You’ve been warned.
I should tell you that I was going to talk about positive things today: the lovely cool weather I met this morning, the fall leaves changing, all that. Instead, I’d like to discuss why women are rude to other women. We need to figure out why, lest I’m arrested for placing my hands around the lovely neck of the next woman that decides to be intolerably rude to me. I’ll start with what occurred earlier this morning: as I waited in line at the cafe at the OK Corral, I saw that one of the cafe employees was taking orders before we reach the register, in an effort to make the line go faster.
When it was my turn, I smiled at her.
She didn’t smile back.
I said good morning.
She replied by asking if she could help me.
I requested my muffin and paid, prepared to ignore this moment and chalk it up to the woman having a stressful, bad morning. I relate. I’ve been in both cafe/food service/customer service: it stinks. She simply didn’t feel like engaging me in morning niceties. Fine.
As I walked away from the register, I heard her cheerfully greet the gentleman behind me with a good morning (taking the initiative before he said a thing) and ask whether she could help him.
I stalked toward the elevator with steam rising from my collar. I was heated. She had the capacity to be nice. Polite. Courteous. Not cold. But she chose not to. Needless to say, my chalking up of her behavior to stress/customer service/bad day flew out of the window.
I would like to say that Madam Muffin’s behavior was an isolated incident. But it’s not. At least once a day, I deal with the rudeness of other women, particularly if a service is being rendered. Whether it’s a sourpuss behind a counter, a cold glance on the metro, so on and so unfortunately forth, I am daily baffled by the occasional (mostly facial) unkindness of strangers. It makes no sense to me. I don’t understand why another woman has to look you up and down as if the two of you are moments from heading into battle. Like I said before, in trying to reason away Madam Muffin’s rudeness, we all have bad days as women. I’ve talked about that. But what is the purpose of unsolicited glares in my direction? Or refusing to greet people? I won’t call myself the most polite person on the earth (there are a few maddening co-workers that, up until my recent adjust-your-attitude speech to myself, would hear crickets when greeting me in the morning), but I do try to be kind to people in the customer service industry, especially fellow women. A smile goes a long way when you’re surrounded by swells of people and their requests.
The question remains: why??
Let me know when you find the answer. Hopefully, it’ll come before I’m taken into police custody. Until then, if I should again cross paths with Madam Muffin, I’ll remain courteous and perhaps suggest that she run outside and take in some of that sweet autumn air. Goodness.