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View Full Version : Why are some people jerks?



KikiteNeko
03-03-2008, 09:32 PM
Today at work I've been doing some filing in the back room, away from phones, the computer, and general human contact. Sometimes this can be a negative thing, because when I'm not actively thinking about my WIP, I start to just think about things that annoy me.

It's been about 5 years since I worked in a retail job. Starbucks, more specifically, which is filled with all types of workers. You've got your high school kids, kids paying their way through college, you've got grown adults who need a little extra to support their families... basically anyone who can do a little physical labor.

And, of course, you get your condescending jerks who I swear just want to make you feel bad because their parents never encouraged them. Maybe they were never hugged. Maybe they had dreams of being a rocket scientist and are disheartened because the world of schlepping coffee grinds has no visible end. I don't know.

There were two people specifically, Chad and Nate. Names not changed. Chad was a kindergarten teacher by day. By night, total jackass Starbucks supervisor man. He would ask me to do simple stuff like wash dishes or rebrew coffee, and I swear to God, two minutes would pass and he'd be like "Why aren't you DONE, how HARD is it." I admit it. I don't have a magic wand. I said I did on my application, but that was just to get this wonderful job, for which so many people are lined up at the door. Jesus.

Then, worst of all, Nate, who would just want me to be wrong. I have no idea why. I'm sure you've encountered this type. The guy who corrects your English when, in fact, it's already correct? Yeah. Him. I was talking to someone else one night as we were closing, and I said "Yeah, I know this person who has a real superiority complex." And Nate interjects, "Don't you mean INFERIORITY complex? An inferiority complex means he feels INFERIOR."

no fucking shit, Sherlock. Thank you. He didn't even hear the conversation. And even if I HAD been wrong, who the hell does he think he is to talk to me that way? I am an articulate, intelligent human being. At the time I was 17 or 18, and he was maybe 30. Did he need to feel special that day? I'll never know.

But here's a newsflash, people. Your job level does not equal your level of intelligence. Just because I was working in a coffee house and mopping a floor at the time of this conversation does NOT mean that's all my little brain is capable of doing. And the same goes for cashiers and janitors and window washers. Just because we're trying to support ourselves in whatever means possible does not mean we're complete idiots (not that I'm saying there aren't idiots in the world, I encounter several on the road).

To say a cashier only has the brain function to run a cash register is like saying a first grade teacher only has the brain function to read books with little pictures, and, beyond the brightly colored alphabet wallpaper, has little grasp of reading and writing. So I mean, who the FUCK do these "Nates" think they are to just talk down to people?

I'm just saying...

Salem
03-03-2008, 09:40 PM
Unfortunately the world is filled with "Nate's." My husband has a very successful lawn maintenance business. It's amazing how much his customers talk down to him and belittle him because he "just mows lawns." In their pathetic little minds anyone who "just mows lawns" must be an idiot or they would do something much more impressive. My husband actually enjoys being his own boss, spending the day outside, not having to wear a suit and tie and kiss up to some corporate boss all day long....

joyce
03-03-2008, 09:53 PM
I feel your pain. I have recently taken on a part time job at a local grocery store because my little (very little) landscaping business is dying with the economy. I am a cashier. Now mind you, I've had the big corporate jobs and have owned my business for 15 years and do not consider myself stupid. I don't want another office job. I've been spoiled by years of independence and I'm afraid I'll tell someone to shove it in a minute. I love these people in the grocery office who think they are the next Mr. Brilliant and don't have a problem letting everyone know just how smart they think they are. Some of the people I work with can't understand my attitude. I don't care to climb the grocery ladder, I'm not afraid of losing my job and the jerks don't intimidate me. I figure I've said no to better jobs than most of them will ever even be offered. As I've grown older I find myself less tolerant, as well as more tolerant of this "I'm the greatest" attitude. These people amuse me. Just leave me alone, let me do my little just above minimum wage job, and I'll not bite you back. I figure these jerks have the legend in their minds complex. It can be frustrating though when you are on one of their radar screens. Good luck.:)

Ken
03-03-2008, 10:03 PM
Cashiering in a grocery store rots.
Try to get transfered to another department. I worked in the produce section of a supermarket for a number of years when I was young and it was fine. Didn't have to deal with customers much and the people I worked with pretty much took the job as a joke, too, loafing off, munching on food, and downing a beers from time to time. You've got to have the temperment to be a cashier. If you don't it can be hell.

MoonWriter
03-03-2008, 10:21 PM
Tomo - I can relate to what you're saying, and Salem's got a great point. I have a Master's in Landscape Architecture and worked my way through college cutting lawns. I spend most of my time writing, but when my crew is short handed, I have no problem helping out. And I still cut grass with my son on Saturdays, hoping he'll learn to appreciate hard work and to take pride in a job well done. The way I'm treated when I show up in work clothes versus the professional hired to design landscapes is drastically different. It has taught me to treat everyone with respect - until they teach me otherwise.

I'm sure the guys that you mentioned were jerks, or you wouldn't still be upset after five years. But really, if you think about it, are you mad with them or with yourself for not saying anything to them at the appropriate time. By not standing up for yourself, you gave them the license to treat you that way. It's always easier to think of things you could have said back then, but saying something, anything, no matter how awkward it sounds, as long as you convey the fact that you do not appreciate being treated/talked to in a demeaning manner will, more times than not, nip a potentially long term problem in the bud. And some of the Nates may be decent people having a bad day. But, they too have to be taught that you demand to be treated with the same respect that you treat others.
Tim

KikiteNeko
03-04-2008, 12:49 AM
No, he was just a jerk. Trust me. He was all "Look at me, I majored in psychology. You're an idiot and I'm awesome."

But of course I'm annoyed that I didn't stick up for myself. I always think of things after the fact. And I was also 17. I had years of crap to take before I finally reached my breaking point. Now, yes, I do stand up for myself. After some vulture relatives tore through my dad's estate and a jerk boyfriend wore me thin, I've become quite assertive. Sometimes stupid things do haunt me.


Tomo - I can relate to what you're saying, and Salem's got a great point. I have a Master's in Landscape Architecture and worked my way through college cutting lawns. I spend most of my time writing, but when my crew is short handed, I have no problem helping out. And I still cut grass with my son on Saturdays, hoping he'll learn to appreciate hard work and to take pride in a job well done. The way I'm treated when I show up in work clothes versus the professional hired to design landscapes is drastically different. It has taught me to treat everyone with respect - until they teach me otherwise.

I'm sure the guys that you mentioned were jerks, or you wouldn't still be upset after five years. But really, if you think about it, are you mad with them or with yourself for not saying anything to them at the appropriate time. By not standing up for yourself, you gave them the license to treat you that way. It's always easier to think of things you could have said back then, but saying something, anything, no matter how awkward it sounds, as long as you convey the fact that you do not appreciate being treated/talked to in a demeaning manner will, more times than not, nip a potentially long term problem in the bud. And some of the Nates may be decent people having a bad day. But, they too have to be taught that you demand to be treated with the same respect that you treat others.
Tim