Tuesday, May 4, 2010

You know you've lost it when . . .

. . . some brat at Barnes & Noble brings you to tears.

Honestly. Come on, Becky. Pull it together.

I went to Barnes & Noble yesterday to buy a couple books (one of which was the seventh Harry Potter--yes I know I should have read it by now) and couldn't find one (Harry Potter). After wandering the store by myself, having no luck, and not finding one employee who was not otherwise occupied, I approached a worker who was already helping another customer but wasn't actually talking to them at the moment and started to ask if she could just point me in the direction of the Harry Potter books. I said "excuse me," and was otherwise polite. She cut me off mid-sentence and put up her finger at me with this look of superiority (since she is an almighty bookstore worker) and oh so rudely said, "I'm helping him right now. I'll talk to you when I'm done." I know this doesn't sound that bad, but it was the way she said it. The poor guy she was helping looked at me with this shocked look and apologized for this woman with a stick up her a**. I'm sure I had a look of disgust on my face as that's how I was feeling and I'm awful at hiding my emotions, but I walked away thoroughly dissatisfied with the customer service Barnes & Noble had to offer me that day.

I continued to wander the store for a while longer, but couldn't find the book, probably because I was PISSED at this point. I see the worker again and shoot her one of my famous looks of death and then I head to the check out counter. I bought my book and when the lady at the counter asked if I had found everything OK, I mechanically answered that I had, which was, in fact, not true at all. I then spent the drive home thinking of one-liners that I wished I'd have said in the moment, like, "It's not your fault she's a b****," when the poor guy apologized on her behalf, or "No, I didn't find what I wanted because your coworker was extremely rude to me, so I will be purchasing my merchandise elsewhere. May I please complain to your manager and get that little trick fired?"

I really don't know what got into me, but I was so mad at myself for not getting back at her that I shed a couple tears just to get it out of my system. It was then that I realized that in the words of our good and wise friend, Tracy, I needed to "Calm. It. Down." I was CRYING because some little brat was rude to me at the bookstore. Wow, Becky. And then I texted Mallory and she said she was frustrated by someone she didn't know that day too and that she didn't like that a stranger could affect her mood so much. She's so smart. That comment made me realize that when we get road rage and when we get mad at people we don't know for things that they probably don't even know they did, we're really just hurting ourselves. Granted, I knew this when I was muttering to myself on the drive home, but it's so hard to chill after being so livid. Basically, I've found yet another thing I need to work on and that is my patience. My annoyance may have been justified, but there's no reason to let it affect me the way it did. I know it's embarrassing to tell you all that I actually cried about this, but it's what made me realize just how ridiculous it is when we let other people dictate our feelings and our mood. We have no control over what other people say and do, but we do have control over ourselves and whether or not we let it affect us. Next time that nervy bizz says something bratty, I'll just do my best to walk away and forget about it.


mal said...

Thank you for the insight. I didn't make it that far with my reasoning... my wise friends Becky and Tracy, always there for me.

Kellies said...

It's my favorite that you called her a nervy bizz and a trick.

Cathleen said...

Yeah. I think rude people can really bring me down. But then I think "what a jerk!" - whether I should or not, and try to get on with my day. And then I resolve....It's a good thing when I am kind to strangers I don't know. You never know what kind of day they're having. :)


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