Two customers got into a fight today that started over a chair. That’s all, a chair.

No really.

So now I’m thinking a lot about the things people spend their energy on and remembering a couple of things that have happened in my life fairly recently.

Last Sunday Netter and I were shoe shopping. I found a pair that I wanted to try on and was attempting to find the correct box number and size when a voice behind me said: “Excuse me.” Thinking I was blocking the aisle I quickly grabbed the box I thought I needed and stepped aside only to have this older gentleman step around me to stand exactly where I had been to look for  his own shoes. Apparently, I had taken too long and clearly he thought it was his turn. I glanced down to see if I had actually grabbed the correct box, (I had) looked at the man and said: “Really?” and walked away.

He shouted after me: “What? What did you say? Excuse me. What?”

I just ignored him and walked away. I thought what he’d done was rude, but I wasn’t going to get into an argument about it.

I thought.

It turns out he was trying on shoes directly behind the pole where Netter and I were trying on shoes. As he walked toward us he caught my eye and was staring at me intently. I think they called it “Mean Mugging.”

So I said: “I said ‘really’ because I thought what you did was rude.”
He said: “You were just standing there blocking.”
I said: “I was looking for a pair of shoes, but apparently you are more important than everybody else and your turn comes first.”
He said: “Well, if you want to talk about rude...”

It occurred to me at this moment that this was really silly and we could go back and forth arguing about it all day. So I stopped him: “Do you want to fight about it?” I asked.

He replied: “Well, I don’t want to fight about it, but...”

I cut him off and said: “Well then back off.”

And he did.

I felt bad about the situation and worried all day. Should I apologize to him before I left the store? Should I just chalk it up to a misunderstanding? Should I apologize for the misunderstanding? On and on. The whole thing weighed on my mind. I was spending a ton of energy worrying about a disagreement over picking out shoes.


During football season last year Netter and I were out at a restaurant watching games and having dinner. On one screen was the game I had all my football pool hopes on. It was the very end of the game and another patron stopped directly in front of me blocking the screen.


I waited a few seconds and said: “Hey Bud you make a better door than you do a window,” which was one of those funny things my parents always said to me, but apparently this fella didn’t think  was very funny. He wheeled around and proceeded to try and pick a fight with me, swearing and carrying on.

Don’t worry. We didn’t fight, but really a fight about watching a football game. Not even playing, but watching.


Obviously, I can be just as guilty as the next guy, but in the long run don’t we all have more important things, bigger issues and such to spend our energy on?

Just some food for thought.

What do you think?


WineLover said...

I think that usually it's not that specific situation that sets us off (though it does get tiring dealing with rude, insensitive people) but rather the other stressors that we have going on in our life...
I always feel bad in situations like that, unless that person was a true a$$!!

Jim Brochowski said...

I think you're right about stressors.

The shoe gentleman was probably as frustrated as I was. We were both not having a lot of luck finding shoes.

The football guy I think was drunk - and his team was losing.

Cat said...

I miss the days when you sat in a chair and a kind person with good customer service skills went into a curtained back room to find your shoes for you. It was a treat to shop for shoes, where now it's stressful and aggravating. Sure, we're not paying for that service anymore and the shoes are less expensive, but the experience always seems cheap to me, and it is never satisfying, even if the other customers aren't rude.