The idiot in the grocery store

29 06 2016

“When one burns one’s bridges, what a very nice fire it makes.” ~ Dylan Thomas

Yesterday, after having her ankle run into by the same woman’s shopping cart for the third time (while the woman loudly dropped f-bombs and worse cuss words over the cell phone), a woman in the next lane decided she had enough.  She turned around, and chewed out the offending idiot right in the checkout line – to the point that the “ankle-bruiser” burst out in tears and left.  At that point, the rest of the customers loudly applauded the woman with the abused ankles.  There’s a real satisfaction to finally having taken enough from someone, and unloading on them.  Telling them how X (stupid, rude, mean, selfish) they are has a certain cathartic feeling about it.  However, you should understand that when you light that fire, you probably won’t be able to put it out.

Leaders, never forget that you MAY have to work again with someone that you call out.  It could be a vendor, a teammate, or an employee.  Before pulling that trigger, remember that the shoe may be on the other foot someday, and when you go asking for a favor, you might get your face laughed at.  So, certainly, when it’s time to stop putting up with something unacceptable, say something.  Just know that if you don’t say it nicely, you should be sure that the bridge that you’re burning isn’t over a river you may need to cross one day.  On the other hand, sometimes idiots in the grocery store just need to be told a little bit about themselves.

Speaking of fire…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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