People who have to insist they are right - not about science, but have to vent (Aug/26/2008 )
So I took my kids to our State fair this morning, and we're on the midway doing one of those games where the person has to guess your weight, age, etc. My son was picking out his prize toy and wanted one of those squishy balls that you hook on your finger and bounce back and forth. I asked him to pick something else because I had bought him and his sister those toys before and they always break. The carny starts to argue with me. 'See its made of tough rubber that can never break', and she demonstates. I continue to insist that it will, and she continues to insist that she's right. She demonstrates some more, and guess what? She breaks the toy! Right in front of me! Then she accuses me of being disrespectful to her for saying that she's selling junk and further says that I'm setting a bad example for my kids. Now I never intended to offend her. All I wanted was for my son to have a toy that wouldn't break within one day. I tell her that I wasn't being disrespectful to her that I was only trying to teach my kids the value of a dollar. As a parent I've shelled out mega moula for toys that break break break! And I'm tired of it. I just wanted him to choose something else. I was not trying to be disrespectful to her for selling junk. I mean, come on, she's working at a fair which EVERYONE knows sells junk toys. I mean if it were me, and I had that job I'd be a little sympathetic to the parents who have to shell out all that money for their kids to have a good time (60$ for three hours of walking around in the hot sun). I would not be trying to convince them that my toys were superior to everyone else's, and I wouldn't take it personally if someone were to say that the toy wasn't worth it because everyone already knows that.
I don't know, maybe I'm being insensitive. Apparently she thought so because as we left, she then followed me continuing to argue with me, even said that she had guessed right and my kids shouldn't have gotten the toys anyway (which was an outright lie). I was really mad at this point and told her to take her toys back that I didn't want them, and threw them out of our cart. Still, she continues to argue with me, says that she'll get her boss to come out (did I really care to talk to her boss at this point?), and then goes on to tell me how she lost her 95,000$ a year job and that her father just died, and I'm the most disrespectful person on the planet. I told her that I was sorry for her bad luck, but really what can I say to her at this point that would make any difference? I finally told her to just leave me alone, to which she sarcastically replied 'have a nice life' and she gives me a little push on the back (hate to think what she would have done if my kids hadn't been there). Needless to say that my fun day at the fair was ruined. I was so rattled that I just left without doing anything more - the kids were tired anyway. But I keep thinking about it. Maybe I was insensitive and disrespectful, but I certainly didn't mean to be. My son asked me if I'm still mad at her, and I guess that I'm not because I imagine that she must be having a really hard time, and yet I still feel like I didn't deserve to be treated like that. I keep thinking that if she treats everyone like that, then its no wonder that she lost her job. Wish that I would have said that to her! But then she probably would have hit me for real.
Anyway, not looking for anyone to take my side, just needed to vent my frustration. I'm normally a very polite, non-confrontational type of person, and for someone to tell me that I'm horribly insensitive to the working class and furthermore to tell me that I'm a bad parent, well its just really eating at me.
Anyway, thanks for listening,
I would be the same type of person that you are, smu2. Such comments, even coming from such weirdos, hurt.
Now I can assure you that you were not insensitive. She started the whole thing! You were'nt even talking to her about the toys. She started to argue, then broke it, then blame you for the sad things that happened to her.. Bad times in life are no excuses to be such an a-hole.
Good luck with forgetting it
I don't think you were being insensitive by any means. You were just trying to get some good toy to your kids and then received a load of frustration from her. Don't feel bad. She started the whole thing, I mean, who follows some perfect stranger to keep an argument (not valid argument, considering she broke the toy and made YOUR point).
I was living in a very touristic city by the Caribbean beach a few years ago (sacrifices in life... ). For my accent and looks everyone could tell I was foreign (although that was my 8th year living there). I was walking with a friend of mine that happened to be visiting (also foreign too) and we were approached by some local guy wearing a hat. He was very nice and just out of the blue he began to explain "historic facts" of every venue or statue we walked by. As people in the Caribbean use to be very friendly we were just listening and talking with him. Half an hour later he said "Thank you very much. It's $35 dollars each) and we were like.... WHAT!?!?!?!?! So we explained him that we were not tourists, and that we did not carry 70 bucks just like that. And that we did not request his "guide services" (as he self proclaimed). He just began to talk with no advise of later charge whatsoever. The very moment we said that to him he blasted into cursing and arguing and saying we foreigns were there to rob poor people and such and such
Ohh, forgot to mention that he spent the whole half hour not only saying inaccurate facts about the venues, but also complimenting me for being pretty and having a pretty accent and this and that. But after he began to curse and complain of our "robbery and abuse" and right before leaving he said "and you are not so pretty!!! UGLY! UGLY! You look like a shark!"
Thanks for the support guys. The more that I think about it the more I think you're right. I told my husband about it when he got home, and he said that I WAS being insensitve (which actually I expected him to say because that's him), and that made me mad that he wasn't on my side. His reasoning was that it was her "business" and I had critisized her "product/integrity". He said that I should have said nothing at all or said it more quietly. As he said this, I realized just how absurd that sounded. I mean who can expect to be in any type of sales business and not get criticized about their product and/or service? Whatever happened to pleasing the customer and the customer always being right? I mean I had essentially paid for that toy and all I wanted was a quality product, not something that I knew was going to break the minute I got home. I wasn't being disrespectful to her at all. She just didn't like her new job and took my criticism too personally. I called my sister and told her about it, and she said that I was being way too nice. She thinks that I should have gone to the State Fair office to report her for harassing me, and she even said that she plans to do it if I don't (my sister is much more aggressive than I am). Actually my husband did say that I should have threatened to call in security when she started to follow me, and yes, I should have done that. I'm just not too good at handling those kinds of situations because it's so unexpected. Anyway, now I'm feeling like a wimp, an angry wimp, and I'm mad at my husband to boot.
It's a wild world out there and every one thinks differently. She must be venting too thinking of some lady coming with her kid and telling in front of her aloud that what she is selling is not a nice thing. . . ok once is ok, twice is ok .. but again and again . . . .. not just U. . she was with the same thing in the fair for whole day and many must have done the same to her the whole day.
Not your mistake because U were doing what U were supposed to be doing - teaching your kid value of a dollar. And she was reacting normally (or abnormally as it sounds) - venting her whole-day frustration. . it might not just be your act that provoked her but many biological, physical, social, and psychological factors that must have accumulated over time and U might be that unlucky trigger that had broken the threshold of her years of patience.
World would be a pleasant place if everyone thought alike but won't it be dull? - no body arguing after a presentation that what Ur results say are absolutely rubbish and needs major revision?
Then, then, then . . value of dollar is a lot but children should also learn from the beginning how to cope with the wild world. Your patience with this situation must have taught your kid that it is necessary to be patient. Good that you didn't turn mad at the person. Small fights and quarrels can give kids wrong impression that fighting is a solution when at times losing a dollar is better than winning a fight. Hope your sister does not take her kid with her when she goes
BTW, any idea what she used to do before this . . wondering if they still have vacancy.