we're rude because we live in societies too big for our brains -- lacking constraints of a society where we all know each other, as we evolved to be in)...Dunbar apparently gave my theory a rave review.

Thanks so much for posting this, Dr. Helen!

12:48 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger fred said...

I say FUCK RUDENESS

one comment above placed in parens a snotty remark about Obama. That to me is rude and dumb.

1:32 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Amy Alkon
RE: Sooooo.....

Chucks is being untruthful -- he has a grudge against me as about one of four people who've been banned from my site after NUMEROUS other commenters begged me to do so. -- Amy Alkon

....show all of us HERE, those items I posted that "NUMEROUS other commenters begged" you to 'kill' me over.

Go ahead....

....but I won't hold my breath.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Truth will out.....]

P.S. Also show the communications in which those other commenters "begged" you to 'kill' me. You can redact their names. They don't matter. It's YOUR action that matters....hypocritess....

2:12 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

P.P.S. About that "....one in four...." business....

....where the others REAL Christians too?

2:20 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

Hush up, Chuck.

2:52 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: [non]Mary
RE: Yeah....Right....

Hush up, Chuck. -- [non]Mary

...you mean 'shut up'.

Sorry. Can't comply. Something to do with an oath I took back in 1970. Something regarding the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

You got something against that? Please explain it to US.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Who dares, WINS!]

3:03 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

P.S. The question becomes 'Who wins WHAT?'

3:04 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger jimbino said...

The most pervasive rudeness is the infliction by parents of their children and by animal owners of their pets on the non-breeders and true animal lovers.

3:20 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: Yeah....Right....

The most pervasive rudeness is the infliction by parents of their children.... -- jimbino

....that's why we have Columbine and Virginia Tech....

....when in the 1960s we hardly heard of anything such.

Obviously, based on the evidence, jimbino is somewhere in their 'teens'.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Truth will out.....]

3:27 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: Amy Alkon's 'Approach'

The people who need to have a cost imposed are those who don't care about your time, peace of mind, right to sleeping without being awakened by their shouting or loud music at 2am...those who think our attention belongs to them. -- Amy Alkon

Intersting comment there.

I'll address it in more detail come tomorrow. Right now.....

....I'm having too much fun relaxing and watching a good kung fu-time traveler movie.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day.]

P.S. But even Amy doesn't measure up to The Forbidden Kingdom.....

3:38 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

Amy,

Thanks for stopping by with your feedback and your book is a terrific read.

4:03 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

freddy, I consider you rudeness personified.

As such, I refer to the first statement in your post above

4:03 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

No Chuck.
I meant a gentle, "Hush up".

5:08 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Amy, thanks for stopping by! Good points, the trick is to confront rudeness while not being rude in the process.

There is some Zen to the process I believe.

Trey

7:47 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Joe said...

When I hear people complaining about rudeness I squirm a little because I recently worked at a company that defined rudeness in such broad terms that it became stifling. I was once admonished for simply disagreeing with another employee in a meeting (I can be quite in-your-face at times, but in this case, I simply and calmly said "I disagree" and stated my viewpoint.)

8:20 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger L said...

I was brought up not to correct rudeness in others on the grounds that the correction itself is rude. I still believe this is true, and that people don't learn how to behave well when they've been put in defense mode. However, Amy's got a very good point; people act tacky because other people let them. It's a pretty thankless task, trying to get grown adults to acknowledge that there are other people in the world. The potential to become self-righteous is great. Nonetheless, I'm very much looking forward to reading Amy's book.

9:07 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

TMink:
Helen already thanked her. And it's helen's blog, right?

(Or do you play co-host here sometimes, big fella?)

*give those precious lil snowflakes a big hug from me, eh? And tell em all: I'm praying for your family still...*

10:25 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger KCJohnGalt said...

This is pretty simple to me - no sense blowing this out of proportion: use common sense in responding to impolite people. If they appear to be armed or dangerous or both, shut the hell up. If they don't, then say something appropriate without trying to be a jackass yourself.

Period.

While I will admonish a cashier who is rude to me, I don't get in the face of a Hell's Angels rider if he is smoking in a non-smoking diner.

What seems to be lacking most these days is common sense, apparently because parents aren't teaching it by example.

1:58 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Tether said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:05 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Tether said...

"While I will admonish a cashier who is rude to me, I don't get in the face of a Hell's Angels rider if he is smoking in a non-smoking diner."

