Monday, December 14, 2009

PJTV: Amy Alkon on Rude People


Amy Alkon talks with me about her new book, I See Rude People: One woman's battle to beat some manners into impolite society. She has advice for everyone who has ever encountered an internet troll, violent girls with no empathy for others, underparented kids and more.

You can watch here.

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44 Comments:

Blogger Matt and Lara said...

One person's rudeness is another person's free speech. There are laws in society that we all have to follow. But it's the unwritten ones derived from cultural norms that we disagree on. For some of us, the constant attack on legal forms of self expression is the ultimate rudeness. Therefore, I have no interest in reading this book.

7:08 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

"One person's rudeness is another person's free speech."

Matt you ignorant slut. Just kidding, but I could not ignore the opportunity to demonstrate some rudeness which adds nothing to free speech.

I disagree that the two are one. Rudenss often involves no speech, and just as often involves rude speech which could be delivered in a civil and respectful manner.

"You lie" was rude, "That is not true" would have been less so.

But I have litte interest in reading the book either, despite my enjoying Ms. Alkon's blog.

Have a nice day. (I figured I should add some faux gentility to cover my faux rudeness.) 8)

Trey

8:19 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

I have a recent supermarket cashier story from the last few days that may apply.

I went to the store on Thursday and purchased $5 worth of food. I gave the cashier a $20, she returned the receipt, a $5 bill.....and a $1 bill instead of a $10. I didn't notice until a few hours later. The receipt identified the cashier, the amount I gave her and the change I should have received. I called the store and the cashier had already left for the day and had not reported any overage. She must have replaced the $1 with one of her own and was up at least $9 in cash for herself. There wasn't much I could do about it.

So I thought about it, if I did nothing supermarketcashier would continue to rip people off. If someone noticed the absence of correct change while in her line she would just apologize and say it was an honest mistake.

On Saturday I decided to return to the store. I got in supermarket cashier's long line and when I got to her I said, "I know what you did, you shorted me $9." She immediately denied it and insisted on proving that she didn't. I told her not to bother, I already spoke to the manager. Then I turned around to the rest of the line and said to everyone, "Make sure you count your change."

This didn't get my $9 back, but, hopefully, it sent a strong message to supermarketcashier that she wasn't going to completely get away with her caper.

I guess its holiday season and people are taking more and more liberties.

8:58 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

For some of us, the constant attack on legal forms of self expression is the ultimate rudeness. Therefore, I have no interest in reading this book.

Just like I don't wish to witness your free speech. Don't force it on me, dude. Is that rude of me to say?

9:19 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

as we are becoming increasingly pressured to hear other peoples opinions, tastes and differences as a matter of politeness, i begin to see the paradox in all of this in even speaking about my concerns...as i`m pushing a position myself...but as this unhindered blurting continues, i`m wondering where it will end.

whatever happened to keeping it to ourselves and minding our own business?

10:15 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Topher said...

The "rude" dynamic is a funny thing, where it's rude to tell people they are being a jerk. In grad school, I saw people go on and on and on in research talks, far beyond their allotted time, yet "etiquette" dictated that we must not interrupt them (lest we be rude) to tell them they are being a major jerk sucking up our valuable time.

This clip seems pertinent, from Jonathan Rauch's excellent "Caring for your Introvert": extroverts make up the etqiuette rules, leaving us introverts to suffer through their blather.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/print/200303/rauch

"The worst of it is that extroverts have no idea of the torment they put us through. Sometimes, as we gasp for air amid the fog of their 98-percent-content-free talk, we wonder if extroverts even bother to listen to themselves. Still, we endure stoically, because the etiquette books—written, no doubt, by extroverts—regard declining to banter as rude and gaps in conversation as awkward. We can only dream that someday, when our condition is more widely understood, when perhaps an Introverts' Rights movement has blossomed and borne fruit, it will not be impolite to say "I'm an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush.""

Helen, I would be interested in seeing more stuff on here about the I/E type preference...

