Last week I stopped for a cup of coffee on my way to work. Standing on a line with seven other people, I took advantage of what would be the last quiet moments of my morning before entering my fast-paced office; I took a few deep breaths, smiled at the Latin music playing overhead and chatted with the friendly stranger behind me. The woman in front of me, however, was a different story. An impatient woman with an abrasive demeanor, she walked up to the counter to order her coffee, barking her words as though they were a command.
“Sugar?” asked the polite barista.
“Gimme two,” the customer snapped back. “And don’t use skim. I want regular milk.”
As the barista put the lid on the top of the cup, the dragon-lady in front of me sighed and rolled her eyes, giving an impatient backward hand-wave, that rude way of speaking volumes without saying a word. “You’re slow and incompetent,” it implied. “Hurry up! My time is valuable and you’re inferior.”
But the two words she should have said, she didn’t. Grabbing the coffee and walking out the door without even acknowledging the man holding it open for her, she plowed down the street, never even bothering to say, “Thank you.” Continue reading