Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mean Voters....(getting yelled at)

I'm not used to getting yelled at. I don't deal with it well. When someone yells at me it makes me feel all unsettled, which is one reason why I generally don't yell at other people (that, and I'm just not a loud person).

I went to pick up my son from kindergarten today, and since it is voting day, the parking lot was full. I generally don't worry too much about pulling in behind the line of cars that block a row of parked cars because the parked cars are generally teachers who won't be leaving during the two minutes I'm blocking them in. I have been blocked in before, by a woman who visited with several other mothers while I waited for her to move her vehicle. It was irritating, but I waited for her and it was only a couple of minutes.

Anyway, there were no parking spots available today, so I pulled as far forward as I could hoping that the only cars I was blocking belonged to teachers. I saw kids coming out, so I hurried to go get my son. It wasn't his class, so I waited for one minute until his class got out. Then we hurried to the van.

When we got there a man in a small sedan was part-way backed out, and I thought he had hit my van with the way he braked suddenly. He jumped out of his car and started yelling at me "is this your van! Is this your van?!" He also said something about me blocking him in. I apologized and said I was just picking up my son from school. I understand his frustration with being blocked in. For that I'm really sorry.

There were no parking spots, and everyone just pulls up behind the parked cars- in a nice little row- when they pick up kindergartners. Having all the voters there made it a mess.

So as I was starting to pull out so he could get out (remember, I'm trying to hurry because he is obviously upset about the whole thing), he managed to maneuver his car around mine, causing me to brake suddenly- I didn't expect him to dart out like that- I didn't think there was even room for him to get out.

A raise in my blood pressure might do me some good, maybe I won't feel so dizzy when I stand up, but I don't think this man was benefited by the raise in his blood pressure. He could have said "I'm really frustrated that you blocked me in. I'm in a hurry and don't appreciate your idea of a parking spot". Then I would have said, "I'm really sorry, there weren't any parking spots and I thought I saw my son come out of the school, so I was trying to get him to the van before anyone needed to back out, I'm sorry it took longer than I had anticipated".

Then there wouldn't have been any raised blood pressure, or near-crashes, or general unsettled feelings on my part.

Next time someone does something that you find upsetting, try speaking calmly instead of yelling. Everyone will feel better.


Emily said...

whew...I have a story like this except that the person who yelled was not just a grumpy impatient jerk, he was also 100% in the wrong which really raised my blood pressure. I was riding my bike back to my office from a meeting downtown and I was on a street where there was no bike lane and a row of parked cars, so I was far enough into the lane to avoid getting doored. Plus, I was making a left turn. I stopped at the 4-way stop sign and heard a honk and a voice behind me yell "Get out of the *BEEEP*ing road!" I completed my turn and looked back at the guy in his silver SUV, and gave him the staring of a lifetime, which prompted more yelling and impolite name calling. I responded in sign language and rode away but proceded to look up the relevant vehicle code provisions which I put in a letter to the editor that never got published. Probably the guy in the SUV worked for the newspaper or something. I was SOO mad. Sometimes I wonder if yelling back would be wonderfully cathartic or just make it worse. Maybe the best thing would have been to speak calmly to him about why his assessment of the situation was incorrect, while taking note of his license plate #.

wordsfromhome said...

Sounds like a case of "the school building exists so that I will have a place to vote," not "the school graciously provides a place for voting even though it does interfere with the school schedule somewhat, and it is good for the children to see the political process."
We also vote at a school, and, being aware that there are a lot of children there, I prefer to park down the street and walk back to the school and leave the parking lot for the teachers and parents. It is too bad that he did not see the situation for what it was.
He was a bit short sighted I think.

Anonymous said...

I would love to just go and kick that man in the shin for you. At my twin daughters' headstart, we have to park like that as well, and it does make for difficult times. Generally, as we live in a very small town, we dont have many conflicts, but once in a while, you get a jerk like that. *hugs* Maybe a cyber hug will make you feel better :)

onlythetoilet said...

I remember at BYU, a guy who got mad at my roommates and a couple for "taking" his parking spot. The guy went up and shoved the WIFE of the couple to show how big he was. The husband acted with amazing restraint (of course, though cussing out the guy without getting too agressive) and the guy went sulking away.