Etiquette Is Your Friend When You Are Tempted To Behave Like An Idiot

by admin on April 14, 2011

My husband and I married when our financial circumstances were far less than what they are today. Therefore we had a wedding on a beer budget and while it was a lovely day, we cut a lot of corners. One of those was in our wedding band. I chose a very inexpensive, thin band that cost very little. Four years later, the band cracked and broke-possibly because I had insisted on wearing it throughout my recent pregnancy even as my fingers reached sausage-like proportions. Inexpensive or not, I was devastated as it was the ring that made me my husband’s wife and the sentimental value was far higher than the monetary one.

As things had improved for us financially, my husband wanted to buy me a nicer band and so we went to a jewelry store that, while a chain store, has a local reputation for being upscale and very customer service oriented. We were waited on by a wonderful older man who not only spent ample time showing us our options but also offered to repair my broken ring free of charge so that I could wear it on a chain and continue to keep it close. He was a wonderful sales person. However, his co-worker, in my opinion, deserves residency in e-Hell.

As I mentioned earlier, we had a young baby. We had her with us during the entire transaction. I do recall now hearing the lady behind the counter sniff loudly and even got a bit of a glare from her bit I assumed it was because I had brought my 2 month old into her store. I honestly understood her feelings and if I’d felt my daughter was being disruptive I would have left but she was asleep in her baby carrier the entire time we were in the store. It was only when I was trying on a few bands to decide the style I liked best that she made her true feelings known.

“Better late than never, huh?” She said. I wasn’t sure she was talking to me but when I looked up she was gesturing to my sleeping daughter. I was so shocked I said nothing but she continued, “No one seems to wait anymore. Oh well, guess you’re doing the right thing now.”

She wandered off, unaware of the stunned trio-myself, my husband and her co-worker-she’d left in her wake. If not for the excellent service the clerk who helped is had already supplied I would have left immediately. Whether or not my child-or anyone else’s- was born out of wedlock was not her concern. 0411-11

This is one of those situations in that while etiquette allows each person to have an opinion on a matter , following etiquette would have prevented the public revelation that the sales woman has a perverse predisposition for making incorrect presumptions.  Etiquette is your friend  when you tempted to behave like an idiot.

Unless one’s opinions are actively solicited regarding another person’s personal affairs,  there really is no good time to spew negative opinions about another person unbidden, particularly someone with which one has the barest of relationships.

{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

Marlene April 14, 2011 at 9:38 am

That is truly heinous. I applaud the OP for keeping her cool, but you’ve really gotta wonder what kind of society we’re living in when people think every opinion is not only worthy of speaking, but deserves to be heard. (I personally blame social networking sites, especially FB and Twitter for this kind of stuff, but this particular sales lady just sounds like an uncouth creep.)

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DGS April 14, 2011 at 9:46 am

This is one of those situations where I would fervently wish that people would come with a pause and or a mute button, as this saleslady richly deserved to be paused or muted. You know what they say about the word “assume” – it makes a donkey out of you and me…

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Michelle P April 14, 2011 at 10:11 am

Unbelievable. I would have filed a complaint with a higher-up, while emphasizing how great the other salesman was. Admin is right as always.

Decades ago, I was pregnant and lost the baby. A few years later, I was pregnant again. Apparently in my chart the first pregnancy lost was interpreted and filed as an abortion. When I was in with the Ob/gyn, he asked how far along I was in the first pregnancy. When I answered about thirteen weeks, his answer was, verbatim, “Jesus Christ! You took that long to make up your mind to kill it?” I was so flabbergasted I couldn’t speak. The nurse gave me an apologetic look. Never did correct him, I just stopped going there.

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Allie April 14, 2011 at 10:11 am

Presumably her co-worker filled her in on her egregious error after the OP and her husband left. Gosh, how I would have loved to be a fly on the wall during that conversation!

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Wink-n-Smile April 14, 2011 at 10:16 am

My parents went through 5 sets of wedding rings over the course of their marriage. Now they are wearing non-matching rings, just because they each like what they found.

Any GOOD jeweler would know that people swap out rings a lot. Fingers change size. Hands get caught in doors, thus smashing the ring. Mechanics sometimes forget to take off the ring before work. Bowlers sometimes forget to take off the round ring, and end up with an ovoid one.

