Author Topic: Silence at a gas station  (Read 6338 times)

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darkprincess

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Silence at a gas station
« on: April 09, 2012, 01:07:54 PM »
Sorry in an attempt to not bring up particular faith's I am going to be a little vague.

On Saturday I had to stop and purchase gas. A women pulled up to the gas pump opposite of mine as I was getting out of my car. She looked at me from around the gas pump and said "Happy (very religious way of describing a holiday)." I said "Thank you" and continued to pump my gas.
 
I do not share her faith and the day in question was actually a different faith's holiday. The holiday she was referring to was the next day. I try not to have religious discussions with strangers.

She started to ask me probing questions that are usually used to try to convert someone. I decided to ignore her and continue to pump my gas. She became louder and I told her I wasn't interested in having this discussion. She continued to the point of yelling about my needs to convert to her ideas and she began to shake the gas pump at me (kind of like you would do with shaking your finger at someone.)
At this point a group of motorcyclists who were also getting gas, completely in leather, started walking up to  try to help me :) I smiled at them, motioned them away so the situation did not escalate, stopped pumping gas even though I was not finished and got into my car and drove away.
Sometimes silence is the answer.

SamiHami

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Re: Silence at a gas station
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2012, 01:09:28 PM »
Sounds like you handled it well. Definitely a case of "don't engage the crazy."

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

Sharnita

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Re: Silence at a gas station
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2012, 06:14:27 PM »
I will say that in and of itself saying Happy __________ the day before ___________  ( or even a couple days before) does not even register with me. I frequently do this and even prefer it because if I or you wait until the day of the holiday  to say it then by the time the wish is expressed the dya is partially over. 

Now her follow-up behaior is obviously rude.

Yvaine

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Re: Silence at a gas station
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2012, 06:34:16 PM »
I will say that in and of itself saying Happy __________ the day before ___________  ( or even a couple days before) does not even register with me. I frequently do this and even prefer it because if I or you wait until the day of the holiday  to say it then by the time the wish is expressed the dya is partially over. 

Now her follow-up behaior is obviously rude.

Based on the description, I don't think she said just the name of the holiday. I've seen people who say "Happy day when our Deity did such-and-such awesome thing!" which is much more specific and can feel pushy.

darkprincess

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Re: Silence at a gas station
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2012, 06:52:48 PM »
I will say that in and of itself saying Happy __________ the day before ___________  ( or even a couple days before) does not even register with me. I frequently do this and even prefer it because if I or you wait until the day of the holiday  to say it then by the time the wish is expressed the dya is partially over. 

Now her follow-up behaior is obviously rude.

Based on the description, I don't think she said just the name of the holiday. I've seen people who say "Happy day when our Deity did such-and-such awesome thing!" which is much more specific and can feel pushy.

It was like Yvaine said, "Happy day when our Deity did such-and-such awesome thing." but then add that deity did awesome thing for my benefit. I guess I could have used the line "That is an interesting assumption." Meaning why would she assume I shared her holiday, faith, diety, but I thought that would be ruder than saying Thank you and being silent.

I found it even odder because the day she said it was actually a different holiday for another major faith. While I may not follow a particular faith I recognize that on the day of the holiday people are going to change regular greetings of "hello" to "Merry Christmas," "Happy Chanakuh," "Happy Solstice,"  etc.
However I do find it odd when a stranger gives me a more specific and pushy greeting instead of the generic greeting and then does it on some other popular faith's holiday.

AustenFan

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Re: Silence at a gas station
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2012, 07:16:12 PM »
I guess you could add "Thank goodness for Hells Angels!" to the thread of things you never thought you'd say!

I think you couldn't have handled it any better, since the issue was caused entirely by this woman's crazy. Maybe if you had said you were in a rush and didn't have time for a conversation it would have been better then refusing to talk about it, but who knows. The other woman sounds like she's a few books short of a Bible. 

Jones

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Re: Silence at a gas station
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2012, 09:23:31 PM »
I hate to say it, but there are a lot of people who don't pay attention to the religious holidays of religions other than their own.

When I was in HS, and working nights at a grocery, I would say "Merry Christmas" to the customers as they left. Everyone in our store did it. One night, a woman with an adorable little girl (age 4-5) came through I wished them a Merry Christmas, the mother thanked me, the little girl said "Oh, we don't have Christmas. We're Jewish." The mother quickly bent and started to reprimand her daughter, and the two bustled out of the store as quickly as they could while I called "I hope you have a great Hanukkah!" while furiously trying to remember if Hanukkah had started already, or was going to soon.

At the time I didn't understand the woman's actions, and her overall mannerism when her daughter said that; but, reading this thread, I have to wonder if she had met someone like OP's gas station self-appointed missionary, and wanted to avoid any further attempted conversions.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Silence at a gas station
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2012, 01:46:27 AM »
I hate to say it, but there are a lot of people who don't pay attention to the religious holidays of religions other than their own.

When I was in HS, and working nights at a grocery, I would say "Merry Christmas" to the customers as they left. Everyone in our store did it. One night, a woman with an adorable little girl (age 4-5) came through I wished them a Merry Christmas, the mother thanked me, the little girl said "Oh, we don't have Christmas. We're Jewish." The mother quickly bent and started to reprimand her daughter, and the two bustled out of the store as quickly as they could while I called "I hope you have a great Hanukkah!" while furiously trying to remember if Hanukkah had started already, or was going to soon.

At the time I didn't understand the woman's actions, and her overall mannerism when her daughter said that; but, reading this thread, I have to wonder if she had met someone like OP's gas station self-appointed missionary, and wanted to avoid any further attempted conversions.

I wonder, though, if the mom was trying to teach her daughter that you (general) accept whichever greeting is used because while not everyone shares your beliefs, you respect everyone else's right to believe it without pushing your own.  That's what I do.  I'm atheist.  I greet people with happy holidays and say thank you whether I get Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, or Happy Yule (etc).
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Isometric

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Re: Silence at a gas station
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2012, 01:59:16 AM »
If she had left it at the first comment, fine. A bit strange to call out to a stranger, but anyhoot. From there she well and truly crossed the line. I can't stand when people try converting others. Silence is great, well done!

On a slightly different note, While I might say "have a great *insert religous holiday*" I've realised that what I am actually wishing them is a great long weekend, a good time with their family, safe travels etc, a general kind greeting/goodbye I guess. When a cashier says that to me, that's what I think more of, rather than them specifically hoping I enjoy worshipping whomever that holiday is about.

Sharnita

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Re: Silence at a gas station
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2012, 05:20:45 AM »
If she had left it at the first comment, fine. A bit strange to call out to a stranger, but anyhoot. From there she well and truly crossed the line. I can't stand when people try converting others. Silence is great, well done!

On a slightly different note, While I might say "have a great *insert religous holiday*" I've realised that what I am actually wishing them is a great long weekend, a good time with their family, safe travels etc, a general kind greeting/goodbye I guess. When a cashier says that to me, that's what I think more of, rather than them specifically hoping I enjoy worshipping whomever that holiday is about.

I agree with all of this.