My son has a part time gig in a local coffee shop on the weekends and came home a bit disheartened yesterday as some guy got angry he wasn’t immediately served whilst my son was loading the dishwasher. This guy yelled at him for a few minutes then stormed out.

He loves this job, he loves coffee, loves engaging with the people. He’s made good friendships through this position, and it’s great to watch him flourish in this role. But as well as the good, you’re always gonna get the bad like this.

Having got over my initial reaction of wanting to go “Liam Neeson” on this man, I came to the quite sad conclusion that this is increasingly how people think they can act nowadays with people providing a service.

This bitter growing rumbling spiteful hosepiped rage directed towards these truly inconsequential matters. Imagine the multitude of ways this bitter buffon could channel his energy better within his day.

I did retail in my youth, and even now in my technology position I’m still providing and supporting a service. I still get ranty shouty people in my professional life, and I can track my experience over the decades in how I can recognise and deal with over aggressive people.

Having the ability to stay stoic, rational and process this sort of behaviour, then switch off from it is a skill you have to cultivate over time. Heck, I’m still teaching myself this skill with every interaction I have. I still don’t always get it right.

Some will say you never know what people are going through to make them act that way. Whilst that’s true, We all carry our particular brand of bullshit every day.

Welcome to the party pal! We’re all here!

Succinctly. Manners. Maketh. Man.

I’ve had some truly shitty days in my life (Who hasn’t) and I’ve never felt the urge to raise my voice as a random stranger who’s providing a service. Even if I must be forceful or if I’m in disagreement (on whichever side of the desk I’m on within that interaction), I am polite, respectful and will accept a decision1 or an explanation.

I’m sure there’s a link to this behaviour with the way the political landscape is shifting. Tolerance is down, hatred and anger is sadly up. That’s why it’s even more important to stand tall, calm and rational against this sort of thing. Be who you want to be. Be better than that. Smell the flowers, be present and don’t react in kind.

Remember the 100 people who liked what you did ❤️

Forget the one asshole who didn’t… 😂

  1. Even if I will take a subsequent, different action towards resolution later such as writing a letter. I won’t get ranty with the person serving me. I will just re-assess and re-plan. ↩︎