So, I've been on this whole Growing Up™ kick for a while now, but I think I have to admit that no matter how hard we try, there is going to be the occasional slip. Those little moments when your inner 12 year old comes out. That happened to me recently when a coworker who is quite a bit my junior decided to explain some things to me. Things like, the definition of the word "aisle."
The simple truth is that most of us have a finite limit for being spoken to as though we're mentally deficient. It is almost always unintentional, but I know that I can be very condescending at times myself. It may or may not be related to the same personality defects that would lead a person to develop their own blog.... I'm thinking of synonyms for the word, "hubris."
On any given day, I'd be the twelfth* person to admit that I can be pretty condescending at times. It's almost never deliberate, but I know I can come across that way. In truth, it's more likely a poor attempt at humor, but let's face it, I'm not that funny.
Anyway, I found myself looking at a box of concert tickets with a co-worker who is quite a bit younger than me explaining that the tickets behind the divider labeled, "Aisle," were tickets for Aisle seats, the tickets behind the, "B," were the the seats in B section, and so on. A small thing you might think, but it was the last in a long line of condescension, and frankly, it was just a little too much.
I'd like to tell you that I patiently and reasonably explained to my co-worker (let's call her Molly. Not her real name, but it was the first name to pop into my head which wasn't attached to a relative or coworker. Oddly enough, the next name to pop into my head was Molly-wobbles, and bonus points to anyone who gets that reference) that I was aware of what the tabs indicated, and that while I appreciated her communication, it wasn't particularly necessary. However, I'm opposed to using bald faced lies in my blog. Instead, I looked at Molly and said, "Wow, I never, in a million years, would have guessed that the tickets behind the tab labelled 'Aisle' were aisle seats. Oh, and on a completely unrelated note, I can tie my own shoes. I know, it's hard to tell when I'm wearing these loafers, but seriously, I can tie shoes all by myself. I even pick out my own clothes when I don't have to wear a uniform. I can't imagine how I'd get though my day without your help."
I'll admit, it wasn't my finest moment as a human being, but the look on Molly's face was pretty entertaining.
By the way, I mentioned that I'd be the twelfth person to admit that I can be pretty condescending. The eleven people who would admit it before me are:
A past employee who burst into tears in my office
My mother in law
My best friend
4 of my 6 siblings
My last room mate
Another past employee who burst into tears in my office
You may have noticed that despite the presence of my mother and my mother in law, I didn't include my father in that list. That's because, much like a particularly memorable anti-drug campaign TV add from the late 80's, "I learned it from watching you, Dad! I learned it from watching you...." (Thank goodness for the fact I already have "over 30" in the title of this blog. Otherwise I'd really be dating myself.