10:28 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

Topher: Are we supposed to feel sorry for introverts? If you are unable to politely say, "Hey, I'm pressed for time, I have to go." then you get what you get.

When someone appears to be listening then people have a tendency to assume that what they are saying is interesting and to continue. They have no clue that they are causing discomfort.

Everyone is supposed to feel sorry for everyone else these days. Enough already.

10:47 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Topher said...

Cham,

Not sure where you got the victimization angle on my post. The point is that we're all discouraged from being "rude," to the point that calling other people on rudeness is considered rude in its own right.

This manifests in social-decorum rules that it's impolite to not want to talk about fluff. In other words, extroverts' needs shuold be prioritized over introverts'.

(By the way, introverts don't not want to talk - they just think before they talk instead of thinking out loud. Never get in an idea-based argument with an introvert, they have thought through everything before they talk.)


"When someone appears to be listening then people have a tendency to assume that what they are saying is interesting and to continue. They have no clue that they are causing discomfort."

Narcissistic people in love with the sound of their own voice tend to think everyone's having a gay old time listening to them. They would have a clue if they paid some attention to the not-so-subtle clues that are dropped.

10:56 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Topher said...

"When someone appears to be listening then people have a tendency to assume that what they are saying is interesting and to continue. They have no clue that they are causing discomfort."

Let's do more on this...introverts tend to struggle in group-decision (really group-think) environments. Like instant replay in football games, the first idea to be spoken tends to be seen as a correct one, then the onus is on to make an indisputable claim of a better idea. Of course the first idea is going to come from an extrovert, who is in a hurry to talk out a half-baked concept. Everybody nods their heads and the second (or third) idea is shivered away.

Then there's the old "does anybody have any objections?" that has become as much of a throwaway as the "speak now or forever hold your peace" line at weddings.

The invtrovert is verbally browbeaten by and then when problems arise they are blamed with "well if you saw a problem you should have spoken up." They know speaking up isn't going to do any good.

This is why it is important to send and do your read-ahead so everybody can come to the pow-wow with sound ideas and the meeting doesn't devolve into a teenage alpha-fantasy.

11:02 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

Topher, I would just fold my arms across my chest, close my eyes and grab some self-quiet time. Or, if I actually had things that needed doing, I'd just get up and leave. Did that many a time in business meetings and otherwise.

Then again, I'm in the rude/near-rude category.

11:07 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

This book kinda seems like last year's "Dangerous" books for kids.

If you have to read a book to tell you how to play outside...

If you have to read a book to tell you how to speak up when you encounter rude people in public...

In both cases, surely some people need to read these things to empower themselves. But I really don't hold out much hope that if you don't know how to instinctually play outside, or instintually speak up for yourself, that buying a book on the topic is going to help much.

Also, I think many people when they are disagreed with by another, consider this "rudeness". But I think, it just lets those oblivious to the facts sometimes know how others are viewing them and what they're spewing...

Hi Trey! How's the family?

12:11 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

Cham,
I sure how you're 100 percent correct that the cashier gave you the wrong change hours later.

ALWAYS look at what they give you at the register.

I'd sure hate to think you dropped $10 putting the change in your pocket/pocketbook when you were rushing away from the register.

You really do have to take care in making accusations. 100% sure. And since you counted hours later, I just wonder if your initial suspicions were the only possible scenerio of what happened to that missing money.

Sounds like you sure did make a scene in line though; did your actions slow up the others waiting? If so, I might have spoken up and asked you to deal with your complaints at the service desk, instead of harassing the cashier in line, and then making a scene yelling out that she's a thief, and others better watch their money.

Of course, I always look at the change they're giving me at the register, especially if they just dump it in your hand because the line is long, and don't count it out.