--------------

My approach is to try to respond the same based on principle no matter who the person is.

So I usually just keep my mouth shut because hardly anything is that important. But if something is important enough to say to the animalistic biker (and I carry concealed in addition to some other things), then it's then important enough to say to the cashier.

Otherwise, I let the self-righteous busybodies of the world - like Amy - police everyone else's inconsiderate behavior.

And as I said above, women are able to get away with it because of their 24/7 bodyguards in the form of chivalrous men. So let her be Miss Big-Wheel.

5:31 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

There are various levels of responding to rude people. I don't suggest doing nothing. To refer to L:

I was brought up not to correct rudeness in others on the grounds that the correction itself is rude.

There is a religion out there, I won't name names, that teaches this method of no response. All I can say is that if you don't point out what is bothering you, you will end up responding but in a passive aggressive way. That gets rather ugly because the offender never finds out what the actual infraction is but has to deal with your bad behavior and play a guessing game while you insist that nothing is wrong. Please don't do that.

On the flip side of the coin there will be those people who know they are rude and are doing it for a reason. They feel like they have no power so they are going to take it by force: By playing their music extra loud, or having a vocal argument in front your house at 3AM. Confronting them is a massive waste of time and can be hazardous to your health. The good news is that most cities and towns have laws and most likely these folks are breaking one of them. Call the police and let them deal with it.

That leaves the big middle ground. A wise lady once said, "There is a huge difference between explaining and complaining." It's best to stay on the explaining side. Don't wait until something grows to big that the offender will be publicly humiliated when someone finally clues them in. Be polite, don't cuss, explain and do it discreetly. It IS an art form.

6:07 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

Amy:

I was interviewed by the NYT several times over the summer, as they did a piece on me. You have to be very careful with the writers, I chose my words wisely. It seemed like the NYT writer had an idea about what she wanted to write well before she spoke to me. She was trying to fit my background and expertise into the point she was trying to make. We ended up compromising, she wrote the story she wanted and I came out of it pretty much unscathed. Be careful out there.

6:16 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

If somebody -- biker, granny, tranny, businesswoman -- is smoking indoors in a non-smoking place and you're too cowed to get up and ask them to take it outside, I kinda pity you.

If it bothers you, you politely say something. Really think you'll get decked over that?

Screaming kids indoors -- you betcha I'm going to tell them to take it outdoors or put on their inside voices. Or ask them to go find their parents.

If you don't play by the rules in cramped spaces (or avoid them), or expect others to, then you're only inviting more and more restrictions and regulations because common sense is no longer the rule.

If you want to live like that, then by all means continue keep your head down out of fear of offending someone with your request. Otherwise -- God gave you a mouth for a reason. Stand up for yourself for heaven's sake. Being a physically small man is really no excuse to think, "I'll get beat up if I ask. Better send a lady."

You're stronger than you think.

8:17 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

Women are able to get away with it because of their 24/7 bodyguards in the form of chivalrous men.

But you could always find yourself a chivalrous male protector too if that's what you're missing, right Tether?

You might have to clean up a bit, but I'm sure if you're interested, there's a big man out there waiting to love and protect you, friend. (Have you tried praying to God in times when your fears might be up and your confidence in your own strength down? Lots of little men have found inner strength in moments when they had to speak up or act, and for whatever reason could not wait for a bigger guy to come by and get the job done.)

Good luck Tether; I'm praying for ya, however you want your inner needs met.

8:23 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Tether said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:06 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Tether said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:10 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger KCJohnGalt said...

Blogs are interesting - they allow people who would never do what they say to appear quite different. My point about the biker was to use common sense - I simply assumed the reader would understand that the Angels are usually never alone (pack animals), are into quite a bit of violence and illegal activity, and that you would have to be just plain stupid to walk up to a table of them and ask the one smoking to please put it out. By their NATURE these people could not give a tinker's damn about manners and behavior, so you're also simply wasting time as well as inviting a much bigger 'behavioral problem' from them than their smoking (it would involve some of your blood).

But hey, go ahead and play the hero or heroine here if you want, it's your decision. When you're dealing with otherwise rational people, then I have no problem calling attention to their rudeness and have done so. It’s a question of an appropriate response to different behaviors and in different situations, and if you perceive a high threat level to your personal well-being for calling someone out on simply rude behavior and you let your self-righteous moral indignation get in the way of common sense, you may find theory has an ugly way of meeting reality.