In other words, jewelry gets damaged, or otherwise becomes no longer usable for its original purpose. Therefore, getting new rings is really quite common.

I gather that this woman hasn’t been working jewelry for long, or she’d know that. And if she’s been working retail for any length of time, I’m shocked that she would think it was 1) any of her business if the couple HAD been “living in sin” or 2) good enough reason to jeopardize the client/store relationship.

She simply did NOT think.

Other reasons for her to be in the wrong. The couple could have been babysitting. The couple could have consisted of a widow/widower and the new spouse, who generously accepts the baby from the previous marriage. The woman might have been raped, and chose to keep the baby, rather than punish the child for the sin of the father. ALL of these explanations are the most morally upright situations that the most fundamental Christian would revere. So, really, she should have given them the benefit of the doubt.

Even if she was actually ordained by God to call others to repentance, she should have first ascertained that there really WAS a sin for which they needed to repent.

I’m glad her co-worker witnessed this. He probably reported her to management, so she could get some training.

The admin is right. She behaved like an idiot. And even if she had been absolutely right, etiquette would have demanded she keep her trap shut on the subject.

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ferretrick April 14, 2011 at 10:20 am

” Etiquette is your friend when you tempted to behave like an idiot.”

Or when you are trying to get someone to spend the money that will pay your salary. Duh. I hope the other salesman apologized for his coworker, and then he or you reported it to management.

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Xtina April 14, 2011 at 10:24 am

That’s an *awful* thing to say. Even if the clerk had correctly identified the OP’s situation–which she obviously did not–that kind of comment is NEVER appropriate, no matter the circumstances. One’s opinion in such matters should be kept to oneself, unless it is asked for.

Perhaps the OP should have smiled sweetly at the employee and said something like, “Yes, isn’t it nice that my husband is finally replacing this old wedding band to celebrate our [x] wedding anniversary?”

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Reds April 14, 2011 at 10:35 am

This is off topic but it reminded me so much of one of my experiences that i have to laugh.
When i was 17 i was with my father on some errands and one was to a RV dealership to check in his trailer because it needed repairs. I was waiting in the truck because a book was more important than the business that he was conducting. When i glanced up I saw an older lady, mid to late fifties, was glaring at me. I couldnt understand what i did but after she stared at me for about 15 mins my mom arrived to pick me up. When i transfered from my dad’s truck to my mom’s vehicle i looked at the older lady again and she was blushing bright red and wouldnt look back at me. I guess she jumped to the conculsion that i was the much second “wife”.

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Jen April 14, 2011 at 10:35 am

My sister and her boyfriend have two children. They made the decision not to get married for their own reasons, even though they function for all intents and purposes as a married couple. Once she became visibly pregnant, the nasty comments from complete strangers became so much for her that she actually bought a fake ring to wear in public so that she would be left alone.

I also found it amusing that my thrice married father vocally disapproved of her marital status.

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Ashley April 14, 2011 at 10:45 am

Wow…I hope the man who was helping you and knew what the situation was bothered to set her straight after you left. Or did he not hear any of it? Regardless of who heard it, it was wrong of her to say. She should know that people upgrade rings, or things need fixing and stuff of that nature. So why her mind automatically decided to make the “Ew, unwed couple with a baby” comments, I will never know. It isn’t her business when you had that baby, and she works in a jewelery store, she of all people should know that jewelery breaks and sometimes needs repairing/upgrading.

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many bells down April 14, 2011 at 10:47 am

My goodness, Michelle, I would have ripped that doctor a new one. What a horrible person.

When my daughter was 3 or 4 months old, I was in the grocery store with my mother. I had just checked out, and was waiting for her, leaning on my daughter’s stroller. An elderly man came up to me, gestured at the stroller, and said “You should be in there.”

At first, I thought he just meant I looked tired. I look significantly younger than my actual age, however, and having chubby-post-pregnancy cheeks wasn’t helping. It wasn’t until my mother rejoined me that I realized the man was saying I looked like an infant that had no business with a baby. I was 24 years old and married – and also unable to wear my ring due to fat pregnant fingers.

It happened to me a lot, especially when I was breastfeeding. Sadly, it still happens today. My daughter is 13 now and most people guess my age at mid-20’s, so the default assumption seems to be that I was a teenage mother.

