NEWS BLOG (WSAU) A radio station I used to work at was on the top floor of a downtown high rise.
We had one person, the maintenance man, who always smoked in the elevator. He walked around like he owned the building. No one dared say anything.
On my last day there, I finally spoke up. I wished I did earlier. “The confrontation” took place as we both got off on the ground floor while I was carrying a box of personal items from my desk. I’m sure he didn’t stop smoking in the elevator. But I felt better after saying something.
So I understand where the anger is coming from when there’s a confrontation at the grocery store check-out line. (Read the story here: http://tinyurl.com/3yn54w2)
There is a grocery store in my neighborhood that very often doesn’t have enough check-out lanes open in the late afternoon. I was buying just milk and eggs – two items – and the woman in front of me had a cart-load of 20 items or more. I was giving her the look of daggers, but didn’t say anything.
She paid in cash, and didn’t have enough money. She searched her change purse, and then her handbag, looking for dimes and nickels. It seemed to take forever. She ended up 50-cents or so short, and the store clerk let her slide.
I walked past her in the parking lot. “If you’re going to use the wrong lane, could you at least have enough money to pay for it?” I asked. She slinked away to her car. Confrontation over. It was somewhat therapeutic for me.
When someone smokes in an elevator, their unspoken message is “my pleasure from smoking is more important than your health and comfort.”
When someone cheats on the ten-items-or-less line, they’re really saying “my time is more important than yours.”
Both messages are selfish and should be confronted. Just don’t get yourself a disorderly conduct fine.
Operations Manager, Midwest Communications-Wausau