Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: RebeccainGA on December 31, 2012, 11:16:24 AM

Title: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: RebeccainGA on December 31, 2012, 11:16:24 AM
This past Friday, I took DP and myself to the doctor, followed by a trip to the pharmacy. The pharmacy is inside a bigger store, which is in a very busy strip mall with lots of stores. The parking lot is well lit when it's truly dark, but this happened both at dusk (it wasn't quite dark enough for the lights to come on) and with some significant 'wintry mix' falling from the sky - rain, sleet, some snow.

I get DP loaded into the van, get her wheelchair in, and get in the van myself. I notice a car has pulled in behind us, and that the occupants haven't gotten out (I was noting this to be aware of pedestrians that might jump out as I'm reversing - it happens, a lot). I put my van in reverse, back out (slowly - see above wintry mix) and turn an immediate left (as we were in the first handicapped spot on the row). The row behind us was not handicapped at the front, just a standard row. As I turn, I hear a shouted "Thanks for your attention!! B*$*%" from behind me, and look in the rearview to see that the driver of the vehicle behind me and his young son are standing in the middle of the driveway that runs parallel to the shopping center (the drive I'd just turned on to from my parking space). Both are in dark clothes, hence hard to see, and dad's giving me the finger. Apparently they had gotten out as I was backing and I hadn't been able to see them (maybe both coming from the driver's side??), and had decided to cross the street as I turned, not noticing that I was turning (I had to go left or right, otherwise I'd have been driving into the side of the building, so the turn wasn't unexpected or cutting a corner).

Luckily, no one was hurt.

I know he was being PA, and rude. Was I in the wrong somehow? DP has said she didn't think so, but it's been bugging me.
Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: Firecat on December 31, 2012, 11:19:53 AM
I agree with your DP; I don't think you were in the wrong at all. It's pretty common for pedestrians to overestimate how visible they are to drivers, especially in conditions like you describe. It's important for drivers to be aware of pedestrians, of course, but I think it's also vital for pedestrians to be aware of and cautious around moving vehicles. But it sounds to me like you did what you could.
Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: Shoo on December 31, 2012, 11:22:04 AM
The fact this man did what he did and said what he said with his young son standing right there tells us everything we need to know about him, IMO.

You were as careful as possible, so you were fine.
Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: ettiquit on December 31, 2012, 12:19:21 PM
This is a pet peeve of mine.  My car has a pretty big blind spot, and since I can't count on pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings, I back out of spaces SO cautiously that it probably looks like it was my first day driving. 

Of course, I treat all moving cars as lethal weapons whether I'm driving or walking.  ;D
Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: oceanus on December 31, 2012, 01:11:10 PM
OP, how is it that you think you may have been wrong?  ???  You weren't and the man was obviously rude/nasty.
Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: Amava on December 31, 2012, 02:14:16 PM
First off, I'm sorry this happened, that is scary, and you were not in the wrong.
You tried to watch out and pay attention; but there is only so much you can do and I think it is everyone's responsibility in a parking lot to watch out for cars and to make oneself visible. So he was wrong, basically reckless. And of course he was very rude about it, too.

But there is one thing about your post that I don't understand. Why would you call this behaviour "PA"? Calling you a female dog, yelling at you, and giving you the finger? That is not /passive/ aggressive. That is very active aggressive.  :o
Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: TootsNYC on December 31, 2012, 02:24:19 PM
The term "Passive aggressive" has been completely diluated to mean simply "rude." or "rude in a deniable way."

The vast majority of stuff people label as PA isn't passive at all. Or it's not passive enough to qualify for the accurate term "passive aggressive." It's "rude in a way that's deniable."

In fact, I don't think that pure "passive aggressive" is automatically rude. It's simply a strategy.


When I own my own shopping mall, I'm going to have BIG signs that says "Cars backing out of spaces have right of way. Yield to them."


Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: Judah on December 31, 2012, 02:37:12 PM
First off, I'm sorry this happened, that is scary, and you were not in the wrong.
You tried to watch out and pay attention; but there is only so much you can do and I think it is everyone's responsibility in a parking lot to watch out for cars and to make oneself visible. So he was wrong, basically reckless. And of course he was very rude about it, too.

But there is one thing about your post that I don't understand. Why would you call this behaviour "PA"? Calling you a female dog, yelling at you, and giving you the finger? That is not /passive/ aggressive. That is very active aggressive.  :o

I agree with whole post, especially the bolded part.

OP, you did all you could do. One of my pet peeves is runners/walkers/bicyclists who dress in all black after dark.  How are we supposed to see them?
Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: Bees on December 31, 2012, 02:53:39 PM
The time for him to yell out (not curse) is when your car was backing up into the area he was putting his child.
Letting you know there are pedestrians where you can not see isn't rude, it is safety. After the fact and where he is not in danger, since you would have seen them in your traffic path, is rude.
Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: Winterlight on January 01, 2013, 02:15:05 PM
I think he was just plain rude.

I go for walks at night and wear bright colors and reflective tape. It's dark out early, so assuming people can see you + dark clothing can equal a very bad accident. I also get off the road- there are few sidewalks where I live.
Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: BC12 on January 02, 2013, 03:59:09 AM
I can't say I'm understanding exactly what happened, but I guess the bottom line is that you didn't see some pedestrians and got too close to them with your car? Or at least, you didn't yield to them?

If so, then yes, I think you were in the wrong. That's not a question of your etiquette or manners, though, it was just a mistake on your part. Of course the man was rude for shouting a name at you, and it was unwise of him to cross in front of (or behind?) your moving vehicle, but as a driver, you're supposed to be watching where you're going. You didn't see them until they were in your rear view mirror as you were driving away. Something must have happened, and you missed it.