12:16 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

I sure HOPE you're 100 percent correct that the cashier gave you the wrong change

12:17 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

Mary:

I am absolutely sure. I don't make these kinds of mistakes. I went to the store with a $20 bill in a clear plastic bag that was ziplocked sealed. I came back from the store with the clear plastic bag, in it was the receipt, the $5 and the $1. If the $1 wasn't in there then I would have given the cashier the benefit of the doubt that I dropped the $10. But the $1 was there, so I know what happened.

Read my post, I didn't yell out the cashier was a thief, I told everyone to make sure they count their change.

1:04 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger The Archivist said...

If you have to read a book to tell you how to speak up when you encounter rude people in public...

Mary,

Too bad that's not what the book is about. It is a collection of several incidents where she has called rude people out on thier behavior, but it is also quite a bit more. It delves into the research of social interaction as well. I have read it, laughed out loud in several spots, and enjoyed it immensely. I would recommend it.

1:13 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger JohnAnnArbor said...

Amy actually used to leave cards on people's SUVs calling them names for their vehicle choice. SO she's pretty capable of being rude herself, as well as scientifically illiterate (she herself drove a vintage car that, since it has no catalytic converter, easily outpolluted 10 SUVs).

1:28 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

The Archivist:

What is a reader supposed to take from it, if it's not a "teaching" book?

I too could spin stories of where I stood up for myself when disrespected. Parents regularly teach children these skills.

You need to read a book on this as an adult, why again? For entertainment? No thanks. Not my cup of tea. I'd choose a different type of book if I wanted comic stories, I think.

Cham--
Thank you for the details. That's funny how if you carry things in little bags like that, you weren't regularly in the practice of looking at the money as it's put into your hands.

Re. "I didn't yell out the cashier was a thief, I told everyone to make sure they count their change."

Fwiw, while I am sympathetic and you sound believable with the little baggie story, I'm sure any customers in line thought you were calling the cashier a thief (not understanding your beef was with the transaction days earlier, and not the current one.)

And I'm guessing that the majority of the people waiting in line thought you were the out-of-line one, because most people with a cashier beef go to the service desk (as you'd already done) and don't turn around and "warn" the people in line.

I'm amazed that the cashier with a long line even remembered you from days earlier, actually.

Have you tried a written complaint up the line? With the loss of days, it might be hard, but you could try to explain the extra $1 and the baggie thing where you separate your change from your other money.

I'm guessing that confronting the cashier directly with a line of customers waiting though might make them discount a written letter at this point, if the cashier reported the situation and gave her explanation then.

Will you be shopping there again? For $9, you may have gotten off with a cheap lesson about trust if management didn't respond to your concerns, and you're frustrated because the cashiers are dishonest.

1:35 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Tether said...

"Amy actually used to leave cards on people's SUVs calling them names for their vehicle choice."

---

She sounds like a pushy, self-righteous person. I usually stay away from those types.

1:55 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

what is the difference between rudeness and offensiveness?

most of the incedents that are characterised here as rude don`t bother me much. loud noisy people are irritating, but to let them effect a change of state in me is, i think, my problem...and i choose to distance myself from them as a matter of course and see it as an opportunity to practice.

we can`t change other people`s behaviour by commenting and pointing out thier indiscression, and we also run the risk of rudeness ourselves in the process.

all we can do is turn away as best we can...or be drawn into conflict.

2:57 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

Mary: This is my whole point, as a society we aren't doing what needs to be done. You are telling me to write a letter to management. That wouldn't have done me any good and would have been a waste of my time. We write letters, we consult with management, we write emails, we make phone calls. Sometimes we make blogposts about things that irritate us. Amy is allegedly leaving notes on cars. Topher and Dr. Alistair don't do anything at all but absorb the offense. In our society it has become acceptable practice to avoid direct discussions with those that are rude or rip us off. If people are getting more and more rude perhaps we should look at ourselves as the source of the blame.

3:27 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Good interview. I appreciate that you included the video of the soccer player. I thought that her response was really interesting. She said she was going to counseling because the behavior was like it was not her. Then she said people would not get so upset if she had been a man.