10:22 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

Sorry KCJG. That sounds like a weak excuse.

If a group of Hell's Angels (or Outlaws, Crips, etc.) are sitting in a public cafe smoking, then they are not in full-core violent mode. They're not out gang banging -- they're customers in a non-smoking restaurant, just like you and me.

It might make you a bit nervous -- the first time -- confronting somebody "scary" or whom you think has more power than yourself. But no need to pull a gun, or sit meekly.

Go up, and respectfully say, "Gentlemen, did you know this is a no-smoking restaurant? Your smoke bothers me -- do you mind taking it outside, or waiting until later to smoke?"

99 times out of 100 -- you'll get compliance. If you get lip, bring it to management's attention. Again, if these fellas are actually coming into a public restaurant, then chances are they're not carrying anything illegal, or even if they are, they're not looking for trouble from a non-smoker.

The attitude you are describing is more common amongst the passive-aggessive actually ("damn the rules. I'll smoke where I like!") but I hardly doubt you'll get stomped on in a public restaurant for confronting a biker.

Good luck. Maybe take a friend w/you the first time, or else just skip the polite request yourself if you're too nervous to converse with those types, and alert management who will send a waitress over to say something, or else call the cops if they refuse.


PS. This isn't false strength online either. It's a comfortableness in mixing with all types, and learning to carry yourself with confidence and not fear.

Second-hand smoking isn't simple rudeness; it's unhealthy for all around, and probably pretty esteem-sapping to sit their and breathe it because you are too fearful to stand up for yourself.

10:39 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

So admonishing the (low status) cashier for rudeness, while letting the unhealthy smoking indoors where it's unhealthy pass ... I don't get that passive mentality myself.

10:41 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

Finally, it's probably a mistake to assume bikers, Hell's Angels, gang bangers are irrational players. Their violence is usually targeted, not random, and there is a business to run.

If you want to steer clear of somebody looking like they're all hopped up on drugs and not aware of their surroundings, that's understandable. But those types usually aren't found waiting for a meal at your neighborhood restaurant, from what I've seen.

10:46 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

"Blogs are interesting - they allow people who would never do what they say to appear quite different."

Yep. And oppositional people can act like two year olds and say "no" to anything that is posted. Interesting, but tedious.

Trey

10:55 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

Oh Trey. You're not all that tedious. You just sometimes look at things through only one perspective, and assume yours to be correct for everyone. That can lead to generalizations, false assumptions, and an assumed air of superiority -- simply because you're operating in a bubble.

But tedious, not so much. And only uninteresting when you refuse to consider there are other valid realities outside your own, and therefore some of your generalized assumptions are simply incorrect.

*Hug a snowflake; find common ground with a biker -- it's all good!*

10:59 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

Oh, and just say no ... to second-hand smoke!

Getting to yes is a good thing, but being afraid of saying "no" or disagreeing ... leads to that passive-agressive blockage and generalized need to lash out at others whom you deem "lesser".

Stress like that can make you overeat even (perceived lack of control), which leads to health problems of its own...

11:03 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger KCJohnGalt said...

Hmmm … this is ridiculous, Mary – you’ve manipulated the situation to suit your fantasy. I said ‘diner’ – and of course it’s in public, but the kind of diners I was talking about are on the road where the bikers would normally ride. If you think the Hell’s Angels or any of the notorious bikers are complete gentlemen when in public and are aching to hear your polite admonition about smoking so they can gracefully comply, then there’s not much more I can say to you.

I am NOT claiming all bikers are dangerous – quite to the contrary. I simply used the Angels as an example (of the one-percenters), but any of the following clubs will do:

http://listverse.com/2009/08/18/top-10-notorious-american-biker-gangs/

Excerpt: “The Bandidos gang has a long and brutal history of illegal activity. A member of The Bandidos was arrested, tried and convicted of the 2006 murder of a well known flyweight boxer and a member of the rival Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club was sniped while leaving a restaurant in March of that same year during The Bandidos 40th Anniversary of the clubs annual birthday celebration. Police suspect that members of The Bandidos are responsible for the murder.”

Did you see the part about a sniper who killed a gang member outside of a PUBLIC restaurant? Huh – go figure.