These mistakes happen, though. Don't fret over it, just resolve to be more aware in the future.
Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: Raintree on January 02, 2013, 04:29:37 AM
He wasn't PA, he was just A.

I am so careful to look for pedestrians, especially in poor visibility conditions, and sometimes they STILL pop out of nowhere. In poor lighting I really think some pedestrians need to take care to watch for themselves and assume they are invisible, because often they are.
Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: laceandbits on January 02, 2013, 04:55:55 AM
Had to laugh as in the UK the initials PA aren't used for anything as politically correct as passive aggressive, they are generally understood to stand for p**s artist.  In it's original (and logical) sense it would be used to describe the antics of someone who is drunk and disorderly, but is now also accepted to mean anyone who does stupid and rude acts and is behaving antisocially.  Therefore the intitials fitted this particular individual exactly.  And with that for training, when his son grows up there'll be another PA to join the club.
Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: JenJay on January 02, 2013, 06:55:53 AM
This is a pet peeve of mine.  My car has a pretty big blind spot, and since I can't count on pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings, I back out of spaces SO cautiously that it probably looks like it was my first day driving. 

Of course, I treat all moving cars as lethal weapons whether I'm driving or walking.  ;D

Same here! It probably takes me way too long to back out of a space but man, people are just dumb sometimes! Drivers and pedestrians both think nothing of crossing behind me when I'm backing up - constantly. I'll always stop and wait when I know someone is there but if you look and it's clear then what more can you do? You have to back out eventually.
Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: RebeccainGA on January 02, 2013, 07:22:22 AM
You know, with jerks like this out there, maybe I finally have an explanation of a baffling Atlanta phenomenon - the fact that 2/3 of the cars I see are backed into their spaces.
Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: LadyClaire on January 02, 2013, 07:38:13 AM
I think he was just plain rude.

I go for walks at night and wear bright colors and reflective tape. It's dark out early, so assuming people can see you + dark clothing can equal a very bad accident. I also get off the road- there are few sidewalks where I live.

There's a woman who walks in my subdivision every single morning. She walks even if it's raining or snowing. She wears dark/gray clothes, doesn't have reflectors on her clothes, and walks on the road, not the sidewalk. She won't even move to the sidewalk if cars are coming up behind her. It boggles my mind that she does this, because she is almost impossible to see when it's dark in the mornings, and when it's rainy/snowing out it makes it even more difficult to see her.
Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: MamaMootz on January 02, 2013, 07:38:41 AM
If it makes you feel any better, OP, I had something like this happen to me a few weeks ago when I took my DD to the Crayola factory in Easton, PA. I was driving around a city square and following a bus, and to be honest I didn't know the area and was focused on the bus and not the stoplights. There are stoplights at every intersection and you are allowed to make a right turn on red at all of them. As I was slowing down to make a right at a light, it changed and there was a pedestrian there who was starting to cross the street. I stopped but he stood there in the crosswalk, cursing at me in all kinds of wonderful language, and gave me quite a few hand gestures followed by a hearty send off of the f word. I was astonished that he was so mad... honestly, I stopped as soon as I saw him, but maybe he nearly gets run over daily or he was having a bad day or something. My 10 year old was crimson from the language he hurled at us, though.

Sometimes, people are just --- wacky. Maybe P/A guy was having a really bad day.
Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: Flora Louise on January 02, 2013, 10:24:06 AM
I've posted before about my mother's reaction to people like this, maybe you can use it. When someone yells at her like that in traffic, she rolls down the window and looks at them as if she recognizes them, waves,  and calls out, "Oh, hi! See you in church!"
Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: RebeccainGA on January 02, 2013, 11:34:24 AM
I've posted before about my mother's reaction to people like this, maybe you can use it. When someone yells at her like that in traffic, she rolls down the window and looks at them as if she recognizes them, waves,  and calls out, "Oh, hi! See you in church!"

OK, my cube neighbor now thinks I'm insane for cackling out loud. Since I have church related license plate holder and bumper sticker on my van, it'll even be PLAUSIBLE. LOL
Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: onikenbai on January 02, 2013, 10:55:50 PM
A couple of weeks ago in Toronto we had 7 pedestrians hit all over the city within 2 hours.  The media was quick to point out that every single one of them was wearing black.  Seriously, embrace colours if you're going to walk in the dark, especially if you've got your ipod going too.
Title: Re: I know he was PA, but was I in the wrong?
Post by: laceandbits on January 03, 2013, 11:41:41 AM
Although it may not have been possible as the OP had to get a wheelchair out and into the van, it is much safer to reverse into spaces because then you don't run the risk of hitting people on the way out.  It is also easier (with a little practise) to reverse into a tight space than to go in frontwise.  Some of our UK supermarkets have a central pedestrian walkways with bollards each side and the cars are supposed to reverse in so the trolleys can unload into the boot (trunk) and aren't all over the roadway area, but only about a quarter of them do.  This is an excellent idea for wheelchair users.  Don't you have this in the US where you have so much more room?

I saw a young child hit by a car reversing in this way.  He was only a foot or so in front of Mum, walking next to and holding onto the supermarket trolley.  The driver's excuse was that he only saw the mother and (not noticing that she was pushing a trolley) thought he could nip out before she was level with him, and that she'd wait for him to finish his manoeuvre.  I was pleased to be a witness for mum, and to be able to say that the child was not running loose.  He wasn't hurt too bad as the driver had stopped when Mum screamed, but was very scared, bless him.