On Gentility (or the Lack Thereof)

The “Girls” Take a Stand

Just last week, two of us were heading for the counter at a CVS pharmacy.  It looked like a dead heat, but at the last moment, he swerved off to deposit something in a trash container, several steps away.  Now, with a clear path, I stepped to the counter and proceeded to order. But just as I began, he cut me off, thrusting himself ahead of me and interrupting, by saying to the clerk:  “I was next.” The clerk and I stared at him, shocked at his boldness.

It wasn’t a veiled question, as in, “I believe I was next?” It was more an order, as in “I’m next, so move out of my way.”

He was a tall man (6’2”), with a commanding personality, the kind of person who expects the world (especially women) to serve his needs.

I drawled it out:  “No-o, we both approached the counter at the same time and you left to throw something away. So, you’re not ahead of me.”  He was about to argue, when the young woman clerk said:  “And whatever happened to Ladies First?”

“Wow!” I thought.  “This is fun!”  She and I were tag-teaming him–an unexpected joy, in that I usually find myself alone, speaking up against these bozos.

Somewhat chastened, he back-pedaled and made no response. As if to end this stand-off at the Not-So-OK-Corral, another clerk came forward to wait on him.  The big guy ordered, got his prescription, and left…. in a blur. 

After he left, the young woman said:  “I’m not supposed to say anything (because she represents her store), but I can’t stand him.  He pulls that same behavior every time he’s here.”

And I thought:  Maybe next time he won’t be so cocky, because he just got shut down by two women who didn’t let him play his game. 

In an age when rudeness reigns, I was proud of my young accomplice.  She took a stand on fairness (risking corporate displeasure) and neutralized the offender, without piquing the man’s ire.  She handled him deftly, indeed.  

For, Biddy knows:  Small acts of bravery can effect BIG changes. That’s why, along with CNN’s publicly-acclaimed Heroes (who do BIG things), Biddy’s got her own Gallery of Stars.

She invites you to share…

About admin

A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog, kevinMD.com, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.