There are certain things that will set us off. Things that rile us up. Sometimes it’s a topic. And sometimes our loved ones know the exact things to say to get you worked up. We all have that one friend who loves to say uncomfortable things just to see what will happen next.
“Hey…let’s talk about your views on politics…war…religion….and let me disagree with each one…and argue with you even though I really don’t have an opinion…I just like to fight.”
For me, it’s a word. One word. And when it’s said in any discussion, it drives me crazy. Well, it’s also the tone in the way it is said. A few days ago, the word entered my life again.
This interaction happened during one of my many jobs.
“Let me see…Ok, is this food or soup in this container?”
“Food….who cares? Why does it matter?”
“Well, I just have to weigh it a little differently…and not scan the container.”
And then the man said it. The word.
“Ok, your total is ___”
Whoa, was that twice? I stopped again. I collected myself and helped the next customer. Problem was, that particular customer wasn’t done with our interaction. I turned to the next customer and said.
“How’s it goin’ sir? Did you find everything you needed?”
The previous customer was still there…and leaned over the counter to interrupt me and the new customer…and said:
That’s right…three. Three “whatevers.”
Why did he do that? And how did he know that was “my word.” Did he secretly know that was the word that made my blood boil?
I know what you are thinking.
“So…so? What did you do Dan? Did you jump over the counter and give the ‘whatever’ man a judo chop? That’s what I would do…I would have jumped ON the counter and did a jump kick…yeah, a jump kick. Or maybe a roundhouse kick.”
And I would say.
“Whoa..whoa karate master…relax ok? Why so violent? This happened to me…not you ok? So, don’t go randomly judo chopping pedestrians ok?”
I didn’t do anything….in fact. After the last “whatever,” I laughed. It became funny to me. That man heard me laugh. And you know what he did when he heard me laugh?
He laughed too.
Sometimes, we just have to look at things differently. He was angry…and tried to make me angry. And in that process, we both realized it was hilarious. In fact, I bet you can recall a few heated moments in your past that are funny now. You probably had a situation where someone tried to rile you up…and make you mad because they were mad. And sometimes that person is us….we are angry and try to rile up others around us. We are all guilty of that.
Its in that moment…where you just have to say “whatever.” Just make sure I’m not around when you say it…haha!