So this was a non-appology appology, and of course she was a victim of sexism as she assaulted the other players!

As far as trolls, I usually try to have a discussion with them at first. Once I figure that they are always contentious or a jerk I just don't read what they post.

Trey

4:02 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

You are telling me to write a letter to management. That wouldn't have done me any good and would have been a waste of my time. We write letters, we consult with management, we write emails, we make phone calls. Sometimes we make blogposts about things that irritate us. Amy is allegedly leaving notes on cars. Topher and Dr. Alistair don't do anything at all but absorb the offense.

Maybe I'm just a good letter writer, but I think of all the above options, that is truly the only one that has any chance possible of rectifying or addressing the situation you described.

There, you are directing your anger/concern to someone with the power to investigate or make a change. You don't think the higher ups in the chain want to know of your unhappiness at how the issue was addressed at the store management level? Particularly if it will keep you from shopping there in the future because you have a distrust of the cashiers/mangers at ringing up the transactions?

For heaven's sake, let the regional manager have a chance of knowing... your complaint was not passed on beyond the store management, I assure you.

Leaving notes on the car, slowing up the line by accusing the cashier directly, writing a note to the people who blew off your complaint at the service desk ... if your goal is to work off your frustrations, there you go.

If you want to cut your losses at $9, learn from your instincts and don't shop anynmore in a place you find untrustworthy. (If they rip you off at the register, will they stand by their product?)

But if really you want to flag this cashier's actions, you don't just pass on the info to whoever randomly might be standing in line when you are there futilely complaining. You write the facts as you've stated here (with the extra $1 and plastic baggie details, the reasons you had waited to check your change so they understand you are writing now, most important -- the lack of response at the service desk, and finally how long you have shopped there and what your goal in writing is. (ie/if you are looking for the $9 back and also want them to note the name, register number, and date/time the employee was working.)

With this info, they can at the least log your complaint, and begin establishing a record if others also communicate the complaint. If you give up and assume all management doesn't care, because the ones you initially encountered didn't respond (and perhaps it was just too late, even with your details of the $1 and bag, and too little to confront the employee), then I think someone somewhere would very much want to know about management's lack of response to you.

More people shopping online, and less people spending, somebody somewhere wants to keep you as a customer!

4:10 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

This reminds me of a problem one of the guys at Volokh wrote about recently.

He ordered a tv through CostCo, got a shipping number, and when he called UPS to check, they had no record of the number.

(Actually, I think the wife was doing the calling.)

As many commenters pointed out, the calls to UPS were in vain, because the party wasn't addressing the person who had the power to correct the situation. It's CostCo, not UPS. That's who the contract was with, that's who you take the complaints to.

Doing nothing, and doing a whole bunch of explaining/complaining to the wrong party is exactly the same, except you get more tired out and give up with the latter.

Complain smarter, not harder. ;-)

4:14 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

Mary, go back and read my original post. My first action was a call to the store where I spoke to the manager, that is where we discussed the lack of overage. The manager said she wasn't going to do anything because there was no solid proof that the cashier stole my $9. At that point, I decided to take a different direction.

I did the right thing, and have no problem going back to the store. I did what I had to do.

4:18 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

Amy Alkon? THE Amy Alkon? The one who "christened" herself a "bright" because she doesn't believe in God, thereby implying that those of us who do must be...other than bright? The one who drivels on repeatedly about what a racket religion is? THAT Amy Alkon?

I think I'd prefer my politeness advice from a somewhat politer source.

4:57 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Topher said...

"Topher and Dr. Alistair don't do anything at all but absorb the offense. In our society it has become acceptable practice to avoid direct discussions with those that are rude or rip us off."

Quite the opposite, Cham - because of my lack of respect for "etiquette" when someone is being an ass, I'm usually the first to call someone on their bad behavior, or to ask to see management when the wait staff can't explain why they allowed me to order something their kitchen can't make.

By no means do I sit there and take it. Meanwhile, society judges me poorly when I am trying to stand up against rudeness and rip-off.

