Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pedantic Asshole

I went to a friends house tonight in a gated community. To get in you have to go through a gate. Those that live there get a pass and can wave it in front of this thingy that'll open the gate. Those that are visiting drive up to the right of the residence entrance and entry in a code which rings the person you are visiting to let you through.

Before I get to the asshole I want to say two things. First, I didn't handle the situation as well as I should have and I know that. Second, I understand that there are problems with people 'cheating' to get through the gate and some residents get irritated about this. I would be as well.

Ok, so I'm at the guest entrance thing and I type in the code. While it dials and rings some guy in a white Jetta drives up to the resident entrance and waves his little badge thingy. I here the beeps indicating that I have been given access and I drive up to the gate kinda fast. The gate is really slow so I sit there. About two seconds later Jetta-boy guns it and flies up on me and slams on his breaks...obviously something pissed him off. The gate finally opens and I go through and haul ass over the speed bumps because I figure this guy is made at me and is now following me. He bounces over them and follows me all the way down to where I park and parks near me. The top of my Jeep is down so while I put the top back up he eventually drives up and starts talking to me.

This is where I could have handled it differently. He babbles about how I cut him off and I babble about how I was beeped in and just went to the gate and he tried to hit me. We repeat each other a couple of times, obviously making no progress, and he talks about how my friend could be written up for my actions, etc. About the third time we repeat I just say 'Bullshit' and walk away to finish putting my top up. He babbles something about not having to curse at him and then drives down to the end of the parking lot, turns around, and comes back up behind my car. I decide to approach it different and ask him 'What do you expect to get out of this' and he says 'You shouldn't have cused at me' at which point I decide the entire thing is stupid and just walk away to my friends. He writes down my license plate number so who knows what he expects to do with that.

So I relay this to my friend who laughs quite a bit and that is that. The entire episode irritates me though. I mean really, what did he expect to get out of it? We obviously have two very different, and probably valid, points of view on this. I suppose if I kept my cool we could have just talked it out but I was pretty irritated that he (a) charged me and (b) followed me all the way down to be a prick about something that amounts to nothing.

I'm also ticked because we thought of the following things I could have done that would have been much better:

1) Just driven around in circles until he got bored
2) Drive out the back gate and back on to the road
3) When he got all pissy about me cussing at him (really, that's weak) lay into him with some choice phrases about being a pendantic asshole
4) Some other really good ones I can't think of right now

Anyway, that place has issues with people being pricks and I guess people that are that high strung are going to have issues. Pity.

1 comment:

James said...

We had a guy that sounds like that who lived in our old neighborhood. Not living near him anymore was one of the best benefits of moving. He just had a grumpy disposition and wanted to be up in everyone's business, and EVERYTHING anyone did pissed him off. He called the police on us and our fellow neighbors numerous times for stupid things. At one point some little kids were bouncing a basketball around in the parking lot and the ball rolled over and bounced off one of the tires of his car...he CALLED THE COPS ON THEM. He had some real issues. I felt even worse for his own little girl because it was pretty obvious that he was at the very least verbally abusive to her. And it certainly affected in a bad way the way she related to other kids in the neighborhood.

I really hated this guy for a long time. I thought about ways I could "get back at him." Our realtor apparently knows this guy and said he used to be nice and fairly normal but then got in a bad car wreck and was never the same. So, that got me thinking that you never really know what's behind the way people act, and it's probably best to turn the other cheek, or be the better person, or whatever other metaphor is appropriate here. In the end, I think you feel better when you've taken the higher road vs. trying to one-up somebody. In the end, you're the one that has to live in your own head and be comfortable with the way you reacted. Once in a movie theater I turned around and yelled "SHUT THE FUCK UP" to the woman sitting behind me that kept talking through the whole film. At the time I felt good because it certainly shut her up, but ever since then, and this was probably about 8 years ago, I've been upset with myself for how I reacted. I'll never see that woman again, but I'll always remember how I reacted to her in that moment.

Also, as an added bonus of taking the higher ground, sometimes that gets under the other person's skin even more than if you engage them, which is sometimes what they really want. :-)