Makes Ya Wanna Go Hmmm...
I was standing at the post office counter when a man tapped me on the shoulder. "You're a client." My look must have indicated to him I was going to require more explanation, so he continued, "You're talking on the cell phone - that's rude."
I looked at the customer service representative (CSR) who was serving me and asked, "Ma'am, am I offending you?"
She glanced at the man, then back at me, grinned and said, "No. You are giving me the attention I need when I need it. Plus I'm learning about the movie."
I'm certain the man meant well. I do understand his premise. From my perspective, he was acting from a place of misinformation, which made his assumption inaccurate and his action inappropriate.
I was talking to my sister. While waiting in line, I let her know that I was at the post office and I may need to abruptly stop our conversation to interact with the CSR. I felt comfortable doing this because she's my sister, but also because our conversation at the time was one-sided (I was telling her about a movie I'd seen), so an interruption in our conversation would be minimally disruptive. Also, my transaction was a simple one that was going to be brief and wasn't going to require much interaction.
In order to reprimand me for my inattention to my CSR, he had to interrupt three interactions:
- He interrupted his own transaction with his CSR to inform me I was being rude to mine.
- He interrupted my conversation with my sister.
- He interrupted my interaction with my CSR.
While I'm sure this man thought he was doing a good deed, I was confused as to how he could justify three rude interactions on his part to point out one rude interaction on my part. Even if I had been offending the CSR, how could his three wrongs make a right?
It's so easy to see a scenario and assume we know what is best. It's important to remember that not everyone holds the same values as we do. Gathering all the facts before deciding to act will ensure our involvement is appropriate and appreciated.