My discussion of introversion was simply about social niceties in innocuous situations, the ones that require we pretend to be interested and judge us negatively because we are socially exhausted by mindless drivel. (There are enough interesting people that we should avoid wasting time on the boring ones.)

Back on topic: making a scene to someone who can't solve your problem is no such "standing up for society" - it's simply performance art exhibitionism with a vengeance streak.

5:05 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

"performance art exhibitionism with a vengeance streak"

Beautiful phrase. Applicable in so many areas of life.

5:27 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

Francis,

I'm not a big fan of Amy - believe me, I'm not - but I went to your link about "what a racket religion is?" and basically agree with her.

Look at the con man "Creflo Dollar" (that's apparently his real name) scamming people left and right in the name of religion.

5:28 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

When I was in college, the Scam Man de jeur was "Jim Bakker" with the PTL Club. His wife Tammy Faye wore tons of makeup, because "Jim likes it that way". She also sang.

She later not only ratted on her husband at the time, Jim, she also ratted on her next husband, who committed bankruptcy fraud by hiding a half mil. But that was the Lord's way, I guess.

There was a book in the '30s or '40s about "Elmer Gantry". There was Martin Luther around 500 years ago who (correctly) got P.O.'d about guys in the Catholic church cleaning up on guilt feelings.

If you are religious at all (and I'm not - at least not with formal religion), you should want to expose these types.

Creflo Dollar is getting rich, rich, rich off the Lord, Lord, Lord.

5:33 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

So praise the Lord and pass the collection tray.

5:34 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

Topher: Why on earth would you think society would judge you poorly if you are standing up against rudeness and ripoff? I certainly wouldn't. I would think that it is good to finally see someone else besides myself standing up and making sure people get treated properly.

Perhaps it is all in your head.

6:38 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Anne B. said...

``Amy Alkon? THE Amy Alkon? The one who "christened" herself a "bright" because she doesn't believe in God...''

I would have said, "THE Amy Alkon who doesn't think that crying children should be allowed on public transportation with her?''

Same gal, apparently, and like Mr. P., I don't think she's one to be giving other people lessons in etiquette.

7:28 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

Mary, go back and read my original post. My first action was a call to the store where I spoke to the manager, that is where we discussed the lack of overage. The manager said she wasn't going to do anything because there was no solid proof that the cashier stole my $9. At that point, I decided to take a different direction.

I got the fact pattern. I just think that when you "took a different direction", you were pretty much conceeding.

Why not keep going up, where somebody indeed might address the problem, instead of feeling better, waiting in line, giving the gal a piece of your mind... and nobody "higher up" (over the heads of the managers on duty you spoke with) ever learned of it.

Go home if management tells you that, figure out who the owner or higher up regional manager is. Address a letter to that person or entity. Don't you think somebody up higher than the managers on duty you spoke with could have helped out? I do. More than the low-ranking cashier who has no incentive to take action on your complaint.

Unless of course, you spoke to the owner and tippy tippy top management lever. (You sure that highest up person just happened to be on duty when you went in? If not, that's why I'm suggesting do a little research and send a letter to the upper upper management, some which not be physically present in the store you shopped in even.

Complain SMARTER, not harder. I don't think you did anything "wrong" btw, if you were quick with your interaction with the cashier when you confronted her with the line of people behind you.

I just think it will prove ineffectual, unless your main goal was just to vent. I suspect the store policy could not do anything, days later, to discipline her for theft either, but at least you deserve to feel like you got a respectful response, and the overall managers have a heads up as to what might be going on.

7:43 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

As far as trolls, I usually try to have a discussion with them at first. Once I figure that they are always contentious or a jerk I just don't read what they post.

Hi Trey! We had some good snowfall here overnight -- millions and millions of unique snowflakes. Who knew there could be some many out there, eh?

7:45 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger KCJohnGalt said...

