Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Bad Day or Systemic Rudeness?

I participated in an unusual event yesterday. I was playing golf with close friends. We were on the first tee of a reciprocal club to our own. That means when our club has a tournament or is closed, nearby clubs will grant a reciprocal play. That was the case yesterday.

There was a friendly chat on the first tee with a member of the club we were visiting and with his wife and their guest from another state. It was very friendly banter and it evolved around the member’s 65th birthday which he announced to the group.

On the seventh hole we met again for a quick conversation and my friend, a good golfer and a highly educated professor of languages from a nearby college said smilingly to the threesome, “I hope you folks are giving Jim an extra stroke or two for his birthday.”

That was it. We finished our round, had lunch and separately left the club to our respective cars.

The woman, the wife of the guy whose birthday it was, approached my friend and said: “It was very inappropriate for you to suggest we give my husband extra strokes for his birthday. It is not your business what goes on in his golf game and she continue to berate him for his intrusion into their game and seemingly their lives.

My friend was shocked.

So was I when the story was recounted to me.

These folks were heavily moneyed people; nothing wrong with that. They were people used to having the service that money provides from both servants and sycophants.

My friend was far more gracious than I think I would have been in a similar situation and he apologized for any offense perceived and that there was none intended. She did not accept his apology.

I bring this up in this post because sometimes, in my experience, people with wealth or power and even people who are poor or ignorant forget the feelings of others. Money and/or position can generate a false entitlement. Often an innocent comment or a misunderstanding or an offhand remark can be perceived as an affront especially when wealth insulates power from courtesy and reason from rudeness.

Everybody has a bad day once in awhile. But bad days are never an excuse to berate, belittle or demean another from what is perceived said or done.

I don't think that women will ever read this blog, but if she does; Get a life lady!

I told you I would not be as gracious as my friend.


Topher08 said...

Good for you on your comments. It is clearly systemic rudeness, for this supposed "lady" seems to think that her station in life constitutes the right for her to pass immediate judgment on people, therefore giving her free reign to harangue those she feels the need to berate. It is quite clear that your friend meant nothing but kindness and hope for a good day of golf by his comments. Systemic Rudeness looms large in the present day society, no matter where you were raised, currently reside or the socioeconomic makeup of the community in which you live, work, and play. What further appalls me is that this experience was ignited and fostered by someone who should be mature and seasoned enough to know better, someone of the age who should want to set a good example for those of us who are still being seasoned. You should be commended for your comment denoting to her to be a “lady”” rather than the slang term for a female dog, which she appears to be. This is a sad state of affairs to be sure.

I also enjoyed reading about your High School Reunion experience. I trust that you are grateful that you still have them and people with enough gumption to plan them. I am fast coming up on 20 and, I can tell you, we will not have one, because we could not find enough people to have a 10.

Take Care and Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said... seems that understanding, human kindness (as Judy Collins shared in her song - "human kindness is overflowing...") is in short supply. It is though it is more the pattern to be inconsiderate, overwrought, uncaring and unfeeling - because that is what the reality shows seem to suggest is common and/or is the way to interact with people - especially if you want something from them.

It used to be the Robber Barons practiced self-absorption and took advantage of others - then later in their life they decided that the end of their life was at hand - regret at leaving the world, of the way they treated people. Many people then just recognized that boorish behavior was not to be practiced, but pitied. a result of "reality television" it is no longer thought that being rude is boorish - it is to be aspired practice.

Would saying anything to that woman have changed her behavior - probably not. What can we do to stem the tide of bad behavior, self-centeredness?

Oops....I think I have missed the local I can see the next installment of rude behavior.


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