Wednesday, September 1, 2010

14w 3d post office

So I was at the post office and there was a crazy long line, but that's like the definition of "post office." That's like post office's middle name. "Hello, I'm Post You're-Going-To-Have-To-Wait-All-Afternoon-Because-Everyone's-On-A-Super-Long-Lunch-Break Office."

The slovenly fellow (strongly resembled a woodchuck wearing dishrags) who entered two people after me had obviously never been introduced to the Post Office's full legal name. He also had a number of other problems.

I'm fairly certain everyone in that room was a stranger to him, but that didn't stop him from greeting us all conversationally with, "Well, I see our government is hard at work."

Um. Yeah. We all know the type. He immediately followed that brilliant declaration with, "Yeah, and they want to take over health care, too. I'm sure they'll do a GREAT job." You could hear the pride he had in wielding his weaponized sarcasm.

So within 15 seconds of first laying eyes on woodchuck-man, we were treated as though we were his confidants (or followers?), as though this sort of spontaneous politicizing of an average moment was acceptable or expected.

After all, the ten (or so) of us in the room really wondered how he felt about government-run health care, and we were so readily convinced by his facts and rationale and calm, un-provoking manner. (See! I have sarcasm, too!)

Something so commonplace shouldn't bother me. And it really didn't, except that it stayed with me, which is much more acknowledgment than any Slovenly-Political-Genius deserves.

The worst part was the man who stood between me and Mr. Brilliant. He immediately assumed the role that was ascribed to him by the loudmouth. How often are we guilty of it? When the loudmouth starts spouting his ideals in a manner that says, "Right? Don't you agree?" how often do we nod and chuckle kindly to cover our discomfort and disagreement?

What I do, the best I can do, is pretend the guy isn't speaking at all.

When the loudmouth made a few more ignorant comments, the man between us compromised by quietly saying, "Not a happy camper, eh?"


So what's the right response?

1 comment:

  1. Meh, no great response. A subtle eyeroll? A deep sigh? A turned back? Maybe the man between you & loudmouth had the best response - acknowledging the guy was unhappy, but not confirming his agreement.