Thursday, April 14, 2011

Why? Why are people so nasty?

As Rodney King Said: "People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?"

But there seem to be people hell-bent on NOT getting along. And if they are called on their obnoxious and vile behaviour, then they make YOU a part of the problem! They will then target you, as if, somehow, you were in the wrong for noticing their bad behaviour!

They will special plead as to multiple reasons as to why they should not be called to account or punished for what they have done ("I am under pressure!" "It is that time of the month!" "I didn't know people would take what I did/said so badly!" "It was meant as a joke!" "Nobody understands me!" etc., etc., etc.) but they resent it when it is pointed out that bad behaviour cannot, under most circumstances, be excused.

They seem to think they live in a consequence-free environment, that if they commit act "A" if this leads to consequence "B" that they have no responsibility for what happens when "B" hits the fan.

The idea for this post was started by something that happened to me at work and also by this post at the blog by Alexis, the url for which is here:-


AlexisAR said...

Thanks, Matt, for furthering my cause. One of my least favorite things in the world is when people make really pointed insults at others under the guise of humor. They know when they're saying or writing it that there is not a shred of humor in their intent, yet they hide behind the shield of humor. Under such rules, one can say or write absolutely anything to or about anyone behind the guise of supposed humor.

If someone has something to say, he or she should say it. If someone has a legitimately funny story to share, he or she should by all means share it as well. Passing off insults as humor, however, works on neither account.

My aunt, by the way, needed emergency surgery because she had a rapidly developing ulcer that had eroded through the lining of her duodenum.The required six units of blood. A section of her duodenum had to be removed and the remaining portions resected. This procedure had to occur while she was infected with pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia, which is far from an optimal condition under which to undergo laparamotomic surgery. I'm not blaming the mean people on the Facebook page, because they didn't cause her cystic fibrosis, and they probably couldn't have caused much of the other stuff, either, but they certainly did absolutely nothing to make anything better.
My uncle says she's resting comfortably and should make a full recovery from the abdominal issues and the pneumonia, although everytime a CF patient contracts pneumonia, some irreversible damage is done. I'm hoping the damage is minimal this time.

I'd be interested in hearing more about what happened at your place of work.

I understand, or I guess I understand, why civility cannot be legislated or mandated, but what are the alternatives if society has reverted practically back to the trogolodyte mentality? I don't really want to live in a police state where one may receive a citation for failing to say, "Bless you!" each time someone sneezes, but neither do I wish to live in a world where crassness and vulgarity are the norm. Where can we find a happy medium?

Matt said...

What happened at work was that someone misunderstood something that happened. Probably because they just couldn't be arsed to listen to the instructions they were given (they were, I think, playing on Facebook instead of working!) and then, when they caused something to go wrong, chose to blame me, by arguing that black was white and that I hadn't given them the instructions they needed for them to do what they should have done, instead of playing when they were paid to do their job.

AlexisAR said...

I have problems with your story on two separate counts, Matt. The first and most obvious issue is the failure of anyone to take responsibility for what he or she has screwed up. We're all going to err many times in our lives. Some errors are more easily explainable or forgivable than others, but the point remains. The easiest way to deal with the situation is to own up to one's error, accept the consequence, and move on. It usually catches up to a person anyway, so why not be straightforward in the first place?

Facebook is another matter entirely. I admit that I covet the privilege of owning a Facebook page. My parents will not allow it until I'm eighteen. As much as I'm loathe to admit that my parents are ever right about anything, certain situations have arisen in mt recent past - some of them ongoing - that would have been greatly exacerbated by my having regular access to Facebook. I am able, of course, to access Facebook on occasion through friends' accounts. Still, when I was the victim of a physical attack and an attempted sexual assault, while the perpetrators could call my parents' phone number in attempt to contact me, which they did, or could propel a brick through my window, which they also did, I was essentially immune from any of the things they could and did say about me on FaceBook. My parents contacted my friends' parents and asked to be made aware of anything libelous or threatening regarding me that was published on Facebook, but asked the parents of my friends to direct their offspring not to tell me anything that was written about me on Facebook. This policy was followed. I'm sure things were said, but what I never knew didn't hurt me. The same situation existed when my prom date from last year canceled our date because he didn't want to be seen in the company of a girl in a wheelchair (the prom was held a few weeks after my hurdling injury). Again, all sorts of nasty stuff was supposedly passed back and forth on Facebook, but I knew nothing of it. Ignorance can be bliss, and truly was in that case.

When I turn eighteen, I'll have my own Facebook account. Will this give me any right to sit at the organ of the church where I work, typing away about the latest rumor while missing the introductory strains of the communion hymn? Hell, no! Some others my age and slightly older, however, have no such scruples and feel that their time is indeed theors even while they're on the clock, so to speak, and are being paid to actually work. This form of double-dipping is, I fear, going to become even more common before industry finds an acceptable way of combatting it. Most of us do not wish to work under the view of spy camers, somehow finding it almost "1984=ish," but if personal integrity as it concerns the workplace is now a relic of 1983 or of years earlier, what can be the alternative?

I have no answers -- only questions.