Friday, December 19, 2008

But the Good News is...

What do you do when you encounter unwarranted, outrageous rudeness? I had that experience yesterday morning; it's probably only the second or third time in my life I've ever come across such venomous rage. I know it's bound to happen occasionally: you just happen to clip someone in mid-hissy, or be a convenient target on the worst day of someone's life. And everyone has been so caring and helpful for the last year, I've just been carried on a cloud of kindness. so I'm sure I over-reacted. Still...

I'd left a message for someone, and her return call consisted of talking over me for 20 seconds and then hanging up on me.

I was absolutely stunned. It was so inappropriate, I finally decided I should track down her supervisor. I sent an email to the person I thought it might be. I didn't share my experience, I just said if you are her supervisor, please contact me, and if you are not, please let me know who is.

Not five minutes later, she called me back. She didn't apologize, or even admit to being rude; she just answered my original question. In fact, she insisted that she wasn't rude, and she didn't hang up on me, and that we would just "have to agree to disagree." Um, not unless we're agreeing that you're a delusional psycho with the emotional maturity of a two-year old.

I guess I could have pursued the speak-to-your-supervisor route, but I really, really wanted to just let it go and get past it. It was like an experiment, an exercise for me. And, at least initially, I failed miserably. It was just a veil of outrage on me, and it kept compounding: I was upset that I was so upset. Why on earth was I giving this horrid creature that kind of power over my life?

It took me all day to put it into some kind of perspective, and when I finally did, a weight was lifted. (Okay, so I've improved my technique but need to work on speed.) Now I almost hope I meet her someday. I would just love to be able to tell her in person,

"I may have a terminal, incurable cancer and be wracked with pain almost every day of my life, but at least I'm not Tina Swarens!"


Unknown said...

Glad you were able to work thru your feelings on that call. I've gone the track-down-the-supervisor route too, and actually connected. It did give me some satisfaction. And my husband has been tempted on more than one occasion to use the "I have a brain tumor and don't need your $h*%%y attitude."

How does that saying go? "Use what you have been given"... :)

Happy Hannukah/Merry Christmas!

tim's wife said...

I got a call from a young man collecting money for the NJ State
Police charity. I started to explain that I could not donate at this time and he said "Penis,penis,
penis" and hung up.
Knowing that computers do most of the dialing for charities now, I
called the state police, who definitely did not want someone
behaving like that on their behalf.
They tracked down the computer that called my number and grabbed the kid and escorted him out of there. They called me back to tell me that they found him and tossed him. It was very empowering. Worth knowing the fear and embaressment he must have felt in return for ticking me off.

La Cootina said...

Holly, I confess: I "play the cancer card" like a cheap violin. This woman was unspeakably rude to me, even knowing I was a cancer patient!

TW - Thanks for sharing that great story. I think it's awesome that you reported him, and amazing that something was done. It restores my faith.

As for Ms. Swarens, I'm ashamed that I wasted a day of my life being upset about her rudeness... and then blogged about it. Boy, am I ever a work in progress.