Anyhow, best of luck to you, Mary, but it seems to me your insistence on confrontation is probably at least somewhat informed by your ‘protected’ status as a woman, while the same restraint doesn’t exist for men. Meaning, the possibility of getting pulped in my hypothetical example is a good deal higher for a man than a woman. And 99 out of 100 times of asking authentically dangerous bikers to stop smoking will result in compliance??? What planet are we talking about here, anyway??? Is this the Twilight Zone I’ve stumbled into??? Where did you dream up THAT statistic?

Still shaking my head in wonder … anyhow, I really don’t want to spend more time on this, if you don’t get it or don’t agree, no big deal!

p.s. I suspected you were one of those zealous anti-smokers worried about second-hand smoke. I don't smoke but these smoking bans at private restaurants and bars are simply the government telling private citizens how to run their businesses - last time I checked, no one HAS to eat or drink at a specific place, so if that business wants to allow smoking, DON'T GO THERE!!!

11:10 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

I misunderstood your example then.

I though you were counseling people to correct the rude cashier (because she's no threat) but to let the big biker boys do what they like because you feared confronting them.

But where exactly does that end? Blowing smoke in your face is ok -- what if they came over and snatched some of the fries off your plate?

You still going to sit their meekly, afraid of what might happen if you open the mouth God gave you?

Or do you up and pay your check and leave? Remember: you don't have to eat at non-smoking restaurants.

You're final sentences to me only display your cowardly attitudes, which I don't share. If I'm in a no-smoking restaurant, I don't smoke. If it's a state or local law, I obey it. I still live in an America where the rules apply to all -- grannies, trannies, bikers and hikers.

If you don't like that a bar/diner is non smoking, sure you can choose not to go there. And very often, when I dine/drink in a place that permits smoking, I'll smoke a tobacco ciggy too. So nope. Your passive-aggressive labeling of me as a Carrie Nation for cigarettes is off.

But again, it was your example. Either enforce the rules for all, or why bother making them in the first place?

Worst thing you can do though, is create a rule, then selectively enforce. This leads to MORE AND MORE curtailing of individual freedoms, because the weaker in society only want to take on the lippy cashier, and not the big burly guy lighting up, when clearly it's a no-smoking joint.

Get some courage, or else don't go back. Seems like a lousy way to lead a life, letting your fears dictate like that, but to each his own.

ps. Not trying to confront you at all. Just explaining that the way you operate -- we all don't see things that way. Sorry for not backing down and letting you pretend your way is the correct one here. I can see where -- coming from a woman especially -- you might embarrassed enough to lash out verbally and personalize the disagreement.

Damn Hell's Angels bikers! Bottling up all your aggression like that.

11:28 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Topher said...

1. A big problem with rudeness is that people will criticize your correcting a rude person - a false equivalence that makes no sense. My sister is afflicted with this "it's rude to tell them they are rude" disease. It drives me out of my mind. People in our company will be horrifically late, acting the jerk or whatever, and if I comment on this to them I am shushed for being "rude." I comment that they are the ones being rude and I am admonished anyway.

1b. Some people have been raised to or chosen to accept rudeness, because they don't want to "make a scene" or somesuch nonsense. I am not one of those. This is really fear, and society suffers when its customs are not enforced.

And yes, you will respond passive aggressively if you don't take overt action in a situation. Or you will be cowed, which is no solution.

2. Some rudeness is calculated - to establish dominance, flout the rules, put someone off-kilter in a negotiation. (For example lots of guys pull the a-hole shtick because it gets girls - another example of socialized passivity creating social monsters.)

3. Some people are a-holes by nature and correcting them in public won't help. However, some people are bullies and will back down when someone stands up to them.

4. In a professional context, asking someone to quit being rude is the required first step in escalating a solution. If someone at the office is bothering you and you go to the management, the first thing they will ask is if you've done anything yourself to solve the problem. If you haven't, they will think you a tattle who isn't capable of taking on problems, and thus isn't ready for real authority.

5. Sometimes it's not worth it to call someone on their rudeness. But we've spent 20 years pumping up self-esteem and self-efficacy in American society and schools, and we seem to be willing just to throw it away for the sake of "I don't want to make a scene even though that person is being a jerk." We get the society we allow to happen.

11:28 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

Oh, for the record? While I don't hang with Hell's Angels, I'm not exactly living the cushy, pampered lady lifestyle that you assume all American women share.

And yes -- I've seen plenty of men work out their differences verbally; lots of big tough men, and smaller men too.

A man is a man; if you're not an asshole, I stand by the 99 times out of 100 you're not going to get "thumped" for asking a fellow diner (even a ganstsa!) to please smoke outside.

