I think everyone has to deal with run ins with jerks, be they friends, acquaintances, or total strangers. Due to the strict murder laws enforced in most countries most of us can only hope that karma is real and these assholes have their own assholes to deal with. Not everyone however is equipped to handle the situation. I personally consider myself something of an expert. I come to you as both someone who has to deal with assholes on a regular basis and someone that is something of an asshole herself. I can be a real bitch. Luckily I’ve chosen to use that power for good as a defender of the polite and likeable.
Time and time again I see my co-workers and complete strangers fold under the imposing pressure of a grade A dip shit who’s using an accidental bump of the shoulder, a mis-marked piece of merchandise, or the wrong number of sugars in their coffee as an excuse to relieve some frustration from their personal lives. Their wife left them for a younger man, or the guy they like has friendzoned them despite the fact that they’re “such a nice girl”; so they’re using your mistake or the mistake of someone around you as a punching bag for their feelings. These people have no right to talk to anyone in such a way much less a total stranger.
There are a few ways to deal with these people. None of these ways are to cry. Tears means they’ve won. Never let them win. One of the key differences in the work place between the higher ups and the foot soldiers is that management doesn’t get hurt feelings, they just get burning rage headaches in the place right behind their eyes.
While we’re establishing guidelines, apologies are also a no-no. Apologies are a sign of weakness and you can’t afford to show anything but the determination and ferocity of a mongolian warlord. Of course if you did fuck up you should definitely say you’re sorry; don’t be a dick. Never apologize for something that isn’t your fault like say a policy. It is however important to be diplomatic. Feel free to utilize my go to response to complaints that are completely out of my hands, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”
I personally implement five different methods when dealing with pieces of human garbage in my daily life which I will happily share with you now. Each are specific to the place, situation, and the offending party be careful in assessing the situation and choosing a tactic. All methods are intended to be followed up with a cooling down period, a bout of cursing and bitching, and a stiff drink.
Pretend to Involve A Hire Up
The Place: Work.
The Jerk: A high maintenance customer with an inflated sense of self worth and misunderstanding of the word “no”.
The Problem: Unreasonable demands have been made or there is an insistence of non-existing goods or services.
One of the easiest ways to deal with someone who just refuses to bow out gracefully after a mistake of their own is to pass off the blame they’ve placed on you to an imaginary figure head. Maybe this person wants to return used underwear or wants you to get them a medicinal lotion that’s long since been discontinued. Simply excuse yourself to the back or to make a phone call. Pretend to converse with your boss about the matter for an appropriate amount of the time than return and tell them the exact same thing you’ve explained to them three times already. In some cases they may demand to speak to said pretend manager at which point this is no longer your problem anyway. Nice job!
Call Them Out
The Place: Pretty much anywhere besides work and maybe school.
The Jerk: Mostly friends and family, but out of line strangers are eligible as well.
The Problem: Someone is generally acting like an irate asshat towards you or others.
Getting to calling people out when their being a dick is a rare thing but it’s by far the most satisfying way to address the situation. This approach requires lots of guts and few fucks. Most will only use this when their buddy is being a prick or when someone tries to start arguments with them over parking spaces, but I know for me some of my proudest moments are standing up for other people who don’t have the confidence to stand up for themselves or are in service positions and are unable to say anything. You don’t even have to get confrontational with it. Having an outside party step in to tell you to calm the fuck down is usually enough for most people to rein in their rage or attitudes. As much as we don’t like people sticking their nose in other people’s business most of us care about how we look to other people.
Be Unfalteringly Friendly
The Place: Work or other public spaces.
The Jerk: A stranger or acquaintance with a short temper and little self awareness who may honestly just be having a bad day.
The Problem: Overreaction to a minor/imaged slight, or accident.
Be warned the patience level for this technique is advanced. The concept is simply, defuse the explosive asshole by being disgustingly pleasant. No matter what they say or do you cannot react with anything other than a heart warming smile. The method is meant to shame your enemies into seeing the error of their dickish ways by realizing what a nice person you are. If done right you may even end up with a genuine apology.
Tell A Parent
The Place: At home, family outings, or holiday festivities.
The Jerk: Siblings, cousins, and neighbour kids.
The Problem: Sharing of goods and services, touching of personal property or stealing of seats.
A tired and true solution that has withstood the test of time. A shout of “MOM!” is sure to stop any wet willies, pillow tossing, or unwarranted channel changes in their tracks. If being told on doesn’t strike fear into your bullying older sibling or annoying little cousin, at the very least they’ll be distracted by your audacity to involve your mother in petty squabbles. Mom or dad will come into mediate the situation at which time it’s important to tell your side of the story first and the loudest in order to gain favour. You’re offender will be apprehended or your parent will simply tell you both to grow the fuck up. Either way any further arguing from your jerkoff relative will not be tolerated.
Resort To Physical Violence
The Place: Anywhere.
The Jerk: Incorrigible douche-nozzles.
The Problem: Appropriate method sited above has been executed and failed.
If all other options have been exhausted please resort to the fail safe procedure: punch them in their stupid face. Be mindful of witnesses.