"Cham said...
Mary:

I am absolutely sure. I don't make these kinds of mistakes. I went to the store with a $20 bill in a clear plastic bag that was ziplocked sealed. I came back from the store with the clear plastic bag, in it was the receipt, the $5 and the $1. If the $1 wasn't in there then I would have given the cashier the benefit of the doubt that I dropped the $10. But the $1 was there, so I know what happened."

While I think Mary has a lot of problems, I cannot contest her wonder at the fact that Cham said he had a 20 dollar bill sealed inside a "clear plastic bag that was ziplocked sealed" when he went to the store.

Cham: My head is now bald from the hair-pulling I've done trying to understand why you would possibly have sealed a $20 bill inside a Ziploc bag and taken it to the store.

Since no one apparently has asked you, WHY did you do this BEFORE you got ripped off? What is your motivation for doing such a thing? The normal man carries cash in his wallet or pocket, the normal woman or 'what have you' carries it in their purse, but I honestly have never heard of a single human being of any persuasion carrying cash in a 'ziplocked' plastic bag.

Were you concerned of falling into water, and hence were determined to keep your cash money high and dry? I really cannot fathom (pun intended) your reason for doing so.

2:26 AM, December 15, 2009  
Blogger Topher said...

"Topher: Why on earth would you think society would judge you poorly if you are standing up against rudeness and ripoff? ... Perhaps it is all in your head."

You are starting to get really obtuse in this thread defending your point of view.

Let's go back to those research meetings - if I get up and leave when time is up, I'm admonished for lack of "collegiality," or I am silently distrusted. Nobody waits for my explanation. And there are bunk "etiquette" rules that dictate I don't dare raise my hand and ask the person to speed up.

When I ask for the wait staff to correct my order, I'm admonished for "making a scene." Worse yet, when a friend talks about how they screwed over their boyfriend or girlfriend, I am quick to call them on their selfishness and double standard; I always gets looks as if I farted in public.

I still do these things, but because I express my reluctance to jeopardize my own social standing in favor of lame "go along to get along" etiquette rules you label me as some kind of wuss. Kinda extreme, don'tcha think?

Now what you pulled on the cashier just sounds like a jerk move. Get over this idea that you are doing everyone a favor by cursing out someone who made what is likely an honest mistake.

9:09 AM, December 15, 2009  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

putting money in zip-lok bags is outdoorsman behaviour. i often do it because i`m involved in a sport who`s apparel doesn`t offer secure pockets for money, and so i will use the aforementioned recepticle as a safe container for my cash.

public displays of aggression as performance art....interesting way to see the issue.

again, i see most public rudeness as a triviality, something i can get over by focusing on something else.

to be irritated by a crying baby, or a slow line at the check-out or petty theft....is weak-minded.

welcome to dystopia people.

my dad used to say; what we need is a jolly good war.

to deconstruct that; he meant that in times of war, people drop the petty shit and work together.

if the cashier steals, don`t come back....and if you have the skillset to get to the executive level of any large corporation....you should be doing gate-keeper seminars for salesmen, not trying to get $9 back.

steven covey talks about what is effective and important to do now, compared to what is less critical and can wait.

dealing with rude people can wait.

9:21 AM, December 15, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

.and if you have the skillset to get to the executive level of any large corporation....you should be doing gate-keeper seminars for salesmen, not trying to get $9 back.

Really, you've never written a letter to a company's headquarters when you've had trouble with the product, and got a nice letter back from Marketing, either with a replacement or a coupon or apology, and a thank-you-for-writing/calling-and-letting-us-know?

Maybe talk to some stay at home mothers on tight budgets who get p'o'd when they don't get what they pay for. Trust me, the marketing/customer service departments understand that you want to respond to these customers positively.

That's why I think Cham should go upchain, not so much with the missing money (as it's awful hard to "prove" the alleged theft away from a mistake, reported days later) -- but with the POOR RESPONSE she got when she spoke with on staff management. Even if they could not do anything, they could have left her feeling they would keep an eye on the employee, and took her complaint seriously.