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1st-Time Mommy April 14, 2011 at 10:48 am

You would think, given her profession, she would also have been aware of the fact that people often don’t wear their rings throughout pregnancy, due to the OP’s aforementioned finger-swelling.

I ran into this issue quite a bit when I was pregnant with my son and had to stop wearing my rings. I got very sick of the comments people made when they observed my “family way” and saw no ring on my finger. Even the condolences and offerings of sympathy I found rude and invasive, however well-intentioned.

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Hal April 14, 2011 at 10:54 am

My wife and I married in similar circumstances as the OP. We had 14k rings. Later things improved quite a bit. We had a jeweler with whom we did much business over the years. He sold us several pieces and designed and manufactured things for us, as well. When we mentioned we wished we could replace our wedding rings with 18k gold but were too sentimentally attached to them he offered a solution which we accepted. He took both rings and melted them together and added enough gold to bring the up to the 18k+ standard and refashioned the gold into two rings. Then he engraved them as we directed. We very much enjoyed wearing them. We had a little ceremony replacing them on one another’s hand. Now we have the intermingled gold and the additional gold on each other’s hand. Very symbolic of our life together. Of course, we had complete trust in the jeweler.

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Sarah W. April 14, 2011 at 10:55 am

I would have complained to her manager right away. That is completely inappropriate behavior for a customer service agent, and she should have been severely reprimanded.

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Caper April 14, 2011 at 10:57 am

Oh dear, I’m angry on your behalf >:(

I really hope you got her name and reported her to her superiors. She has no place working in the customer service industry with a judgmental attitude such as that.

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The Elf April 14, 2011 at 11:00 am

What fascinates me is that this was a business transaction. Presumably, the woman gets commission or at least has a vested interest in continued business at her company. In what way would her comment have increased business? She should have kept her comment to herself because it was rude, true, but also because it was poor business.

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admin April 14, 2011 at 11:30 am

Elf,

It did cross my thought that the saleswoman’s comments to the customer are really secondary to what is really going on, i.e. jealousy towards her co-worker who is getting the sale commission or possibly her unhappiness about another area of life just happens to bubble out at a safe and convenient target.

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The Elf April 14, 2011 at 11:05 am

Marlene, I would also look to internet culture (including sites like this one!) as a reason we like to voice our opinions so frequently and publicly. The difference is that some people learn that there acceptable ways to do this (here) and unacceptable (to your customers). Others never do figure it out.

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Laura April 14, 2011 at 11:08 am

I hope that the OP reported this incident to the chain.

Michele P, I am sorry for your loss and for what that Dr. said to you! There are no words.

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ashley April 14, 2011 at 11:16 am

I agree with Michelle, I would have filed a complaint as well while complimenting the sales clerk on his excellent service. Good behavior deserves to be acknowledged and rewarded while bad or idiotic behavior needs to be pointed out and corrected. Otherwise that leaves the co-worker in this story free to pass even more hurtful judgements and assumptions on other customers which could hurt her businesses good reputation.

On another note, I don’t know why some people feel that their opinion, no matter how hurtful, rude, stupid, or however true they think it is must be spoken out. There’s really no harm keeping it to yourself and sparing others from hurt feelings and embarrasment.

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Michelle P April 14, 2011 at 11:50 am

Thanks Laura, and many bells down. It was difficult not, and still hurts, as I blamed myself, but my second child is now a healthy and beautiful girl.

Amen, Elf and Ashley. There seems to be no restrictions on what people say anymore, especially on the internet.

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A April 14, 2011 at 11:59 am

Wow…I hope the OP’s salesperson set that lady straight later on. I’d also have made a complaint to a manager or another higher-up.

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AS April 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm

This story made my blood boil, and after reading the follow up story by Michelle P., I think my blood has evaporated! This other sales woman is first of all judgmental; then she jumped into conclusions, and seals off by making snide remark – that too to a customer. I agree with some of the other posters – maybe OP could have let the chain know about this comment while praising the gentleman who helped them out (if it is not too long ago, maybe you can still do it). Who knows how many customers the store is losing because of an awful sales woman like her.

