People who know me, know I can’t stand raw language.* It’s not a Midwestern quirk. Growing up, vulgarities and raised voices indicated violence was coming. Even now, a certain word said in a certain tone of voice curls my fists and makes me brace for a fight. And in my hometown, it was generally known that the more a person sprinkled foul words, the faster he lost an argument.**
In a professional setting, whether a nail salon or a dollar store, the norm is to be polite.
Therefore, I was surprised this week. I had taken my car in (leaky stemvalve) and was sitting alone in the waiting room. A male voice started lighting the air on fire with f-bombs. I could tell that the Neanderthal was on the phone because it was a one-sided conversation. I guessed it was a customer talking in the customer service area, on the other side of the billing/receptionist area.
Evidently, a parts guy somewhere in the US had dropped the ball and a customer’s work vehicle was stuck in the shop. The customer was losing money every day it was out of commission. Very, very heated.
After my own business was done, a service guy came to me and apologized for his foul language. I was rather shocked, but he explained that he couldn’t stand seeing his customer, already suffering because of the shutdown, unable to get his business running.
I accepted his apology and said I understood.
Then he said if I ever had a problem with my car and some f*** dragged his feet, he’d do the same thing for me.
*And as a certain English immigrant to Canada knows, that includes flipping the middle finger at me. I. Will. Break. Your. Finger. Off. And. Mail. It. To. Your. Mother.
**In college, I witnessed my upperclass roomie trying to “sound more authentic” (authentic what? moron?) by practicing vulgarity. I pointed out that, since she hesitated each time she said the f-word, it undermined her credibility. Ha ha.