Being employed in the field of residential real estate, a great deal of my time is spent in negotiations. While I spout my opinions freely, some might say recklessly, in the context of this space on the intertubes, for the most part I am a fairly non-confrontational sort in face to face situations. Mindful that others see things differently than I and that a calm presentation of my point of view followed by gentle attempts at persuasion, rather than ultimatum and a spittle flecked shout down, will usually produce better results for all in the end. This civil give and take seems to work best in most circumstances in which you are trying to steer someone to your position while at the same time they are trying to steer you to theirs. The glaring exception to this rule is in attempting to engage in political conversation with the true believing leftists among us.
My morning began innocently enough with a call from the garage that had serviced my truck yesterday to arrange a shuttle driver to deliver me back to the service department to pick it up and settle my tab. About thirty seconds into the ride, before even clearing my driveway, the driver asked eagerly what I thought of the recently concluded mid-term elections. Not wanting to sound too triumphal due to the fact that in living where I live there is a seven in ten chance that any random person on the street is politically to the left of Jeneane Garofolo, I merely stated that I thought they had gone ok, as in my opinion the democrats had gotten a bit too big for their britches lately. The silence that ensued was total, if brief. The remainder of the ride was filled with an Olbermanesque screed that hit on every predictable progressive talking point from how everything was all Bush’s fault, to what a Nazi that Sarah Palin is, to what douche’s those “Teabaggers” are. As we arrived at our destination and I clawed for the door handle, she concluded with how she wished we could all just be more civil toward each other and learn to get along. Funny…I was thinking the same thing a few minutes later when I informed her boss that she had referred to a paying customer as a scrotum sucking douchebag.
In a more civil society I suppose I would feel bad about ratting her out, and hope that the loss of her job or at the very least the verbal lashing she would receive from her boss would teach her a valuable lesson in customer relations. But the thing is I don’t feel bad, because those like her are not receptive to such lessons. If in fact she loses her employment over this or another altercation, she will undoubtedly blame “The Man” or her “heartless” corporate employer or the inherent oppression in the system, or something. Never for a moment pausing for a bit of self reflection. My patience for being nice to these people has just about run its course.