Michelle P., first of all, I am sorry for your loss. I am glad you never went back to that doctor. I think a lost baby is technically called an abortion. It is just not deliberate abortion. Of all the people, an OBGY is supposed to know that before saying hurtful things.

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Sarah Jane April 14, 2011 at 12:19 pm

I don’t understand why some people allow presumptions of what they consider the worst possible scenario to come to the forefront of their minds. Or why they waste any of their previous time thinking about it, let alone speak of it.

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Enna April 14, 2011 at 12:29 pm

OP that is shocking what the saleswoman did – Admin is right here. Hope the other salesman gave his collegue some serious constructive critisim. My Mum has gone through several wedding rings as she suffers water retention.

@ Wink-o-Smile: yes there are so many situations that could explain it. I’d also add that even if the child was concieved out of wedlock at least the parents/mum were taking responsiblity for their sins/actions and in my personal view they redeem themseleves that way.

@ Michelle P: what an insensative things to say to you: hope the nurse reported him to his superior and he was brought up for it that he got his facts wrong and also used the wrong attitude. Some women don’t find out they are pregnant until the are 13 + weeks and there are certain cirustances where a termination maybe the only option. What would be that idot’s reaction to a woman who had a termination due to serious/fatal medical reasons such as an etopic pregnancy? For some rape victims being impregnanted by the sick rapist causes them serious psychological trauma that they can’t cope with the pregnancy or baby.

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samihami April 14, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Reminds me of the time when I was 16ish and was babysitting a 3 year old. I had taken him to the store and while standing in the checkout line some man looked me up and down and berated me for having a child when I was obviously much too young. I was stunned, and a teenager, so I admit I did not respond in an e-hell approved way. As I recall my response was something to the effect of strangers needing to keep their big fat noses out of other peoples’ business. No way was I going to tell him that I was just babysitting for someone else…none of his business! And then the precious 3 year old called me mommy…gotta love the tykes!!!

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Brenda April 14, 2011 at 12:53 pm

@Michelle, that doctor was evil and cruel and should be reported to the insurance provider and the local medical board. Miscarriages are medically referred to as “spontaneous abortions.” Whoever wrote it in the chart may not have written it out clearly, or the doctor misread it. Doesn’t matter, his behavior was heinous.

As to the OP, I would have called the manager of the store, and the owner, if possible, extolled the virtues of the salesman and then ripped the rude worker. Her behavior was exceptionally rude.

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Starchasm April 14, 2011 at 12:59 pm

MichelleP, I cannot BELIEVE your doctor said that!!! Any miscarriage is noted in medical files as an “abortion”, since the body spontaneously aborts the fetus. It is a widely used medical term.

Good thing you left that practice, he is not only a boor he is also a poorly informed doctor!

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Elizabeth 2 April 14, 2011 at 1:03 pm

This is unspeakably repugnant. Yes, this woman was foolish to jump to such a conclusion, especially since I’m sure there were plenty of points in the conversation with the jeweler in which it was mentioned that this was the SECOND wedding band. However, right or wrong, this woman had no right or reason to make that comment. It is disrespectful and demeaning, and basically turns people into objects for one’s moral consternation. What an unhappy life this woman must lead, if she can so easily come to insult others for the faults she perceives they have made.

It’s always darkly amusing to me to read about people like this woman, as it often seems to be the morally righteous or religiously conscious who let their tongues run on so. I may be a cheerful little agnostic neo-pagan, but I know what Christianity is about, and unforgiving attacks on others who do not do exactly the same as you would have is NOT part of the teachings. Even if the OP were getting married AFTER the birth of her child, what of it? Here’s a beautiful child who is obviously loved and cared for, and here are two people who love each other and wish to show it with the gift of wedding bands. That is what matters.

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Louise April 14, 2011 at 1:33 pm

I would have been complained about the lady and praised the sale clerk with equal fervency.

Michelle P, I admire you for not losing your cool after the doctor’s comment. I would have lost not only my cool, but the cool of all my family and half the neighbourhood. No one would have been able to find their cool for YEARS.

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Mike Johnson April 14, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I was kind of thinking the same thing as the admin here that it might have been a passive aggressive way to torpedo her obviously much better co-workers sale. I’ve seen stories on here about co-workers in commission sales that have done much the same thing. Still doesn’t excuse it in any way. Gets you back to that Bible advice about he who has not sinned throwing the first stone.

