Wednesday was a big day. We are currently framing a 2000 sq foot addition and three stall garage. I came home physically and mentally exhausted. Wife is out of town for a couple of days, so about 6:30 in the evening, I decided to run to town to fill up with gas and grab something to drink. (A quart of chocolate milk.) 😉 I hadn’t gotten cleaned up, so I looked a little rough around the edges.
I have been buying gas at this same store for several years. I am on a first name basis with several of the ladies I see in the mornings. Since it was 6:30 in the evening, a couple of guys I’ve only seen once or twice were manning the registers. As I walked up to the counter I said “How’s it going?” and even though I made eye contact with both of them, neither of them said a thing.
They just stared at me.
I put my check on the counter, asked what I owed them.
I was already just a little put off by their demeanor, normally wouldn’t have given it another thought, but the guy who “seemed to be” in charge, had an air of arrogance and condensation about him. He bent over, put his elbow on the counter, looked at my check, looked at me and said, “Who are you?” with what I perceived as a low grade sarcastic tone in his voice. (My name is on the check.)
Several thoughts went through my mind at this point…
What are you talking about???? I’ve been buying gas here for four years. Your people skills suck. I am tired and not in the mood for some condescending, dweeb giving me crap after a long day at work. I’ve spent more time in this store than you have and frankly, you should be more professional. Wonder if the manager who hired you knows what kind of jerk you are when she’s not in the store.
None of that came out.
Instead, I snapped “Who are you?”
(That is so not me.)
It was at this point he face flushed, step back, shook his head and realized I wasn’t in the mood.
I pulled out my wallet and showed him my ID.
When one of my younger cousins gets a little upset, his sentences become short. He bites his words off.
I could feel myself starting to sound like my cuz.
I continued, “You know, the girls in the morning, are not nearly this testy to deal with.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” he said.
He mumbled something about me being the second person today who had said something similar.
Hummm….. ya think…
I know it can be hard and draining to work with the public.
I do it myself on a daily basis.
In all fairness to him, he was only doing his job. (verifying me)
I’m seriously wondering if some of his attitude toward me was because of how I looked.
What I didn’t care for was how he initially attempted to intimidate me, because that is definitely what I was picking up.
A sense of humor can go along ways when dealing with people.
The tough guy stuff, not so much.
Wife has a little ditty on our kitchen cupboard blackboard currently, that says,
Be careful what you tolerate.
You are teaching people how to treat you.
He asked me a question, I ask myself on occasion…Just who am I? Who is this person I occasionally see in the mirror? Am I the same person I was 25 years ago? (and the answer to that would be a resounding no) The question is a great question. The rub is in who’s asking, and why?
Have any good interactions with someone lately? What made it memorable? Would love to hear your thoughts. DM