Sunday, November 02, 2008

Out of Character

I'm not sure whether it's because of my profession or in spite of it, but for some reason, I have evolved into a particularly non-confrontational person. Unless it's of dire importance, I generally let things go -- or, at worst, passive-aggressively complain after the fact.

So, if, for example, someone cuts in front of me in a line, my general reaction is to let them do it. Sometimes I'll turn to the person behind me and say something loud enough for others to hear like "I don't understand why people think they're too important to wait in line," but more often than not, I'll just let it happen and quietly stew.

On Friday, however, I stood up for myself. I was on line to put my name on the list for a table at a busy (and somewhat overrated) restaurant about 90 minutes before the Coldplay concert. Some girl pushed in front of me to get to the hostess stand. Initially I thought that they had called her name for a table, but when she got up to the front, she was putting her name on the list -- the same thing I had been waiting to do, the same thing the girl in front of me had been waiting to do.

It only took me a second to decide to put an end to it. I took a step over to the side and said "Did you actually just push me out of the way to put your name on the list?"

She said, "Oh, I didn't know I did that."

I said "How did you not realize it when you physically pushed me out of the way?"

The hostess had no choice. She took the name of the girl that was really in line in front of me, and then my name. The girl who cut in front? Well, she didn't get her name on the list, and left in a huff, clearly embarrassed.

And I felt vindicated. Maybe I should stand up for myself more often.


tingb said...

You know, I've noticed this about myself recently. I feel like I roll over in situations where previously I would have put up a fight, and then something like the Comcast debacle comes up and I go after them 100%.

Maybe I have a better screening mechanism for fights worth fighting? Maybe I'm just tired.

In any event, it's nice to have a victory like yours every once in a while.

dara said...

I still have no idea why I said something. Most of the time I keep quiet, allegedly because I'm "picking my battles" -- but really it's just a lack of initiative or motivation.

But yeah, the victory felt good -- even if we still had to wait 45 minutes for our table.

Later, I told my friend that it felt like I was channeling my mother. She would NEVER let someone push their way in front of her without giving them a piece of her mind.

Sara said...

The other day I was standing in a long line waiting to check out behind some poor woman with more kids than remaining nerves. They finally open another register and woman behind us darts over to check out first. I said to the woman in front of me "geeze, apparently some people feel their time is more valuable than the rest of ours” at which point the line cutter yells "are you talking about me". Normally I would have held my head in shame but instead I said, "yes, this woman in front of me has been waiting for almost twenty minutes, I think what you did was rude." She stormed out in a huff. But really, what is wrong with people! Sorry, this is a long comment but you really struck a nerve with this post.

dara said...

Sara, that actually sounds like what I would normally do. But quieter. :)