You -- you're too afraid to even try, so you cling to the fear. Betcha that'll get ya far in life.

11:31 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

ps. Lots of bikers in my rural neck of the woods too. We have rules in our public diners here too, and believe it or not, they are respected.

Heck, even at Sturgis you won't get whomped for verbally working things out -- what kind of biker movies have you been watching?

11:33 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

And regarding the "sniper" who killed a fellow gan member outside the restaurant?

Sounds like there was some score being settled. Usually with violence in service of a business, there's a rational end being sought.

I doubt anybody is so itching for a fight that you'd have to worry about getting thumped, or taken out by a sniper even, because you dared ask him to smoke outside.

Maybe you just live in a more lawless area though, because like somebody said upthread, when fear moves in, common sense moves out.

11:37 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Topher wrote: "3. Some people are a-holes by nature"

Indeed. Don't wrestle with pigs. Or read their posts.

Trey

12:01 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

Passive aggressive, Trey.
Passive aggressive.

Best to read, and develop some kind of coping mechanism, defensive if need to.

When the posts don't hit home, it'll roll like water off a duck's back. But if you indeed see something of yourself ...

;-)

12:06 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: Response to Amy....

....@ 12:48 PM, November 15, 2009

See....

IT HERE.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Half of telling a story is hiding half of the story. -- CBPelto]

2:40 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

P.S. I look forward to Amy's providing the evidence of my 'untruthfull'ness.....

And I do hope she remembers that I was capturing the content of the threads I commented on.

2:47 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

P.P.S. Just like I do HERE....

2:47 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

bikers are people too.

but certainly if they sit en mass in a restaurant,in colours, it`s really a good idea to pay up and leave.

no dishonour there.

the whole idea of bikers appearing in public is to intimidate, and as a man, i see that as a direct provocation of my right to my territory (which in a restaurant is rented from the proprietor for the price of a meal for the duration of that meal)

the display that a group of bikers is putting on is to usurp some of my territorial right described in parentheses above.

for a woman to suggest that a man (or possibly the man she may be with) should approach these types with the intention to ask them to change thier behaviour, is asking that man to engage in a risky endevour.

in transactional terms this is called "let`s you and him fight" which is what we, as men, have been trying to say mary....

6:02 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:13 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: dr.alistair
RE: Why....

but certainly if they sit en mass in a restaurant,in colours, it`s really a good idea to pay up and leave.

no dishonour there.
-- dr.alistair

....am I suddenly reminded of a barroom 'discussion' between members of an airborne-ranger company and a company of paratroopers?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Who cares who wins. As long as it's a good puncher. -- Unofficial motto of the British SAS]

P.S. A fine time was had by all....

7:11 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: JG and Amy

A Hell's Angel was just shot in the head here by a sniper.

I frankly don't mind a bit.
-- JG

See any similarity?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Truth will out....]

7:12 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

KCJohnGalt:

Welcome to your first run in with mary (yes, that's a small "m"). she (small "s") pops up every few months and irritates the crap out of everybody, and then again disappears for a few months. It's a regular cycle. I think it has to do with med changes. I see you've noticed she continuously ratchets her position and otherwise manipulates a thread until where you end up is nowhere near where you started. You wonder when she's going to come around and connect it all together, but it never happens.

mary. is. wacko.

Watch.

7:17 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

Chuck Pelto:

I honestly have no idea what you are talking about.

I know you are a Mensa-Guy (self-desciptive, huh), but at least put it in Backwards-Klingonisch or something.

7:22 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: JG
RE: Sounds Like....

I honestly have no idea what you are talking about. -- JG

...as we would say in the Army, a 'personal problem'.

Hope you can self-recover....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[An understanding of basic English is useful in common discussion. -- CBPelto]

9:27 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

P.S. I saw a young lieutenant relieved of 'command' of an infantry platoon because he couldn't communicate with his men. You seem to be in a similar situation.

9:30 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

airborne rangers and paratroopers are two gangs...


...i am not so equipped.

9:40 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

dr. alistair wrote: "but certainly if they sit en mass in a restaurant,in colours, it`s really a good idea to pay up and leave."

You know, there are bikers then there are bikers. A few are organized criminal gangs involved in frug running and the like. A lot that I know are Vietnam Vets who like to ride and hang out with their friends. They are great folks.