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vanessaga April 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm

I am the OP. I should have mentioned this to a manger; at the time I was blown away that she had said what she said and I didn’t. The salesman apologized to me on her behalf but it was not his responsibility. This happened only a few months ago and I am inspired to write a letter about the food and bad service I experienced. And Michelle -my heart goes out to you. I am so sorry that anyone spoke to yotu hat way.

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Elizabeth April 14, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Please tell me you wrote a letter to the company, OP. It would have been a great opportunity to praise the gentleman who helped you AND clue them in to that horrible woman. Her comment was past rude and into the just plain mean category.

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Maitri April 14, 2011 at 2:54 pm

I got a lot of disapproving sniffs at my ringless fingerwhen I was pregnant, also. One old biddy did it in an elevator at my workplace. I calmly, without looking at her, picked up my wedding set from where it hung on a lovely chain around my neck, and started lightly twirling it in a circle, humming. I think she got the message.

In the OP’s situation, I would have used it as a teaching experience.

Me: *stares at the woman*
Her: blah blah blah
Me: *stares* *waits*
Finally, Her: What?
Me: Is there a problem?
Her: You should have gotten married first, blah blah blah
Me: Ma’am, I did get married first, however my ring broke when I got pregnant and my fingers swelled.
Her: Oh….. *feels like a jerk*

People who say something rude and then walk away think that they have the upper hand. If the offendees (politely) make them explain their rudeness, and then disabuse them of their rude notions, they feel like jerks and everyone wins :)

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Jillybean April 14, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Michelle P – wow. That is horrible. My first thought was that perhaps your chart reference a “spontaneous abortion” (medical term often used for miscarriage), and that he had mis-read, but even still that wouldn’t justify his horrible comment. Even had you had a selected abortion, judgement has no place in the doctor/patient relationship. In fact, it can be quite detrimental to a patient’s care. I’m glad you changed doctors.

As for the original post. I wouldn’t have corrected her. But at the end of my transaction, I would have asked who her superior was, and I certainly would have reported the situation. The thing that most places don’t understand, is that the person that complains, they can do right by. The business they lose, is mostly in the people who say nothing and walk out the door, never return, and never refer a single customer to them.

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Hollanda, UK April 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Ok…or maybe the saleswoman was just having a really bad day…or something horrendous had just happened to her? Not that that is any sort of excuse, but…emotions can make people say and do things out of character. Some people are just rude and there is no reason for it, but some people allow their mouths to run away with them, especially in difficult situations. The OP did really well to handle her temper…I know from experience that losing it in this sort of situation does no good at all and doesn’t help. :( I dunno, just trying to put different spin on things…

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Alex April 14, 2011 at 3:38 pm

I’m about 7 mos pregnant and I have had similar experiences on a regular basis. In the grocery store a few weeks ago a woman made noises to get my attention and when I looked up at her, she pointedly looked from my hand to my belly making clucking noises and a look of disgust.

I was trapped by a cart belonging to the person behind me, or I would have walked up to her and said something to her about her rudeness.

It really hurt my feelings.

I haven’t been able to wear any jewelry since early in my pregnancy, because my skin has been super-sensitve. This includes not only my wedding ring, but my beautiful earrings which were the first real ‘gift’ my hubby ever gave to me. The ring and earrings mean the world to me, and I love to wear them, but my skin breaks out and hurts/itches, so I haven’t worn any jewelry in months.

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Elizabeth Bunting April 14, 2011 at 3:39 pm

I was shocked at reading the OP’s experience and also the lady’s with the so-called abortion. After dwelling upon the subject for a few moments, I am wondering if in our modern manners we are becoming too casual. I have read the novels of the Bronte sisters, and find that they had very strict rules on conversation and what should be said in response to certain things. It almost seemed as though their conversations were scripted. Nowadays, we have gone to the opposite extreme and many, not all, of us believe that we should pry into another’s affairs, make egregious remarks to people with whom we have no acquaintance whatsoever, dispense with having a filter on our brain that would stop EVERY thought from coming out of our mouth, and the list could go on.
The abortion remark coming from a professional should definitely have been reported because the medical profession has the Hippocratic Oath that they must abide by, and doing no harm is one of the criteria for a doctor. A great deal of harm, pain and embarrassment was caused to a patient in his care and he needs to be placed under discipline for it.

