29 April, 2016

acute assholism

while i'll be the first to admit that i can sometimes be snarky, i generally tend to be nice to people, especially those who serve me, if for no other reason than it usually ends with better service. i try not to snark at tellers, or phone operators, or waiters, or anyone else who's doing a thankless job.

yesterday evening, i dragged my sorry carcass to the closest grocery store to pick up some edible substances and was treated throughout the endeavour to very loud big hair rock music. not sure whose idea of a grocery store soundtrack it was, but i would wager that most of the exhausted working stiffs could have also done without it: not one person could be seen banging their head in rhythm, hand raised in a defiant satanic salute. i turned to the young woman putting out olives and said, "wow! that's some pretty bad music!" in a come commiserate with me sort of tone. this is where it started to go wrong because instead of commiserating, she immediately got defensive and snarky and said, "i didn't pick the music!" as if i had thought that from her lofty heights of the deli department minionhood, she also directed the media. i walked away, but the snark had started.

after paying for my groceries and being very nice to the very nice cashier, i decided to walk over to the customer service to ask them to maybe tone down the tunes (this was not the first time bad big hair music had happened in this store). there was a blank faced young man at the desk who looked up at me, when i started to speak to him, with the expression you'd likely see on a butcher if the pig, lying in pieces on his counter, had asked him for the time. he seemed utterly flummoxed by either the english language or the peculiar nature of different beings making sounds at each other at all. i asked him several times to please turn down the music, eventually resorting to slow talk: CLASSIC. ROCK. MUSIC. TOO. LOUD. he stared blankly at me some more ("why is she still here? why is her mouth moving? what does all this mean?!?") then asked me, "in the store?" by then i'd had enough. "no," i said, "in my head. OBVIOUSLY in the store. this is customer service, correct? (a weak nod) and i'm a customer, right? (another weak nod). then i want some service! ok?" "ok."

i marched out of there knowing i accomplished nothing other than giving the teen another adult to despise. and i really wasn't proud of myself - aside from accomplishing nothing, i'd made myself angry and made someone else feel bad (if anything had penetrated). deep cleansing breaths, and onward home.

today i did it again - asked for a glass of water nearly 5 times at a restaurant before eventually walking over and getting it myself, snarking at the waitresses who watched me walk up with varied expressions of confusion. whoa, nelly, thought i to myself, i may be having some sort of psychopathic psychotic breakdown! and as i texted my tale of woe to sanity salad, it hit me: i have been sans internet entirely for 3 days, and prior to that sporadically for 3 days more, which translates into 6 whole days of no meditation*. could this have something to do with my sudden uncontrollable assholism? why yes, methinks it might.

sanity salad responded with an article that had this to add:
So stay the course. We need to be extra vigilant once we feel like we’re on a roll. Part of our practice is learning to come to the cushion under all different levels of enthusiasm: excitement, complacency, doubt, indifference, and every feeling in between. We practice not because of how we feel or what we need right now, but because it’s time to practice.

ladies and gentlemen, please excuse me while i go and chill out for a while and try to get my own self back. it's meditation cushion time!

*yes, i realise one doesn't need internet to meditate but i really can't do it very well without the guided talky bit - my brain flies off all sorts of handles and i usually forget that i was even meditating in the first place.


Zhoen said...

That's an amazing amount of insight. I've been far, far less than patient this week, not all explained by sleep deprivation.

polish chick said...

it wasn't until i started writing about it that it popped into my head, and ss's email just nailed it. like i said, i tend to be snarly in my head a lot but rarely lash out at people - it's so counterproductive and, more importantly, counter to my (attempted) life philosophy of campground rules. did 15 minutes today, feel better already!

Zhoen said...

I find humor helps immensely. Taking it seriously leaves me very angry.

Lucy said...

I don't know how I missed this, just to say if I'd been able to think of such bons mots for the occasion as you did for the surly teen customer non-service I *would* have been proud of myself. I must just not be as enlightened as you are!