Another group I know, BACA (Bikers Against CHild Abuse) shows up at Child Abuse trials to offer support and protection for the kids and a subtle pressure on the judge. They give the kids t-shirts and stuffed bears signed by the members. They do drive bys on their bikes so the kids can hear them and feel safe. Here is their website: http://www.bacausa.com/

These are also great folks.

But I concur that if a criminal gang, on bikes or not, shows up in large numbers, it is a good time to pay the bill and leave.

Trey

9:36 AM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

Well, Tmink, I'm not so quick to hang crime gangs out to dry either. We have more than a few of those around these parts, and the advantage of people who hang out in a gang is that they are used to being social. I meet all sorts of criminal gang members hanging on the corners and I find them to be generally polite and friendly. The demeanor you see on The Wire, The Corner and Homicide is very different than what one experiences in real life. I wish TV shows would get it right.

People in restaurants, diners and cafes tend to be polite because they are choosing to be in a crowded public plane and understand there is decorum that goes with that choice. I find that the as inebriation increases the level of purposeful rudeness also increases. The rudest people of all are those that are drunk, have caused some altercation and then have been told to leave a bar. The first few moments after an unscheduled saloon exit is when the most amount if in-your-face rudeness will occur.

As far as the cell phones are concerned, I am seeing less bad behavior than a few years ago. Our society is getting comfortable with a little cell phone etiquette.

10:27 AM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Cham, I am just more chicken than you!

Trey

11:18 AM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

Hi br,
You must be speaking of "med changes" from personal knowledge? Do you have mental illness that leads you to find fault with others who disagree with you?

Please don't slander me. I comment here pretty much when I disagree with y'all; when I don't, it doesn't much pay to share another p.o.v. (I understand in some circles, you have to medicate any disagreement away, instead of verbally talking it out. Hence, the diverse responses on this thread to how one would respond to public rudeness like second-hand smoking, and selectively enforcing the rules or desiring respect.)

The more I read blogs, and especially comment sections, the more I think it's really regional differences at work. In some places, individual freedoms and personal activities like playing outdoors for children, for example, vary widely. So do school practices.

Maybe it's class differences, maybe it's different regulatory states. Maybe it's educational differences.

Either way, it's a cheap way to cut off discussion by deliberately filtering out voices, and I very much respect that helen doesn't choose to do that. How can we learn from other p.'s o.v if we only listen to our own generalizations, and try to cut others off when they are "rude"?

I hear you's. Sometimes I disagree. And I state it so here. Sometimes deliberately rudely, oftentimes to match the initial vehemence directed at other groups, or p.o.v.'s.

I find it seems to work to at the very least get some to consider that hey, maybe the bubble you're in isn't really the way it is throughout the rest of the country...

If that bothers you so much that you have to namecall and insinuate pill-popping for others who comment sporatically, so be it br. You're wrong there too, and I suspect you'll respond to that in an immature way too, because sometimes the truth smacks hard, and whining is the first defense handy.

I'm praying for you, though! Sincerely, to let your eyes be opened and your heart be gladdened.

4:14 PM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

PS.
Just a rather interesting observation br, that you deliberately lowercased your handle here, while I spelled mine in the traditional Uppercase first letter...

Topping from the bottom, you are?

Not very well, I might add...

4:17 PM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger tweedburst said...

Wow...Who just said "When the posts don't hit home, it'll roll like water off a duck's back. But if you indeed see something of yourself ..."?

Indeed, LOL. Major issues.

5:27 PM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

Rolling like water off a duck's back, "tweedburst", doesn't mean you meekly sit at your table calling for your check, when you've been directly addressed and intend to further explain yourself.

Thanks for commenting though... Click on my name, and spend some time getting to know me via my blog "tweedburst". And that's an order! (I notice you chose to lowercase your handle here, too. Funny dat.)

6:36 PM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: Heh

I see Amy has not bothered to provide any evidence of her claim against me. Neither here nor at my own site.

Not that I expected her to. Typical 'progressive' argument form: Make statements you can't back up then ignore requests to prove the 'points'.

'nuff said.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Truth will out.....]

7:46 PM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger Jessica Strong said...

The worst?

Why do people carry on their cell phone conversations, on the toilet, in a public restroom? Now whoever is on the other end of that call has privy to my restroom visit?

The worst.

11:51 PM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Jessica Strong
RE: It Depends

Why do people carry on their cell phone conversations, on the toilet, in a public restroom? -- Jessica Strong

Distasteful? Yes.

