Dealing with rude people

The restaurant was particularly busy. People were bunched at the door, waiting to be seated. The waiters were working quickly and efficiently, giving each patron a smile or pleasant word. As I started toward the register to pay my bill, a waiter friend intercepted me. "What do you do when people are rude?" he asked.

Apparently one group of people had been most unpleasant. He explained that he would never accept such treatment without comment in his personal life, but in his professional capacity he felt he shouldn't react. Yet the injustice and verbal abuse rankled.

Unfortunately, aggressive, self-centered behavior is not uncommon. For almost two decades self-help books have been touting militant self-promotion as the way to success. Self-assertion is equated with strength of character and victory. Humility is associated with passivity and failure.

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In next week's SENTINEL
October 20, 1997

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