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  • Heidi Broecking

Bad behavior…WTF?


Welcome back to WTF?Day! It is a day I write about things that make me say WTF? and leave me scratching my head. Toddlers throwing temper tantrums or behaving badly does not surprise me. Pushing limits is normal for a three-ish year old person. They are trying to figure out what is acceptable behavior and what is not. It is our jobs as grown-up type people to draw lines and guide little people so they can learn to operate co-operatively in society.

So can someone PLEASE explain to me how a person (or people) can reach adulthood and have utterly no understanding of this concept? OR they simply consciously choose to behave like a child when something doesn't go their way? Seriously. I witnessed this behavior this week. It was pretty remarkable. I was in a waiting area at an office, as were about eight or so other people. A woman walked in to the waiting area, walked up to a worker and asked how long her wait would be. He responded that it would be about 20 to 30 minutes. She literally balled her fists up, stamped her right foot, huffed and sat down angrily. Apparently that is a thing, you can sit down in anger. Her eyes scanned the room, giving everyone the stink eye. Seriously, like on the playground. She was soon joined by a companion (who I had to assume was a family member based on their tolerance level) and immediately started to complain to them at different volume levels. Some quieter, some at volumes we were all treated to. The person tried to reason with her which only seemed to upset her more. At one point this was heard:

"This is ridiculous, I don't have time to wait like this!"

"Actually you do. And, all these people were here before you. So, you'll just have to wait you turn."

She slammed her still balled up fist on the arm of the chair and said, loud enough for eveyone to hear, "I know that and I know I should care that they're all waiting too, but I don't! I really don't. I just need to get this done with!"

Wow. Thanks for that. Maybe the rest of us will ask a few extra questions to extend your stay in the waiting room. Anyway, this went on for a few minutes. There was cajoling, hushed discussion, bargaining, until she finally settled into an uncomfortable and still angry silence. Her companion was basically behaving like a parent disciplining a child. She was behaving as everyone would have expected the ACTUAL four-year in the room to behave after waiting for 20-plus minutes.

That was just the first incident of the day. In my travels that day, there were numerous other exhibitions of "not good" behavior by adults that ranged from: letting a door close on someone; a guy stalking out of a line muttering and shoving past a woman; the near tantrum of the very-not-happy-miserable-lady in the waiting area. So WTF happened to good behavior? To behaving like, well, a grown-up? WhenTF did some of us become oversized children? I postulated in an earlier blog that the internet killed Emily Post, but this is different. Is this what people are talking about when they discuss how Donald Trump has tapped into some strange societal anger? Or is this all about impulse control? We don't have any anymore because we have become so used to instant gratification on the computer machine? Want to buy something? Amazon! Want to watch something? Netflix! Want to talk to someone? Text them! Or...are they just examples of some people who are utterly and completely unaware of their behavior? Or are they just plain old selfish? I honestly don't know. But what I DO know is that some of us are behaving like total assholes to the rest of us, and they really need to stop.


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