The 'worst'? No.

In my honest opinion, on a local basis, i.e., what happens in the relatively-immediate vicinity, is some jerk tearing up the street in his loud-piped chopper at full-throttle at 2 am. Actually, at ANY time. Just to be a jackass.

The person talking to someone while on the toilet is a fool.

The person generating decibels close to that of a 747 for a quarter-mile stretch of suburbia is a jackass.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits. -- Mark Twain]

9:40 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

went to mary`s site...and all he does is ramble on about politics.

kinda boring compared to some of his comments here.

10:05 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

Lol. And another subbie appears in lower-case dress...

Where do they come from?

10:09 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

And that was posted at 9:09, my time zone...

10:10 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger Eric said...

Not to change the subject, but in response to the question -- "If someone is rude in public, do you say anything?" -- in my case it would depend on whether the rude person is "reachable." Some people are clearly hopeless -- even hostile and antisocial -- while others may not realize they are being rude. The former, being either deliberately rude or hopelessly ignorant, are likely to attack their correctors, while the latter might learn something, say they're sorry, etc. I don't think it is incumbent on me to police the world's assholes, and when they are being deliberately rude and provocative, policing them means being ready to get into a physical altercation when you might just feel like walking from Point A to Point B. The question arises, "Is it worth it?"

Sometimes, though, when the rudeness involves trampling on the rights of other people, and the other people are not standing up for their rights, it is worth making a scene.

Saying "DON'T LET THAT GUY CUT IN FRONT OF YOU!" is often in order -- even if the line crasher falls into the hopelessly and deliberately rude category as happened to me once when a guy deliberately cut in front of a long bank line and actually sneered at the people who were waiting. When I objected, the spineless people in line did nothing except look guilty, and the teller waited on him (quite improperly in my view). So I escalated the situation by going to the manager, and he scolded me! For interfering with bank policy! The tellers, he said, are trained not to get involved in these disputes, and the more I complained about such a policy, the more irritated the manager became. I realized that to them, I was the problem. I had tried to make my point, and I left in disgust. How far are we to escalate these things? I don't know, but I'm sure I could have done more. Maybe write a long letter to whoever the manager's boss was. (Doubtless someone will tell me what I should have done back in the mid-1980s in San Francisco, but it's too late now.)

I have learned that rudeness often works. Rude people tend to get their way because nice people are nice. So rudeness is enabled by niceness. The result is not nice.

The trick is to somehow stand up to the unbearable assholes of the world without becoming one.

10:25 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

The trick is to somehow stand up to the unbearable assholes of the world without becoming one.

Or ... making peace with your inner "defensive" asshole and understanding it's ok to pull him out when in service of preventing a larger "rudeness" from occuring.

And then being able to tuck him back safetly inside, zipped snug and secure until he is called upon again to stand up as a man, in defense of himself or society.

Some things you shrug off. Some things you don't. Life is all about distinguishing the two.

11:35 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: TMink and Mary and All
RE: Heh

The trick is to somehow stand up to the unbearable assholes of the world without becoming one. -- TMink

Or ... making peace with your inner "defensive" asshole and understanding it's ok to pull him out when in service of preventing a larger "rudeness" from occuring. -- Mary

What a BUNCH of 'pacifists'.

So....

....you suggest that when someone starts actually violating your Constitutional rights or begins outright 'killing'....

....it's 'impolite' to be 'rude' right back at them?

Fools....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. Which brings us back to Amy Alkon's hypocrisy....

5:57 PM, November 19, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

Chuck:

Which sect of the Christian church do you belong?

7:25 AM, November 21, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Cham
RE: Which?

Which sect of the Christian church do you belong? -- Cham

No sect. Generic.

And YOU? What is YOUR belief system, which is the basis of your morality?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[God builds his temple in the heart on the ruins of churches and religions. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson]

10:55 AM, November 21, 2009  
Blogger Eric said...

....you suggest that when someone starts actually violating your Constitutional rights or begins outright 'killing'....

....it's 'impolite' to be 'rude' right back at them?

Fools....


No, I did not suggest that at all. The suggestion is entirely yours, along with your characterization of the mindset behind it.

3:41 PM, November 21, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Eric
RE: Hmmmm....

No, I did not suggest that at all. The suggestion is entirely yours, along with your characterization of the mindset behind it. -- Eric

....I don't believe I was referring to anything YOU wrote when I addressed TMink and Mary at 5:57 PM, November 19, 2009.