9:55 AM, December 15, 2009  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

mary, i see your point. i had a store clerk erase my debit card across her magnetic de-gausser panel and then laugh because it didn`t work (she was nervous...) so i contacted her manager and explained what happened. she prompty gave me a gift certificate for the value of my purchase and apologised.

a neat tidy transaction between adults.

it made me feel valued and recognised as a customer and there was no discussion as to which employee it was, because we both knew it was an accident.

full stop.

but i was under no delusion as to what level of management i was in contact with at that moment. level two drone.

a letter from a corporate executive would a frameable document of some substantial currency....and in that instance i wasn`t expecting one.

corporate exectives are of the yes, no, next variety and don`t have time for public relations...that is dealt with elsewhere.

public relations isn`t about y-n-n, it`s about spin. they would spin you a letter, if pushed.

i have dealt with ceos and cfos and human resourse execs as part of my work, and they want to know quickly who i am and what i can do so they can y-n-n me and move on.

they don`t have time for the spin aspect. they hire lower managers for that.

gatekeepers.

those hired to fuck you off before you can waste the bosses time.

10:28 AM, December 15, 2009  
Blogger Professor Hale said...

Rudeness = free speech.
This reminds me of a recent video of an Al gore book signing with some guy getting to the front of the line and yelling out some thing about emails and Global warming being a fraud.

It was, in my opinion both free speech and rude. The people in line were there because they believe in that crap and for the most part like Gore and want his signature in his latest staff-written pap. They were not there as a captive audience for the shouter.

Predictably, as the rude guy was escorted out by security, he was also shouting about "don't touch me, that's assault", and "I have a right to free speech".

Free speech means having a right to write your own book and convince people to line up and buy it, even if it is full of lies. It is not a right to public disturbance.

11:22 AM, December 15, 2009  
Blogger Professor Hale said...

...to be irritated by a crying baby, or a slow line at the check-out or petty theft....is weak-minded.

I agree. I am never annoyed by a slow line. I generally believe the line is slow because I am in it, so I apologize to the other people in line (including those in frnt of me). If I moved to another line, it would become the slowest. It is a form of super power. Not all of them are good, or even super.

11:26 AM, December 15, 2009  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

and as algore would say, if pressed, you have the right to become ex-vice president with millions of dollars at your disposal to disseminate whatever crap you then wish to foist on a gullable pubic.

until such time you have the right to be bunny-hopped to the nearest dumpster by thick-necked "security guards".


unfortunately, the same algore is partly responsible for things like the gay parades on public streets in mid-summer in large metropolitan cities as a choice for families to see, as a reasonable alternative to the amusement park or the zoo.

what next? peadophiles and corporophiliac day?

explain that one to the grade five class will you miss davies?

and there are those who would suggest that we (i) have made a cognitve leap from speaking up when slighted, to the absurdities of special interest group behaviour, but it is all about freedom of some percieved right to express one`s self, whether it interferes with others or not.

11:55 AM, December 15, 2009  
Blogger Pat Patterson said...

In regards to Amy Alkon's book I think truth in advertising is somewhat smacked around a bit. As much as I admire Amy's writing and sense of humor going to her for advice on manners is akin to debating a tobacco chewer over which side of the mouth is the chaw kept while eating.

I shold also point out that she has adopted a definition of a troll, unfortunately just like many on the left and right, that reacts with hostility. Identifying as a troll anyone who disagrees with the cult. Her blog like many others, read the comments, reacts like a foreign virus has managed to slip into the Garden of Eden. And the responses from both commenters and hostess are hardly polite.

11:38 AM, December 17, 2009  
Blogger Micha Elyi said...

Interesting cover on Ms. Alkon's book.

The book about "one man's battle to beat some sense into impolite society" doesn't get picked up by any publishing houses.

Once again, we are treated to an example of a female's violence being treated as if it's cute, not violent.

8:21 PM, December 26, 2009  

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