Every once in a while, we have occasion to reflect on what sorts of behavior are truly unacceptable, and which are more like petty indignities that, while offensive or unpleasant, are unfortunately part of living and/or working in a big city. It sucks that we have to put up with them, but there's nothing you can reasonably or safely do about them without being a jerk (or worse) yourself. Pushy people on the train? MUNI late (again!)? The woman who won't stop discussing the ailments plaguing every single member of her large extended family? Fellow citizens who are as yet unaware of the wonders of deodorant? The scary dude two seats away? Let it roll off your back and stand at the other end of the car. It isn't the big deal it feels like, and besides. You haven't had your coffee yet.
Being yelled at by someone, especially at work, is an obvious example of something that is truly outrageous and unacceptable. Beyond the pale. Fortunately, it only happened to me once, and it was one of those things in which the yeller had clearly lost his shit and made himself so ridiculous, that even as a fleck of spittle flew in slo-mo out of his mouth and toward my forehead, I was very tempted to laugh. I had no qualms about rearing up to my full 5'2" inches to get nose to chin with the guy and tell him he was wrong, I was quitting, and P.S., telling a colleague that you and I are running away together is sexual harassment. Done.
Here's the thing I think is worse than that: being spoken to as if I am the dumbest person in the world. In the tone you would probably reserve for the one you think the most dull-witted among your household staff. The one whose mopping skills you would viciously criticize even though you've never mopped yourself. You on your cellphone, walking next to one of our colleagues, and me at my desk in total stupefaction. There's really no defense to that kind of tirade. I went for a sincere-sounding but not obsequious apology with a dash of genuine astonishment. After hanging up, I cried. I dried up. I went to the train station, whereupon I asked the guy at the shop which of the Johnnie Walker minis was better, and by the way, I'll have a Sierra Nevada as well.
I was still too rattled to read (I'd also left my ipod at home), but I happened to have knitting in my bag -- another sushi wallet for a gift. I brought it to find a matching zipper at Britex, and now it was here to keep me occupied until I got home.
I don't talk much about work on the blog, so you'll have to trust me when I say that the phone episode is one facet of a larger issue. I feel better now, but I think I'll take the cue from Rabbitch's sandwich.
Good weekend ahead, though. Tomorrow is the baby shower for the recipient of the BSJ and Embellished Hat, and I can't wait to watch her open them.