Touched a 'nerve',did we? Seeing yourself in my missive to them?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[I display a general garment and you act as if it is made to fit you. -- Dinner party on Arrakis, from Dune, or words to that effect.]

4:30 AM, November 22, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

Oh, an online tuff guy, I love it.
*I don't believe I was referring to anything YOU wrote when I addressed TMink and Mary at 5:57 PM, November 19, 2009.*

Don't believe you were addressing anything I wrote either.

My point was: open your fucking mouth. Make peace with your "rude" (if you wanna call it that) inner asshole (if you wanna call it that) and speak up.

You really are a dumb fuck chuck, or you don't understand how to read a thread?


No need to apologize to save face dear. But please, if you have to set up strawmen just so you can punch em down, don't put those strawmen's words in my mouth.


*blowing smoke in your face, and seeing if you get up and say something, or quickly pay your check and get out*

2:19 PM, November 23, 2009  
Blogger Kevin M said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:17 PM, November 23, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Mary
RE: Yeah?

You really are a dumb fuck chuck, or you don't understand how to read a thread? -- Mary

Well, I'm not the one with confusing communication skills. Let alone gender-identification confusion issues.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
['Issues' seem to manifest themselves in multiple manners and/or venues. -- CBPelto]

6:15 AM, November 24, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

You're having gender id problems chuck? So sorry to hear that.

Please, don't respond directly to me on this blog. You creep me out, and I'm not exactly sure how this is exciting you, but again, please move on.

Thanks bud!

ps. To correct you on my thoughts upthread, clearly I was advocating NOT sitting there and taking it if someone was rude, but directly addressing the situaion as I did here with you until the commments began to be moderated. helen explained the reason for that, and again, I have no desire to play any online sexual games with you.

Is that clear enough for you to understand? Sure hope so!

7:41 PM, November 24, 2009  
Blogger Eric said...

While this is getting silly (and it's a reason I generally avoid comments), it appears that I have to repeat what I said in my comment:

The trick is to somehow stand up to the unbearable assholes of the world without becoming one.

That is what I said, Chuck. I checked, and it is still there, notwithstanding anything TMink might have said or quoted.

You mischaracterized my statement (by saying I suggested that "when someone starts actually violating your Constitutional rights or begins outright 'killing'...it's 'impolite' to be 'rude' right back at them"). I suggested no such thing, and when I simply pointed that out, you then made an unfounded claim that you have touched my "nerve" based on your incorrect assertion that I saw myself in your "missive to them."

Wrong. I didn't see "myself," but I see my words being mischaracterized. My complaint involved your take on the words I wrote, which is what you quoted.

I suggest that you look again -- especially if you believe that a blog comment rises to the level of being a "missive."

12:20 PM, November 25, 2009  
Blogger Bobby said...

I have very avid experience in dealing with rude people, I spent some time as an officer for the us army and that is where I gained a good bit of my experience. There was a time in my life when I adopted a no crap policy and let me tell you I was in a confrontation nearly on a daily basis.

More often then not when you call someone out for being rude they will try to play it off as if you're some weirdo for getting upset with them for what they would describe as "Decent behavior", or better yet try to make you look like the asshole/aggressor for calling them out.

Sadly I cannot say that I have come up with that magical way to deal with rude people, you can simply ignore them but that just encourages their behavior and often times can give them a sense of dominance over you. You can confront them but that can lead to a confrontation that could end up with them making you look like "The bad guy", You know what I mean when I say bad guy. It is the type of sterotyping that leads to people saying things like "I dont see why officers/coaches are so mean to their troops/players, that asshole should just be nice." In truth people in positions of leadership are dealing with assholes on a daily basis, you try a nice and happy no confrontation approach to training and leading a squad of new recruits, I can guarantee you it will end with your troops losing what respect they had for you, and you being replaced.

I have to say in all these movies and fantasy bits they always go on about how it takes courage, determination, willpower yada yada all the cliche stuff to lead, but the thing these movies don't mention is that it takes the balls to turn around and bite the head off of one of your own men when he demonstrates selfish, rude, or lazy behavior.

In short I have discovered that there are different ways of dealing with rude people in day to day life, I say weigh the pros and cons of your options and use the method you like best.

In a position of leadership adopting a zero crap policy is the only way to go, if they argue you argue harder, if they refuse to cooperate then simply cut them from your team.

1:40 AM, April 24, 2010  

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