I’m sitting here in IHOP studying and drinking coffee.
This attractive, designer-dressed, early-twenty-something young lady got seated at the table next to me. After placing her order, she pulls out her phone and dials a call to a hospital to discuss a bill.
In what started out as a mildly snotty tone she informs them that she’s already called once to change her address, and informs them “I”m traveling for the next three months and I will NOT [her emphatic voice] being answering this phone so you are wasting your time calling.”
She then goes on to inform them in a condescending and overtly smug tone “when I came into your hospital, I asked them ‘do you accept insurance from _________.’” She continued, “I asked this specifically to your person. I paid my co-pay and I will NOT being paying anything else. It’s not my fault you hire stupid people who give wrong answers and then blame it on me. I will NOT being coming back to your hospital. Here… talk to my mom…” (That’s a summary of about 5 minutes of her saying the same snotty thing about 5 different ways and I’ve left out many of the childish “I’m really mature and pretty and used to getting my way and I’m putting you in your place you little ant” stuff she said. It was obnoxious and juvenile to the point of wanting to laugh at her. It could have been one of those girls on any number of embarrassing reality TV shows)
Halfway through the phone call, a middle-aged woman had walked in and sat down at her table. I could tell from the resemblance it was probably her mom. I was embarrassed for her having to listen to her daughter publicly act so haughty and superior to this person on the phone. The mom never said anything and just kind of sheepishly looked around. I empathized with her guessing what it was probably like to raise this spoiled diva. But then she took the phone…
The Falling Apple
You know where this is going right? So the girl says “here… talk to my mom…”
Three guesses (first two don’t count) as to how the mother talked to the person on the phone. If you guessed “exactly the same!”… you would be wrong. SHE WAS WORSE. She called them stupid, and REALLY talked down to them. She was relentless in telling them “I’m not paying more because you people can’t do your jobs. You should train your staff better, you don’t know what you are doing… blah, blah, blah.” Finally, after several minutes of “yap, yap, yap, yap, you’re an idiot” declarations she finally says “fine! How about we just put it on my credit right now and get it over with. I’m tired of dealing with you people.”
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Instead of being embarrassed over her snooty, snippy, haughty bratty daughter, she simply reinforced and modeled the behavior. Suddenly I felt sorry for the daughter realizing she was simply acting the way she had been taught to act. I’ll bet the mom gets all flustered when she can’t figure out why the daughter backtalks and talks down to her. Or perhaps she’s one of those parent who takes pride in their children being superior towards others.
PARENTS: your kids very often reflect YOU. If you don’t like what you see, the first place to look is the mirror. It’s not always your example or your fault, but often it might be.
NOTE: the Dad came in and sat down the same time the Mom did. He just sat there the whole time and never uttered a word. He’s either been beat into submission or pulled a Solomon: “all is futility”. Either way, he has abdicated his leadership of his family. As a father and husband, I would have been utterly humiliated to have my wife and daughter act like that in public (or private).
TIP: I have found beyond any doubt that when dealing with people, especially concerning a problem, if you are cheerful, kind, understanding, cooperative and respectful most often they are motivated to help you find a solution and see how they can help. Not always but most of the time I’ve found this true. Keep these timeless principles to keep in mind:
- The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree: parents, your kids are learning from how you treat others.
- You catch more flies with honey than vinegar: parents, your kids are learning from how you treat others.
- When you squeeze a lemon you get lemon juice: parents, your kids are learning from how you treat others.
- That makes my butt wanna suck a lemon.
I have no idea what #4 means, but my GrandDad use to say it and I just like to throw it out there whenever I can get away with it.
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