By Randi Crawford
I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season. My family went to Colorado, where I’ve spent Christmas for as long as I can remember. There’s nothing like the fresh mountain air, skiing all day with a frozen face, drinking hot cocoa in the lodge and waking up to a white Christmas. And I can’t leave out singing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve at the Prince of Peace Church, where my husband and I were married 17 years ago.
But this year, one conversation kept creeping up on a daily basis: “Do you have to be so rude to people in order to amass an such an incredible amount of wealth, or is it acquired once you become wealthy because of the way other people treat you?”
It felt like everywhere we went this year, people were behaving badly (the ski lodge, on lift lines, renting ski equipment, in stores, or in restaurants). Example: I was in a retail store in Aspen buying something small for the lady who watches our dogs, and mid-purchase, a woman (dripping in perfume, fur and her entourage) came up, threw down a $20 bill on the counter and told the sales clerk to give her change immediately. It was reprehensible of her to think that this sales clerk would drop what he was doing for me and give her change at that exact moment, but it made me wonder what makes her think that people will drop whatever they are doing to help her. In other words, was she always this rude or did she become this way because people have treated her differently knowing that she can be a huge customer and can keep the economy booming with all her wealth? This type of behavior happened everywhere on this trip. Sometimes it affected me directly, and sometimes I just people watched and sat in awe.
By my last day in Aspen, I had encountered one too many of these gals, and decided that I was done. My family was at the Aspen airport waiting for our flight, along with a lot of other people all crammed into a tiny airport. At one point, I decided to stand up and move around before we boarded, and I started a conversation with a very nice young lady. After 15 minutes, my family all got up to join me. I was enjoying the moment, waiting to board, when a guy came up from behind me and very rudely said, “Are you ever going to move?”
What?And it wasn’t even the rudeness of the statement, but the way he said it. It took me a moment to realize that he was talking to me. So this time I turned around, I looked him in the eye and told him to stop being so rude. He then proceeded to argue with me and tell me that I was being ridiculous. And no, I didn’t let it go. I told this guy to get a clue and stop being a jerk. And yes, my entire family wanted to disown me. But I had put up with this self-centered behavior for a week, and sometimes, enough is enough. I’m not one for causing a scene, but people need to realize that it’s not all about them all of the time.
Once we were on the plane, my family members all agreed that the guy was a total jerk and could have said something much nicer if he wanted me to move. But, they also said that I shouldn’t have said anything for everyone in the airport to hear. Sorry guys, but that’s just not who I am. Here’s the deal -- if you don’t want a scene, don’t be a jerk. For the record, I believe that you do need to have the “me” attitude in order to become successful, but that should never mean being rude to anyone – ever.
Your thoughts? firstname.lastname@example.org