This week’s *rant of the week* comes courtesy of everyone affected by those ‘upside down smile’ wearers, or in other words, those suffering from a bad case of Grumpy Bastard Syndrome. You know the ones. They walk around with bees in their bonnet, oblivious to the world around them. Stuck in their own little grumplefied bubble. They knock into us in a busy shopping centre, our bags go flying and they leg it as fast as they can, no apology in sight. The ones who leave the door to slam into our faces. The ones who can blatantly see we were first in the queue, and yet, they jump in front of us regardless. The ones who are fully capable of walking, and yet, they jump into the last space on the lift, leaving us with our distressed babies to wait for the next. As the doors begin to close, a glint of satisfaction fills their eyes.
You know the ones. They sit smugly on the tube, leisurely reading their newspaper, occasionally peeping over to watch us ‘standing folk’ squashed like sardines, head in the bosom of some other tube traveller. The ones who drive furtively into the car parking space we had been waiting for… for the past 15 minutes! The ones who drive through the big puddle on the side of the road, drenching us from head to toe; a smile of gratification fills their once smile-free face, as they drive on by, leaving us resembling none other than a drowned rat.
The ones who suddenly develop asthma if you light up a cigarette within a 2 meter proximity of them. The ones who fail to say thank you as you kindly hold the door open. The ones who purposely count out their coppers, one by FREAKEN one. They pour out half their life-savings in pennies upon the counter and revel in the fact, half the store are cursing them for the holdup.
Heaven forbid we knock into these grumpy old toads. Heaven forbid we leave them standing on the tube. Oh, and if we were ever to queue jump, we’d never live it down. They would give us the ‘stare of doom’, swear at us profusely and then continue to utter profanities under their breath as they hobble back to the rock they climbed out from. As a result, we are left feeling upset and you guessed it, GRUMPY! You see, this Grumpy Bastard Syndrome can be quite contagious. If you come across one, it’s likely you’ll, too, catch a case of the grumpy bastard fever!
We walk into the local shop to purchase some milk and newspaper, only to be greeted with a face resembling none other than a ‘slapped arse’. Whether it’s the pesky Saturday boy lacking in customer service skills. Preoccupied with candy crush, you’re lucky to receive so much as a grunt. Or perhaps it’s Samantha Loves-herself-lots. We don’t mind her so much, because whilst she’s busy pouting in the mirror and taking selfies, she’s given us too much change. Or perhaps it’s Helga Has-the-humps, tutting impatiently as we fumble through our bags for our purse. “I’m sorry for the hold up, Helga, but jeez do you have to look at me like I have taken your last Roundtree’s fruit pastel?” As we walk away, we don’t get as much as a goodbye, adios or Auf Wiedersehen.
Does it really take such an effort to throw on your smile? Is it so hard to pull out some friendly small talk? Are we really wasting too much of your precious time? Candy crush Craig, I’m sorry I was the result of your incompletion of level 80, I really am, but where were your manners? Selfie Samantha, I’m sorry I disturbed your 27th ‘licking a can of beans’ selfie, but …. “Hellooooo, I am this way, not in your mirror!” and hump-ridden Helga…well, I’m not sorry at all. I’m glad I ate your last Roundtree’s fruit pastel. “What’s that? Oh, your goldfish took a turn for the worse last night – my apologies”.
But even if our childhood cat died the night before, must we inflict our misery onto everyone we come across the next day, week or month? As we walk out of the shop, not only have we lost a little faith in what humanity has become, but we are feeling pretty damn grumpy ourselves. Before we know it, we have gained a bee in our bonnet, and god forbid anyone knock into us, we might just knock them out! (We wouldn’t really, we are courteous human beings!)
As you can see there is a viscious cycle of grumpiness. When I was sixteen I worked in a restaurant. The majority of people I came across were genuinely pleasant and friendly, however, it took just one person to make me cry upon the table I was wiping! New to the world of tills and way too many buttons to know what to do with, I struggled with one order. “Are you an invalid?” a customer sneered. I ignored his ill-mannered comment, and continued in impotence.
“Would you like a smile with your fries, sir?” I snapped, feeling the tears from behind my eyes.
Perhaps I was a little over-sensitive, this would explain why I was made redundant after two short weeks. The point I am making is, grumpiness is infectious. After I wiped away my tears, I was mad…Scrap that, I was really FREAKEN Mad! I would be crashing and bashing around in the distance. Knives and forks went flying.
“What’s up with the waitress” A customer would question, a concern in his tone.
“I guess it’s just that time of the month”. The manager would laugh nervously, making a slit throat gesture at me.
Needless to say, my bee-infested bonnet was removed and I was happy dancing my way out of those restaurant doors. Negative job experiences aside, it doesn’t take much to be nice to people. To be courteous and respectful. If we all took time to whack on our smiles and hold open a door or two, wouldn’t life be more pleasant?
*Picks up megaphone*
Calling all GRUMPS!
It takes approximately 3 seconds to hold open a door.
It takes approximately 1.5 seconds to say “thank you”.
And it takes only a second to give a person a smile.
There is no excuse!
Burst open your grumplefied bubble, release yourself from your bee-infested bonnets and turn your frown upside down!
You might just have that door SLAMMED into YOUR face!