Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hey, That Wasn't Very Nice...


Setting:

A large waiting room at a hospital clinic with a television mounted on one of the walls.

Fifteen people – ten of whom are seated so they can watch and listen to a morning talk show.

The other five are seated where they cannot see the television. Their choice.

Three of these five (myself included) are reading.

Question:

What kind of person gets up, walks over to the TV, pronounces in a loud voice, “Verbal diarrhea!” while turning the volume down to a so-low-you-must-strain-to-hear-level and returns to his seat with a smile of satisfaction?

If you answer, “A person who possesses high standards in television programming,” you are not my kind of person.

If you answer, “A pompous a** with an overblown sense of entitlement and no consideration for others,” you are my kind of person.

I glanced at the crestfallen faces of those ten people and wondered if anyone would challenge him. No one did. Most were elderly.

I then glanced over at the my-way-or-the-highway jerk and thought, “Wipe that smug grin off your mug – you get no brownie points for such a self-centered & inconsiderate act.”

(I also thought, “I hope you choke on a crumb from that muffin you’re scarfing down.” Yes, I can be that nasty.)

I wonder what it’s like going through life believing you are always right? Convinced that your wants and needs take precedence over those of others?

I still regret the fact I didn’t have the guts to get off my butt and turn the volume back up.


photo credit: http://lightshowmedia.com/showcase.html

18 comments:

Cid said...

I too, am not good with confrontation. It's like when you think of the perfect come back only hours after some pompous a** has insulted you.

Gorilla Bananas said...

The first thing you should have done is asked the ten whether they were watching the show. After they said "yes" you could have turned up the volume. Baboons always back down when confronted with superior numbers.

Sherry said...

I think of one word. Bully. Always was, always will be. And sadly there are so many more of him like that out there. The thing is about confrontation of this sort...it can be done and done nicely. So nicely that the bully has no idea what to say or do next. Not everyone is comfortable putting a bully in his/her place, understandably. The obvious solution for this, for me...would be to return the volume to audible and then quietly offer the "gentleman" my chair away from the tv view and sound. It's resolution not confrontation...would he accept that? No idea...and if this makes me sound pompous, apologies...I've just learned that there are always options and I'm prepared to try. Life's too short to do otherwise.

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

Ha! Remind me to never get on your bad side! You would make a good voodoo doctor! I might have gotten up and asked the group of watchers if they wanted to hear it. But I can be bold like that especially when in the presence of a**-es. But it's easy to say that when I wasn't mired in the situation.

Zhu said...

Ugh, I wouldn't have the guts to do that, this is out of line. Especially if the TV wasn't that loud...

Yep, a bully.

That said, I have a very low tolerance for people who don't respect others and I have dreamt of switching off people mp3 players in the bus more than one: you know, the ones who listen to the music sooo loud that the whole bus can hear it? Oh, and cell phone talkers... hate these one too.

nursemyra said...

I like the solutions proposed by GB and Sherry.

But I hate a loud tv in a waiting room or a bank. Since I'm always one of the ones reading I find Oprah and her like very intrusive and itch to turn the volume down too. I resist because it's not my place but have been known to tell loud cell phone users to take their conversation outside.....

oreneta said...

Some people are such dorks. Honestly.

Cheryl said...

I'd done both. I've stayed silent and I've tried to right the situation. I don't know if either is the better choice because with the first I felt like a wuss. With the latter I felt like I was somehow behaving as badly as the other person because it was difficult to keep my emotions out of it. And I think people like that thrive on confrontation. So even if you win in the short term, he or she had the satisfaction of riling you up. What to do?

Barrie said...

In our pediatrician's office, there is even a little note on the TV, instructing people to leave the TV alone. Not that I think a note would have stopped your person... ;(

rebecca said...

entitled f*ck. The older I get, the less I give a crap and I would've gotten up and turned it real loud and looked at him to challenge me. Yeah, I think it's the hormones that has me so confrotational....

laughingwolf said...

clinic's fault, volume/channel control should be with staff, on a remote, like it is here...

Angie Muresan said...

You mean I'm not always right?
What an asshole! You should have went right back to it and turned the volume up. I wish I could say I would have done that. My husband would have.

Maggie May said...

That kind of thing sinks my heart and then it rises again in FURY. I am pissed just reading that. Then I would have thought 'who knows what things have happened to this person. who knows if he is mentally ill. ' and then i would have gotten up and asked if they would like it turned back up.or in another mood, not said anything and regretted it later. i can empathize.

Seraphine said...

as one who believes i'm always right, i can attest that it isn't so bad. that is, until life tells you something different. and life isn't the kindest teacher.
i believe in karma. if one turns the volume down for others, the volume in one's own head gets louder. and that is when doubt creeps in, as insiduously as cancer or fog.
in the end, you have to live with yourself. and its best to have a healthy relationship.

cipriano said...

I agree with you Beth, that was serious pompous-***ness on the part of the Volume Turner-Downer guy.
There are times when I wish they would turn the volume down in Starbucks, but that's why I travel with earplug thingies.
I call them The Frankenstein Bolts because if they stick out too far I look just like... well, you get the idea.

Reeny's Ramblin' said...

People like that aren't my kind of folk either. I would have definatley told him where to go. Sometimes people can be so self absorbed it's insane!

Travis Erwin said...

Sadly the world is full of asses.

Mom of Three said...

I'll add something else: I would have stood up from my book, and said, "All those wanting to watch the morning show, raise your hands. All those who don't? Motion carries."

I do this with my arguing kids at home.