I'm Just Saying…

April 30, 2012

Unacceptable Behavior

              In today’s politically correct climate, no one tells it like it is or calls it like they see it. I blame those corporate training classes. You know the ones I mean. Fifty people trapped like rats in a beige meeting room at the Sheraton, carbo loading on doughnuts, sucking down a liter of coffee, staring at a drone using an overhead projector and a laser pointer. What wisdom is the drone dispensing? How to speak to employees with “tact” and “finesse.” How to deal with a “problem employee” who disrupts the office, insults co-workers, and never follows directions. I’ll cut to the chase: you can’t say “You’re a jackass and you should be quarantined from the rest of humanity.” You have to say, “Your behavior is unacceptable.”

            This reminds me of my babysitting days and the eight year old who defecated in her bed and smeared it all over the sheets. I remember what I told her: “I will always like you, but I do not like your behavior.” She smirked, the little brat. She knew then what I know now. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, calling it foie gras ain’t gonna help.

            There are plenty of adults defecating emotionally and psychologically and spreading it around on the rest of us. I present a handy list of examples. These may seem small, even deceptively inconsequential. Trust me, the next time you run into someone on the brink of a meltdown, odds are they are suffering from exposure overload to these and other incidents of “unacceptable behavior”:

1. The No-Blinker Driver: this person thinks driving is a game of “Guess which way I’m going next?” In the car with him is his cousin, “Stop at a light and block the side street so no one can make a turn” and his other cousin “Pull into the intersection without looking and create a traffic jam.”

2. The Aisle Clogger: This momo should be banned from the supermarket. Parking their wagon in the middle of the aisle, they create a conga line traffic jam of wagons while they compare the calorie content between Count Chocula and Muesli. Along with “Cleanup in Aisle Four” for item breakage, there should be “Clogging in Aisle Four.” An employee then sweeps away the Aisle Clogger like they’re a broken jar of Ragu. I’m just saying.

Second place in this category goes to the Couponholic. This bozo backs up the checkout line to the bacon, beer, and brats sections at the rear of the store. A coupon discrepancy is an epic crisis. The cashier scans the toilet paper length receipt like Sherlock Holmes to find the .25 cent deduction for Beano until she gives up, snaps on her light and bellows: “Manager to Register One!” I would suggest a dedicated line for couponholics, but the backup would rival Hands Across America until no one can enter the store.

3. Random Acts of Stupidity: This is a very broad category. Here’s the litmus test: any situation where a person’s statement/action  causes you to cock your head to one side like dogs do when they’re confused belongs in this category. I’ll give you an example:

I was in the library, in a study room, working on a paper. A man opens the door and enters. He stands in the room talking on his cell phone for five minutes. When he hangs up from his call, he looks at me and says, “They told me to come in here.”

Let’s examine this statement, shall we? “They told me to come in here.” What bun-wearing, lips-shushing library lady tells a patron to use an occupied study room for a cell phone conversation? That’s right. None.  

Personal Pet Peeve: Talking on a cell phone in a public restroom – in a stall.

            Listen to me, communication co-dependent people: unless you are making arrangements to donate a kidney, there is no reason to be on a cell phone, in a stall, while you are voiding waste from your body. Got it? And another thing, please add your name to the Do Not Lend List. Many thanks for the offer, but I won’t be borrowing your cell phone. Ever. I know where it’s been. I’m just saying.

            At one time or another, we have all been guilty of unacceptable behavior, those inconsiderate acts, those petite social faux pas, like a family member telling you they lost something and you ask “Where did you see it last?” Trust me, if you get yelled at, you deserve it. Say you’re sorry.

            As for me, I’m going to do my part. I’m going to leave side streets open, stay out of intersections, and use my blinker. In the supermarket, as I stand trapped and helpless behind an Aisle Clogger pouring over the ingredients of the Betty Crocker Mashed Potato Flakes versus the “store brand,” I’ll remember science advances every day. One day my self checkout bar code scanner may be upgraded… I’ll be able to point, click, and… poof, no more aisle clogger. It could happen. It has to. THEY HAVE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN!

            I’m just saying.

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