Friday, August 12, 2022

The Grace Period is Over… It’s Time to Push Back Against Disrespect & Nastiness

I, like many others, have had enough, and it is time to start pushing back and calling out nasty and disrespectful behaviour.

A small but determined segment of society feels completely entitled to treat service workers, government workers, local representatives, and the media as though we are servants, subject to their will, and we can be spoken to in any tone they like. They can call us horrible names or make baseless accusations, all in an attempt to bully and intimidate.

I for one am done, and I began pushing back just over a month ago. Now, when I receive an email from a resident that is nasty in tone, or stoops to name calling, I ignore the email completely, I send it to my junk folder. If I receive a phone call from someone yelling and screaming at me because they don’t like my position on one issue or another, rather than engaging in a debate as I once did, I simply hang up.

I am unwilling to continue tolerating abuse from folks to whom I owe nothing. I have tolerated an ever increasing level of nastiness for the past few years, and I am tired of biting my lip and responding politely while being subject to verbal or written abuse and intimidation. The entitlement of some people has grown to an astounding level.

Over the past couple of years I have heard from folks who work in the service industry, whether it be a fast food chain, a restaurant, hotel, or government service agencies, who are frustrated at daily batterings from customers or clients. Even a doctor I know has expressed frustration with the way they have been treated in recent months. We can only withstand so much of this verbal or written abuse by taking the high road for so long, and then we all have to decide if our mental health is worth defending by pushing back against this nasty clan of entitled monsters who seem determined to make the lives of others a nightmare simply in doing their jobs.

In the month since I have begun pushing back against the entitled abusers, I have called out four individuals for their abusive approach, and I have completely ignored two other communications because they were so insulting and nasty that I knew there was no point in attempting to engage. Of the four I called out, three actually offered an apology, while the fourth called me a name that I cannot print here lest I attempt some double entendre involving a feline.

Between the anti-mask, anti-vaccine folks throughout the pandemic, along with the militant pro-mask and pro-vaccine citizens, or residents opposed to the proposed pumped storage facility on the Tank Range who feel entitled to berate and make baseless accusations against me simply because I haven’t fallen in line and share their views to the letter, it has been a heck of a few years. Toss in the misdirected vitriol spewed by some any time a new development is proposed, and I have simply reached a point where I am tired of being treated with disrespect, I am tired of seeing others treated dismally, and I refuse to tolerate it any longer. It simply isn’t worth tolerating, for me or anyone else who has been subjected to this treatment in recent years.

The old saying that one can catch more flies with honey than vinegar seems to be lost on this modern clan of entitled verbal abusers, which is sad as we used to value respect and civility, and these days some chastise you simply for demanding respectful discourse.

The fact is, that whether it be someone like myself in the newspaper business, or a store manager with whom you have a complaint, we are all far more receptive when approached civilly and respectfully. Some take advantage of the fact that those of us who deal with the public are likely to ‘grin and bear it’ in order to not further escalate the situation, but that clearly has not worked because the problem seems to be getting worse, not better.

I would encourage everyone to reflect on the culture of nastiness that has been brewing the past few years. If you have been a victim of this sort of intimidation and bullying, consider standing up for yourself and simply refuse to engage with such folks.

If you are one of the entitled folks who feels that it is perfectly fine to berate, yell at, intimidate, or otherwise bully, take a pause and ask if you like that part of yourself, and stop. Stop treating others as though they are less than you, as though they somehow deserve to be treated with disrespect, because enough is enough. You aren’t special, you aren’t better than those you choose to bully, you are simply mean-spirited and entitled, full stop. I cannot think of a more respectful and polite way to say it, and I refuse to stoop to the tactics of the entitled to make my point.

Be kind, be respectful, or keep to yourself.

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