Somebody help me out here: How do you deal with mean people?
I usually try to be uncommonly kind to people who serve me as part of their job (bank teller, sales girl, customer service rep, etc.) because I know that a lot of times these people deal with the flack over issues that they have little to no control over.
But what do you do when they are just straight up rude to you?
Today the girl at the Subway counter was being just awful. I asked for spinach on my sub and she put on literally 4 leaves of spinach. I said, “Could I actually get a lot of spinach?” She then proceeded to reach for the next ingredient. I assumed she didn’t hear or didn’t understand what I said, so I repeated myself. This is logical, right? She responded with, “I know I heard you! Hold on!”
Then I decided I wanted some avocado. They charge by the scoop, and in the past I’ve been asked how many scoops I wanted. I said, “I’ll just have one scoop.” She responded with, “I know, that’s what I was going to give you. You didn’t have to say that.”
This is not a matter of “I’m the customer, I’m right”, it’s a matter of “I’m a human being, I prefer not to be snapped at and condescended to.”
I almost said something along the lines of “you should lose the attitude” or even “don’t be such a bitch, please” (because using the magic word cancels out the vulgarity of the b-word, I’m pretty sure), but I wanted to say those things because I felt contention in my heart and wanted her to feel small. No matter how people treat me, I never want to be unkind to anybody- I don’t want the character of others to determine my own character.
This was a small and essentially meaningless incident, but it has raised in my mind this question: How do I respond when the incident is, in fact, meaningful? I know that I will have situations where I deal with cruel and spiteful people. How do I deal with that?
One might say, “kill them with kindness”, but I feel like even that is spiteful- a way of making them feel belittled in comparison to our aggrandized unalterable righteousness. So help me understand- how does one maintain love and humility when faced with a person who is intentionally cruel? What is the Christian way to behave?