We've all faced those situations where some stranger cuts in line, steals your parking spot, or otherwise violates what you consider to be social etiquette. In each circumstance, we are faced with a choice:
- Defend civility
- Be a pussy
Here are some simple guidelines I recommend one follows when combating douchebaggery:
- Don't jump to conclusions. There ARE cases when it's more about brainlessness than cheating. E.g. that moron who humps the Starbucks barista stand immediately after ordering... ignoring the people standing around waiting before him. Then he grabs your drink and gets his stupidness all over it! Don't get me wrong - this is still being a douchebag. It's just slightly less of a douchebag than someone who steals your drink.... so don't yell quite as loud.
- An eye for an eye. Don't ever key someone's car because they stole your parking spot. That's an arm and leg for an eye. Once a dude arrogantly stole my parking spot in Arden Fair Mall. I returned the favor by filling a cup with a sticky-sugar concoction and dumping it over his car. His cleaning effort was roughly equivalent to my effort put out by the entire ordeal.
- Shame & embarrassment are your friends. If someone cuts in line, chances are you are not the only one who noticed. However, you may be the only non-pussy in line. If you confront the person, everyone else will send you psychic high-fives. Perhaps you may even inspire others to not be pussies.
- Google Karma. If at all possible, get photos and full names of douchebags when you encounter them. Post them on your Facebook/blog. You never know... someone they know might see it, or find them on a Google name search!
One of Brandie's friends had a birthday party at BJ's in Folsom last year. The place was packed and some party of 6 lied saying they were our reservation of 10 for "Mike". There was no mistake... only one reservation existed for "Mike". I could not believe everyone in our party just wanted to let it go. It bothered me so much I asked where they were sitting, went over to their table and chided them for stealing our reservation. They sat there mostly speechless.
Another time... on a pub crawl, we stopped for eats at Brew It Up (in the bar section mind you). Some guy came over and asked one of my friends to 'keep it down". He wasn't being overly loud. I told the guy to "fuck off", then yelled at him after he went back to his table "Fuck off" and flipped him off. Okay, not my wittiest moment... but I think he got the point.
Douchebags aren't just encountered at restuarants, finding parking spots, or waiting in line. I once had a boss at work who was playing favorites. I confronted him, asking for equal promotion. After getting the run-around, I opened an HR case on him requesting civil service procedures be followed with objective criteria for promotions. After they tested us, I got the promotion... and have perceived a higher level of respect since (that boss is long gone).
The list could go on....
Don't be a pussy. Don't be that person that retaliates inward with resentment, only later to think "Yeah, I should have said THAT." You must defend the principles of civility. To do anything less is to not respect yourself. First, have your own principles. Second, stand up for them. We all have the responsibility to make this world a better place. Don't let in the drivers who fail to signal. Tell people who talk too loud on their cell phones to be quiet. Follow people who don't pick up their dog poop home, and shit on their front porch. I guarantee you will feel your angst transform into self-respect.