Saturday, July 14, 2012

Madam Feisty

I tried talking myself into a stellar day this morning. While I pounced on the day with attitude, I still ended up having to deal with troublesome visitors. Well, really just one troublesome lady. This particular elderly lady felt the need to feistily challenge me after her walk through the museum. "How do you know what you are saying is true and how do I know you aren't just making that up?" she asked. Then she decided an underhanded insult would be a comfort by telling me how she learned anybody who uses the phrase "that is a good question" does not actually know answers. I cleared my throat many times while maintaining my fake, Barbie smile on my face.

"Well, ma'am, we have been trained in the history and I have read many books about the topic. I am not just making it up."

"You are just saying those things so I leave you alone."

I answered in the negative, that it was my job, (but, yes, all while wishing on the inside that she would have left me alone). Then I wouldn't have felt so shaken after she left. "You don't like your job, do you?" she asked.

Ma'am. I work hard and I do not make stuff up. I usually do like my job, contrary to my elderly lady visitor friend's perception, I just have a harder time when grilled by the brutal intensity of an eighty-two year old. I understand my role as a public servant and want to do my very best. I would like to think under the circumstances, I handled myself well. But I am definitely fighting the urge to go find, buy, and drink a large chocolate milkshake to salve my wounded pride.

I still might go do that. All in the name of sanity.


James L. Carey said...

While I will say there was a time I would have found a subtle way to make that lady feel 2 inches tall, I would have played it exactly as you did. Well done. The only victory over that kind of attitude is ignoring it completely and moving on to more receptive guests.

ekg said...

I appreciate that. I wonder if the public realizes how often they can be jerks to people who are there to help them?