Just my thoughts!

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Chocobo April 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm

@1st-Time-Mommy: You would think, given her profession, that she would have been aware of the fact that all kinds of people buy jewelry, and it isn’t her place to step in, period.

I mean, I wonder how many men she’s watched buy jewelry for women who are not their wives, or greedy brides demand the biggest diamond from their groom, or any number of shady and unsavory characters pass through. As far as customers go, I would think that a couple with a premarital baby would be pretty tame.

But that’s besides the point. It’s none of her business, married or not married. I hope the OP write a letter to the company. Perhaps she should go back to the store to get the name of the busybody first.

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Another Alice April 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm

What makes me angry about this is that even IF the OP had a child out of wedlock, how is it any of the stranger’s business? The fact that if, perhaps, she knew they were simply replacing their rings would placate her makes no difference to me. If it were me, I wouldn’t even bother explaining, just ask for a manager – and not explain to them either! Just merely say, “Excuse me, I was completing a transaction with a lovely salesman who was being quite helpful, and this saleswoman decided it was her time to lecture me about her personal views. I have no problem with her having an opinion, but figured you’d like to be informed as it may cause you to lose a sale in the future if she continues to run her mouth off.”

Regardless of whether a person’s assumptions are correct, they have no right to put their views on others’ unless, of course, invited. But then, when in the world would a random stranger ask another, “So . . . how do you feel about the fact that I had a child out of wedlock? I really, really want to know!” (eye roll)

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coralreef April 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm

One does not make comments on a customer’s possible marital, physical or monetary status. EVER! OP, do write that letter praising the gentleman who was such a helping professional to you and your DH. Mention the rude woman. She could be torpedoing (is that a word?) sales for the store.

Michelle : the doctor’s comment is beyond words. I’m so sorry you had to go through the heartache of a miscarriage and then having to deal with such a boor. It’s not his place to judge whatever the patients have been through. It doesn’t matter if anyone has a miscarriage or a voluntary abortion, what is important is the here and now for the existing pregnancy. Good for you that you didn’t go back to that practice. He doesn’t deserve you.

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loveisintheair April 14, 2011 at 7:42 pm

I, too, think that instead of saying nothing to these people, we should speak up and, while doing it nicely and respectfully (cause we don’t want to lower ourselves to the point where we are exactly like these people) point out their mistake, as loudly as possible, and let them know in no uncertain terms that an employee should not be making assumptions or speaking to a customer in that manner. Let me tell you, it makes them hesitate before doing that again.

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chechina April 14, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Wow. I think OP handled it as best she could at the time. I wouldn’t encourage a lady with a baby to engage a loon in conversation anyway.

I have a story of rudeness and assumptions in customer service of my own.

I was going away for the week-end to a city I knew my brother also wanted to visit and so I invited him along. He was all for it and even booked us a hotel room with two beds so we could save some money. When we got to the hotel, I hung back while he went to the front desk and gave his name.

The clerk looked up our reservation, frowned, looked at us, looked back down at his monitor and said, “There seems to be a mistake, we gave you a room with two beds.”
“That’s right, two beds,” confirms my brother.

The clerk then looks me up and down, looks back at my brother with arched brows and says, “Are you *sure* you want two beds?”

Yeech!

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Ken April 14, 2011 at 10:19 pm

I’m not sure about everyone else, but I can honestly say that of all the times I’ve seen pregnant women in public, the last thing I look for is a ring on their finger. It’s silly, and the people who spend their time berating pregnant women who don’t have rings need to get a life of their own. I just can’t even understand why this woman would care if complete strangers had a baby out of wedlock….she doesn’t know them, and will most likely never deal with them again. The only time I’ve ever been compelled to talk to a total stranger, it’s to compliment them on something I like, friendly chatter at weddings, etc. I’ve seen lots of strangers wearing things, doing things, and saying things that I disapprove of…I don’t find it hard to either ignore them, or walk away. Unless they’re breaking the law, or doing someone harm, it really doesn’t bother me….they’re the ones who look like uneducated idiots.

