Earlier this afternoon, I was sitting in my big comfy chair, watching a few minutes of a Star Trek: Voyager repeat when my doorbell rang. I wasn't expecting anyone to come over (my family and friends are good about avoiding the "pop-in" without calling first to make sure I'm awake) so as I looked out through my peephole, I was puzzled as to who these two strangers were on my doorstep.
It's here I encountered my first dilemma. I don't know these guys from Adam so do I bother to open the door? Then my mind starts thinking--maybe it's new neighbors or they're having car problems and what would I hope someone would do to help me or a member of my family in a similar situation. So, I opened the door a bit.
And within ten seconds regretted it. Apparently, they were in some kind of contest to get points somehow. And if they got enough points, they got to go to Paris all expenses paid and they were in competition with this team of girls and yada, yada, yada, my eyes started glazing over. At this point, I had heard enough, pointed out the neighborhood had signs that asked for no soliciting and whatever they were selling, I wasn't interested. I then shut the door as I heard one go "Dude, come on!"
I closed the door and thought for a few minutes. I'm pretty sure these guys don't live in the neighborhood, so calling the home owners association gains me nothing in the long run. And let's face it, the cops have real criminals to catch, not just two guys whose only real crime (so far) was annoying me. (They could've been casing the joint, but maybe I've been reading too many detective stories of late).
Was I rude? Or just direct by not wasting both parties' time?
Then, after figuring out which episode of Voyager was on and recalling the basics of the plot, I gathered up my workout gear and headed to swim laps and then spin class.
So, I get there, get into my swimsuit (sorry ladies, no pictures) and head out to swim laps. As I approach the pool, I see one lane is filled with the swim team and the other two each have one adult swimmer. On a bench near the pool, a woman is waiting. I walk up and look around. She looks at me and starts talking to me.
"You won't get in," she says. "I've been sitting here waiting for them to invite me to share. And the lifeguards aren't bothering to enforce the rule about sharing the lanes."
"You'll wait until doomsday for the lifeguards to bother enforce the rules to benefit the lap swimmers," I say. I look at the two lanes and come to a decision. "I guess I'll try the more direct approach."
I walk up to the middle lane. I stand next to it and the swimmer notices me. I notice that it's a familiar face who is a regular, even though I am not sure what her name is.
"Hey, you want to share?" she asks.
"Thank you, I would," I reply and get into the water....only to feel the other woman's eyes glaring through me.
I start to swim and as I stop one time to get my hand paddles, I hear talking to another woman about how rude I am for cutting in line and I should have given her the lane to share.
Which let me point out here--a whole other lane has only one swimmer in it. All I did was be a bit direct and approach the lanes instead of waiting. If you swim with goggles, they can get fogged up in the water, making it difficult to see all the way to the bench where she was sitting. And I had given her the example of how to do it politely and without being rude.
And the final straw--the swimmer in the other lane is a lifeguard, so she knows the rules. And you'd think would be the first to follow them.
So, was I wrong? Is there a better way I could have handled it? Am I am a jerk?
Discuss and show your work. Partial credit will be given.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/22/2008 07:44:00 PM