Our most sincere apologies for not updating on our regular schedule.  To be very honest, the gentleman has finished his undergrad and is now a certified philosopher and there has been much celebrating.  I have taken some extra shifts at work to squeeze some extra cash out of them before I have to go to school, and … well … honestly, I’m a big fan of NCIS and I’m catching up on all my favourite bad TV shows before they come back in September.  I’m very sorry.

The other day at work I was helping a customer who was being incredibly rude to me, the sales associate.  He was being very loud and everyone was staring at the two of us as we duked it out, one of us attempting to adhere to the rules of retail, and the other trying to revise the rules of retail.  After he had left, one of my coworkers began to say, loudly that if they were the ones dealing with this customer, he would have gone away happy within ten seconds, and there would have been no problems.  This bothered me because I believed that my coworker was belittling me for adhering to our store rules, and doing so loudly in front of customers and my coworkers.  I considered this incredibly rude and I tried very hard to stay calm, but ultimately I ended up doing something I rarely ever do in public.  I lost my temper, and I lost it hard and fast.

I turned to my coworker snapped at him and gave him a three second lecture (in front of another customer) on the importance of support within a team, and decorum in general.  I then turned to the new customer, apologized and resumed my work, still seething while all my co-workers stood in shock at an outburst never before experienced by anyone outside of my hot-headed theatre life, or my immediate family.

My co-workers generally stayed out of my way all day, and if I asked for something trivial, like extra staples for the stapler, they were handed to me quickly and quietly without complaint.  However, for the rest of the day I felt awful, because although my coworker to my understanding had not conducted himself properly, neither had I, and thus no one was better than the other.   It got me thinking that lady-like behavior is very difficult, even if you believe you are defending your own dignity and that your outburst was justified.  Justified or not, my outburst could have happened privately, and my coworker could have apologized on his own time to my others for being loud and behaving badly.  It didn’t have to be the way that it was, and there wouldn’t be awkwardness between us, if one of us had kept his/her wits about them.

Though you may feel that you are justified in acting out, and stepping away from proper polite behaviour, count to ten and ask yourself whether or not it will be worth it in the end.  After discussing this with the Gentleman, the conclusion we came to where it is okay to not behave in a lady-like, or gentlemanly fashion is when yourself or another is being harmed in such a way that a polite discussion will not solve the problem.

Something inside of me thinks there’s more to this though.  Any thoughts?