When it comes to human interactions, I’m no master. I’m not perfect, and I think I make more mistakes in a week than the average guy. Along with having some rude things done to me, I’ve done some pretty rude deeds myself. When I think back, though, I am reminded of one instance, in particular.
Back in my undergrad years, I worked a few different jobs on campus. The instance, I recall, took place at the school library. I was working as a circulation assistant, which meant that I put the books away when people returned them. I enjoyed the job for the most part; it was quite until they installed a library café. I had the chance to get some homework done, and patrons rarely had complaints.
Anyway, I was shelving some fiction books, and I heard a girl’s voice calling out to me. I’m pretty sure it was to me because I was alone in a back aisle and no one else was around. But I didn’t answer her for two reasons. The first was that I was in a bad mood that day and against my natural personae, I couldn’t be bothered with people. The second reason was that she didn’t say ‘excuse me’. Instead, she said ‘yo’, which bothers me because it’s not my name. She said it in such a way that demanded immediate attention, but I was upset by her rudeness, so I ignored her.
She came closer and said ‘yo’ a few more times, to which I continued to do my job. Finally, the girl said ‘excuse me’, and I acknowledged her. She was looking for Fences by August Wilson, and I fought my smile back. I was in a section that was mainly scripts and screenplays, and the book I was holding happened to be the one she was looking for. Instead of handing her the book, I toyed with her; I was still bitter about being called ‘yo’.
I held the cover of the book so that it was facing her, but she hadn’t noticed. I was surprised that the word ‘fences’ didn’t jump out at her, but I directed her to the front desk in hopes that they would help her find the book that I practically held in front of her face. By the time they sent her back up to the section, I finished my rounds and was back at my computer, watching Fifth Element.
Granted, I felt a bit of remorse after it happened because it WAS quite rude of me to mess with her like that. At the time, I was having fun, but I should have just helped her and moved on. Honestly, I don’t feel that bad about it. She didn’t have her eyes open, so to speak, and it could have saved her a lot of hassle if she did. And it wouldn’t have hurt if she just said ‘excuse me’ in the first place. Among the good and bad things I’ve done, that stands out to me as the rudest thing I’ve ever done.