Dealing With Jerks: The Comprehensive Guide

24 11 2009

There are 6,799,011, 761 people in the world at the time I write this. If you were stuck in 6.7 billion elevators with them, you’d probably like, or at least be able to tolerate, many of them (this doesn’t apply to suspicious curmudgeons such as myself). Thankfully we don’t have to make the acquaintance of all the people who share our earth; we do run into a whole hell of a lot over the course of a life, though. So what do we do when we meet a jerk?

What’s a jerk, you say? Let me give you a quick bio…

Jerks, more specifically know as Cranialis rectus, are found everywhere, but can be coaxed into letting out their distinctive shrill cries by several methods. Daring to have a different opinion, taking up their precious time in any way, and politely asking them to not shout into their cell phones have all proven successful. They are nearly impossible to intimidate once they have been questioned or crossed, and often refuse to admit guilt to anything. Jerks, of necessity, have evolved an inability to understand that anyone besides themselves is important, and can be recognized by such.

You all know one (probably more) of these people. Maybe it’s the chick at work who refuses to stop eating her daily plate of haggis right next to you, the high school girl who dubs anyone over 120 lbs. “Miss Piggy’, or that guy in front of you at the stop light who won’t go for a minute at a green, and then, upon your horn being beeped, gets out to berate you as the cause of ‘society’s downfall.’ They come in all colors, shapes, sizes,and levels of jerkdom, hell, they’re sometimes even family.

It seems to be my fate to meet them everywhere. I guess I just set them off by refusing to kowtow to their bullying, arrogant, nasty attitudes. I am also cursed with a temper rivaling that of my redheaded aunt after half a bottle of jack. So what do you do if you can’t stand letting them walk all over you?

Well, it’s simple. Standing up to them works wonders. You would be shocked how many otherwise normal people meekly accept absolutely ridiculous abuse from your local jerk. Now I’m not saying to go off on someone who doesn’t deserve this; reserve your words for the most deserving of jerks.

However, these malcontents have to be disciplined with tact, or you can come off as a jerk yourself. Let’s say you are waiting in line at Wal-mart, when the man in front of you starts berating the teller in tones more suitable for an outdoors murder. What did this teller do? The machine isn’t reading his card; clearly, this is 100% her fault and she must be reduced to tears immediately! So you, being the polite Jerk Slayer, say something along the lines of, “Sir, I don’t think she’s in charge of that machine’s maintenence, and if you give her just a moment, she can get deal with your problem, and our ears will thank you, too.” This must be said with a smile and a low, calm tone, but I swear to God, it usually works. Granted, you will get some spluttering, muttered epithets, even an angry, “Mind your business!” but usually a public reprimand of this type does wonders.

So the basic rules to dealing with jerks;

One, don’t lose your cool.

Two, be an example through your cool calm demeanor.

Three, be prepared to get the jerk’s famous #$%!&  spray turned on you.

Four, be confident in your correctness.

So go forth! Don’t be afraid to say something to the jerks you meet! These people think they can get away with their uncouth behavior because no one checks them, so put the kibosh on that rubbish idea! Your friends will thank you, everyone around will thank you, hell, you may even get spontaneous applause (it’s happened to me!) and you’re making the world a better place! Manners are the grease that keeps the hinges between 6.7 billion people spinning and you can be that wonderful, shining example of WD-40!

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Playing Miss Manners…

7 11 2008

After a scant 16 years on this earth, I’ve come to the dismal conclusion that there are just not enough manners to go around. Admittedly, I have been part of the problem on occasion, though I struggle daily with my natural insensitivity. That’s my cross to bear. But now I call for a return of the daily courtesies that make life run smoothly and everyone feeling the love!

Shouldn’t you shake hands or at least smile and look pleased when meeting someone new, rather than grunting/shrugging/lifting a brow? And does it really kill you to chew with your mouth closed- does your food need air? When driving with people in your car, please refrain from screaming around corners at eye-watering speeds. Say please, thank you, and I appreciate you. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes for a moment, you may very well be taken aback.

That’s my resolution for the next month; work on my manners and my friendliness. Brightening someone else’s day always brightens mine too.