Rudeness is one of my ultimate pet-peeves. I sometime expect rudeness from teenagers or somebody in their early twenties, for the fact that they are young and still learning to be part of a polite society.
But when a person of advanced years is rude it really gets my sporting blood boiling.
Recently, a woman came into the office here at the paper hoping to submit a photo and some short information on her organization's upcoming activity, which normally wouldn't be a problem.
In this case there was a slight bump in the road. It is the policy of the Chronicle Times to focus our time and resources on local news and to events and news in Cherokee County and the immediate area. There are, of course, several exceptions to this rule and the situation must warrant those exceptions.
The metaphorical bump in the road came for this woman when it was discovered that her event and organization was from another county.
I tried to explain to her that we do not usually cover events in that county but after examining the subject matter it may be something that would be relevant to our readers. The subject was something I felt that you readers may be interested in, but given the paper's policy on local focus, it fell in to a gray area and I was not about to lie to the lady and tell her we would put it in and later have the editor tell me otherwise.
So, I thought it best to tell here that I would defer an answer until my boss got in and looked over the material.
But before I got the chance to tell her that we would probably print it, she interrupted me and said "What's the problem? Don't you like news?" Then she suddenly turned away and started heading for the door. Before she exited the building she muttered, "I'm just trying to get people to come."
She heard what she wanted to and didn't like what she wanted to hear and stormed out in a hissy fit - much like a child who could not get their way.
The ironic part was the subject matter she was offering is also something I'm very passionate about and her chance of getting it in the paper would have been extremely probable, even though it was outside of our coverage area.
It's been my theory that rudeness spreads like a virus and I know that nobody is perfect and all of us have bad days. When you are rude to a person it really affects that person whether you know it or not. Most times you make a person angry and then that person keeps that viscous cycle alive.
I have a rule that one of my former bosses taught me when it comes to dealing with the public and it has served me well for these many years.
If a costumer goes away happy they might tell three of their friends about their experience with you, but if they go away mad they are going to tell 10 of their friend about their experience.
I've tried to incorporate that lesson in all aspects of my life but there are times when you have to say, "Hey, you're acting like a child and you need to grow up." When that happens I find they don't tell any of their friends.
So the next time you want something, try being a little nicer, respect the other person's opinion, and chances are that you could get what you want.