Steer Clear of The Curmudgeon’s

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So, tonight I was at Walmart in the checkout line and I witnessed something that is not surprising but is completely and utterly unacceptable: a customer going off on a Walmart employee. From what I (and every other person in the line) could gather from the situation is this: apparently the customer felt that the employee (who was the sweetest old African lady) did something wrong on her purchase and that the receipt was incorrect. The employee tried, more than once, to explain the receipt and the balance of the card and why it did not go through but the lady just continued to be irate and quite frankly, more than a bit obnoxious. She was yelling and cursing at the employee (who apologized even though she did not have to) along with her little 6 year old daughter standing right there as we onlookers gazed as if witnessing a train crashing into a car full of deformed clowns riding mini bicycles across a tight-rope (I have no idea how they could ride bicycles inside of a car but I stopped questioning the actions of clowns long ago because they do some crazy things). I had to watch as this [seemingly] sweet little lady was berated and made to be the fool, for what? For this lady’s card not having enough money?? Unbelievable. The antipathy I feel when seeing such behavior, ESPECIALLY  in public places (for that is normally where they happen more often than not), is overwhelming. I do not care what the reason, there is never a need to speak to another human being in such a trenchant manner. Not only does it make YOU look like an idiot, it also negatively impacts all parties involved. The most important thing, however, that I truly wish these people would understand is that you never know how that interaction could impact her day. You never know what is going on (behind the scenes) in someones life or in their mind. You just do not know. There are too many [unknown] variables. This person could be going through multitudinous amounts of pain and hurt on a daily basis. They could be struggling with suicidal thoughts (even homicidal ones) or depression . They could take what you said to them home and allow that frustration to affect their time with their families, or they could take it all inside and allow it to affect their health. You just never know.

Having this all in mind, as I approached (and seeing this woman attempting to suppress the embarrassment), I ensured I had the largest [genuine] smile on my face as I asked, “Hello there, how are you doing today?” {and ended with} “Have a WONDERFUL night!” And you know what? It got her talking and as I walked away, she had the biggest smile on her face. There is nothing about me personally that did that. It was nothing I did but treat her as every single person on the face of this planet deserves to be treated: with respect. There is no reason why people should be SURPRISED when someone is nice to them. What ever happened to the days when people were shocked and taken aback when someone else was rude? We need to get back to those days. Respect is not an antiquated idea or action. It should, however, always be an anticipated one that we all make good on. We need to re-acquire hearts for civility. And why stop there? How about actual friendliness by default? I challenge everyone who reads this to be immensely more sagacious when it comes to the way you use your words. Really THINK about every word you say, in response to someone, because there is no telling how your words could build or destroy their day (or their life). There is no use ruining your day AND someone else’s with an unnecessarily vitriolic attitude. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 comes to mind as I reflect on what I witnessed, and it says:

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

There is a reason for that simple truth. Love NEVER fails. You see, none of us are perfect in this, no, but if we would all begin to really put this into practice many of the catastrophes and unfortunate circumstances of life could be [easily] avoided. So go today, tomorrow, the next day, and so on, and use your words tactfully and with intention. If you feel frustrated or like you will say something that would negatively impact someone, remember 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Life is difficult enough without Mr. Raffish & Mrs. Curmudgeon getting all in your face over something trivial. I pray you do not trivialize this writing, but rather, take it on a trial run in your life and watch the changes in your life and in the lives of others. I feel so strongly about this that if you do not feel 100% COMPLETELY satisfied after a month or so of active use, then I will give you all of your money back. That’s right, a COMPLETE refund. So go out and start loving some people with your words today and watch as you (slowly but surely) change the world. Be Blessed. 🙂

-Eric M.

5 thoughts on “Steer Clear of The Curmudgeon’s

  1. I feel for those who have to work with a rude and disrespectful general public, and for WalMart wages no less. Good for this employee who sounds like she has a killer attitude in the face of a rude jerk. Good for you for calling out this kind of nonsense and mean spiritedness That kind of person is not really a curmudgeon. As one who identifies as a curmudgeon, I prefer Jon Winokurs definition… A curmudgeon’s reputation for malevolence is undeserved. They’re neither warped nor evil at heart. They don’t hate mankind, just mankind’s absurdities. They’re just as sensitive and soft-hearted as the next guy, but they hide their vulnerability beneath a crust of misanthropy. They ease the pain by turning hurt into humor. . . . . . They attack maudlinism because it devalues genuine sentiment. . . . . . Nature, having failed to equip them with a servicable denial mechanism, has endowed them with astute perception and sly wit.
    Curmudgeons are mockers and debunkers whose bitterness is a symptom rather than a disease. They can’t compromise their standards and can’t manage the suspension of disbelief necessary for feigned cheerfulness. Their awareness is a curse.
    Perhaps curmudgeons have gotten a bad rap in the same way that the messenger is blamed for the message: They have the temerity to comment on the human condition without apology. They not only refuse to applaud mediocrity, they howl it down with morose glee. Their versions of the truth unsettle us, and we hold it against them, even though they soften it with humor. The person you’re describing is just a nasty piece of work

    • Good point. You are absolutely right. Sadly, many times people act more like jerks in the small situations than in situations where they might [arguably] have cause to do so lol. It did, however, make my day to see this employee bounce back. That is the BEST way to brush off rude people: by not giving them the satisfaction of seeing you negatively impacted. Also, I actually really like that definition. Thank you for showing my page a little love and for your post! I always enjoy seeing other viewpoints. 🙂

  2. Funny because I was at Walmart last night and watched as the guy in front of me cussed at the cashier because he wouldn’t sell him cigarettes because they’re not allowed to sell cigarettes to someone under 18… So I did the same thing and tried to brighten up the poor cashiers night.

    • hahahaha This is why I love you Audra. You are me in a dress haha lol. It is so crazy is it not? The things people get upset over. Like dude, you knew good and well that they are not allowed to sell (and you are not allowed to buy) before you are 18. Insane lol

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