As I was in the middle of preparing tonight’s dinner (or supper, depending on the region you belong to), the phone rang. The area code was one which I recognized, and which I anticipated a call back from, so I answered the call. My “hello” was met with a fast paced presentation about solar energy and the “absolutely free cost for installation” provided from the government, should I qualify. The man on the line then said, “Now I’m going to ask you several questions. First…” At that point I went in for the kill! “I need to stop you right there! What did you say your name was? Well Mark, I do believe the appropriate way to proceed, before telling me you are going to ask me questions, is to first ask me if I am interested in being a candidate.” To which I said, after he asked, “No”. And he said, “Well … we are supposed to…”no?”…well then goodbye!” —CLICK—
I’m thinking that Mr. Mark has never had a lesson in courtesy. At least that is the idea I have decided to land on. I was honestly ready to give him a good lesson, but he was so confounded by my interruption of his script, or re-direction rather, that his best response was to hang up. No matter to me. I was cooking and prepping food which is always nice to do two handed (instead of holding the phone with one hand).
And I would have left the incident there, instead of bringing up here, but the topic of courtesy–or lack thereof–has really been heavy on my mind as of late. For instance, today when driving up to Long Beach I had the unpleasant experience of having a car speed up upon seeing my indicator light flash, signaling my move to the next lane. I had, upon depression of the switch, plenty of room to move over until the car sped up with intent to block my indicated lane change. Now since I couldn’t drag the driver to the side of the road and give him a proper lesson in courtesy, and since I couldn’t legally disable his rear tire by way of assistance from a firearm, I was left with only one choice. I moved into the lane I had indicated I was going to move into as if the discourtesy of the other driver was in no manner affecting my action. In other words, I arrogantly moved over into the lane as if to say, “go ahead, hit me–you ass!” I think my confidence (call it what you will, but I will hang on confidence), stems from driving classic cars…they can withstand a bumping into without sustaining significant damage. The only problem–I wasn’t driving one of my classics at the time. I was in a new fan-dangled plastic bumper-ed car. And though, thankfully, I was not hit nor did I cause an accident of any kind, my action did force the other driver to hit his brakes because I (in a vehicle of course) was now in his face.
I realize that in both of my anecdota one could argue the infraction lies in my response…as I appear to be a little too tightly wound. To which I concur (to being tightly wound), though I will not accept the title of, discourteous. Let me explain.
The salesman, Mr. Mark, knowingly cold-called my number at the dinner hour. Without knowing anything about who he was calling, he brazenly proceeded without gaining the proper introductions and permission to do so. And truly, had Mark come across with an ounce of consideration, I would have heard him out or suggested a better time to try back. Had the conversation begun something like, “Good evening. I am sorry to interrupt your day, but may I have your permission to discuss an exciting opportunity for you to be given solar energy?”, I would have been more receptive to his information…honestly!
And as far as driving…
You can consider me the type of driver who doesn’t believe in speeds less than 65mph. That is right, Sammy Hagar and his ‘I can’t drive 55’ has nothing on me, cause 65 is my minimum! But even so, should you activate your indicator light to move over to my lane, I will make way for you. And though I prefer my way on the road be uninterrupted and in a constant forward motion, I will change my lane or adjust my acceleration, in order to accommodate the understood request presented by either your right or left flasher.
To me, consideration of others is an action we are each obligated to bestow, and an action we are obliged to receive. And because I do consider others while driving, or calling, or interacting; and also because I am wound super tight…I feel compelled to instruct by passive or not so passive means. After all, the coined term is “common courtesy”…though today it is appearing to be ‘not so common’.
Oy vay, write about a subject of this kind and watch out! …I am opening myself up to having all of my ‘missteps’ listed out before me. Bring it on, I say; bring it on. 🙂