Me: “I need someone from maintenance to come out and remove some car parts from the middle of my drawbridge, as they are backing up traffic.”
“Um… That drawbridge is no longer in our system.”
“Er, yes it is. I think you’re thinking of the Montlake Bridge.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m a City of Seattle Employee.”
“But do we maintain that bridge?”
“Yes we do. Yes, you do. I’m standing on it right now. I’ve worked here for 3 ½ years.”
“Was a tow truck called?”
“I have no idea. The cars in question are long gone. They just left parts behind.”
“Yeah, but was a tow truck called?”
“Not by me!!!! Please, are you sending someone out to remove the bumpers? I have traffic backed up for miles.”
Welcome to my pet peeve. Not being taken seriously drives me absolutely insane. Why would I lie? I mean, honestly, just get the damned bumpers off the road, already!
My whole life, this has been a problem. As the youngest in the family, I was not taken seriously at home. Even though I graduated at the top of my class, I was quiet and shy and not in with the in crowd, so I wasn’t taken seriously at school. As a female in a male dominated workplace, to this day I am not taken seriously at work. Now that I’m fat and old, I’m generally not even seen when in public. I’m completely invisible. It’s maddening.
The reason that I try so hard not to be dismissive of people, the reason I’m extra polite to cashiers and wait staff and the elderly, is that I know what it’s like to be discounted. It’s an awful feeling. And it’s completely unnecessary.
Common courtesy and mutual respect ought to be everyone’s default position. Listening to people and trying to understand what they’re saying is a necessary survival skill, so it shouldn’t be so hard to come by. As the planet becomes increasingly crowded, we need to behave all the more decently, or life will get pretty unbearable up in here, people.