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Aje April 14, 2011 at 10:40 pm

I kind of understand the lady behind the counter’s thought process. I’m rather young and sometimes I feel as if I’m the only one in the world who thinks it’s ‘first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage.”
But even I find what the lady said completely rude and presumptuous. She needs a good case of ‘MIND YOUR OWN BEESWAX!”

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InNM April 15, 2011 at 1:12 am

My empathy to those people who have has other people make publicly incorrect assumptions about them. I mean, I still have to work on not making assumptions but I atleast try to keep my opinion to myself and sometimes I have been pleasantly surprised.
I remember I was having a dispute with my phone company about them billing me incorrectly. After successfully defending my points and proving that the company had indeed billed me wrong, the customer service representative hit me with a cheap shot.
“I see you’ve been making frequent calls to 800 numbers.”
I call my family in another country very often and the country code is 868.
I responded with: “excuse me, but I am over 21 and I pay the bills for these 800 number calls from my hard earned money, so whether I make frequent calls to 800 numbers is really none of your concern, nor is it relevant to this phone call. Furthermore, if you’re in the telephone industry and you don’t know that 868 is a country code, it is obvious that you need to spend more time learning about your line of work and less time making stupid comments. Put me on to your manager because I am done talking to you and I will definitely voice my displeasure with you and the level of service I’ve received.”
He tried to continue but I kept interrupting him to repeat my last line. After 3 attempts, he transferred me to his manager.

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karmabottle April 15, 2011 at 5:37 am

This is one of those weird moments where your brain locks up and you think, “Did she just really say that? Did I hear that right? Nah….there’s no way she really said that. I must have misheard.”

Later as you leave, you realize that she really DID say it, you really DID hear right, and you DIDN’T mishear. Then you think of all the ways you should have replied, from the nasty to the righteously indignant.

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Bint April 15, 2011 at 6:07 am

Chechina, given no girl I know would ever share a hotel room with her brother, and you presumably have the same surname, it’s not exactly surprising the man assumed you were a couple. 99 times in 100 you would be. He didn’t handle it well – he sounds sleazy! – but the idea a brother and sister are sharing a hotel room isn’t that likely. Your hanging back probably added to it. That’s the kind of thing people do when one of them isn’t supposed to be there!

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Kitten April 15, 2011 at 6:48 am

Ugh, as someone who has worked in retail that is a horrible thing to say and completely out of line. I think a lot of etiquette stuff ups happen to shop assistants when they are tired and had a long day (I know I made plenty of social gaffes that I still wish I hadn’t!) but that’s taking it a bit too far.

My worst was when I was only 16. I had my three half siblings in a shopping trolley (they ranged in age from 6-3) and a lady came up to me, looked at them and said “It must be hard having three at your age.” Luckily for me, or unluckily for her, I was a teen who had no problem putting adults to rights and promptly pointed out that not only were they siblings, but that I would have had to have been 10 when I had the first one! She backed away quite quickly and was very apologetic and embarrassed when my step mum appeared and whisked us all away.

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stephanie April 15, 2011 at 7:54 am

I’m really surprised that “child out of wedlock” is even an issue in this day and age but perhaps I’m naive. My catholic grandmother and my partner’s catholic mother certainly didn’t have any issues with my partner and I having children without being married. We’ve been together for 10 years and have 2 children. Living in Australia where a de-facto relationship has the same legal rights as a marriage, and as we’re not religious or sentimental, marriage would be meaningless to us. Not wearing a wedding ring and being pregnant is not an issue here. My mother was married for 20 years but hated jewelery and didn’t ever wear a ring. Had I been in the OP’s position, I think I would have laughed at the sheer ridiculousness and “holier-than-thou” absurdity of the Saleswoman’s comments.

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Alison April 15, 2011 at 7:56 am

My parents spaced out their kids quite a bit, so my older siblings were teenagers when my baby sister was born. Seriously, the number of times people assumed she belonged to either one of them was absurd. Then again I’ve been assumed to be a mom and lectured when I was babysitting. I don’t know why people don’t mind their own business.

Michelle P, that doctor should lose his license. He’s clearly A. an idiot (as other posters have pointed out “abortion” is a medical catch-all, the term he would be looking for is “medical” abortion or “surgical” abortion) and B. not suited for his line of work at all.

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