Every once in a while, I run into some Bad Behavior — so do you, I’d wager. I know it’s going to make me feel better to talk about it, so why don’t you join me in putting your occasional gripes here, too. We’re all trying to up the game a little in our corner of the world: maybe pointing out a shortfall now and again will help.

22 Responses to Ouch!

  1. Faith Barry says:

    I try not to rise to this challenge(you know what I mean) but yesterday…I parked in the space to the left of the handicapped spot. I have a little car but I still parked as far over from the HP space as possible- a little extra room to maneuver y’know. To MY left was the last space-a little tiny space partially blocked by a store barrier. So I run into the store-literally 5 minutes-and when I come out? Some JERK in a BIG red pickup had parked next to me on the left! And because his truck was too big for the space,he had blocked the stern of my car in! btw The parking lot was empty. Fortunately, I am a very good driver,my car is tiny and the HP spot next to me was empty,so I carefully made my way out. I REALLY wanted to march into the store and yell at the guy BUT also yesterday my old friend Frankie received a new heart..so I thought to myself “If this is the worst thing that happens to me today, I am a lucky girl” Still keeping my eye out for that truck tho….

  2. Lisa says:

    My 8 year old son and I were in the supermarket recently when he saw an elderly man in a wheelchair struggling to reach an item on the shelf. My son asked me if he could help him and replied of course, however ask the man first don’t reach for the item without asking first. My son approached the man and asked him if he would like some help, the man raised his head quickly and as he did so knocked another item from a lower shelf. He then started to yell at my son, “kids in a supermarket always in the way” and continued to mumble to him self. My son turned to me with a blank look on his face and walked back to me. He thought he had done something wrong even though he was attempting a good deed. It took a long time for him to realise that what he offered was a good deed and that not all people would react the same way.

    • You’re so right, Lisa, and oddly, something similar happened to me tonight. I was leaving a public bathroom and a woman in a wheelchair was pulled up to the sink…but not *that* close. I left the room, thought about it, and came back. “Can I give you any assistance at all” I asked. The lady smiled and said “No, thanks,” having been asked the question s thousand times. When to offer help, and when to stay out of someone’s way — and possibly offend them — is a tough call.

  3. I have a beef with my hometown. In fact, it seems everyone in town has the same beef.

    Several years ago the town started to require residents to use special orange plastic bags to put your garbage in. So when the truck rolls by to collect your chicken bones, cookie wrappers, coffee grinds and lemon peels, they all have to be tied up in these bright bags with a big Town of Dartmouth logo on it, or your stuff is left in the bin on the street.

    It’s a revenue stream for the town, these bags, and I get that — we need the money, no doubt about it, and $10 for five bags (oy!) brings in plenty. But they are so expensive, and so ill-made — the sides split or a hole pokes through at the slightest encouragement — that you have to actually put your garbage in a regular plastic garbage bag first, and then double-bag all your waste in a Town bag after that. So, two plastic bags every time, unless you want all your trash spilling in your driveway on your way to put the garbage out every week.

    This is a beautiful, big town, with corn fields and rivers and no sidewalks and honor farm stands. How can we not be greener than this?

  4. Well, Ashley, your intentions were sure good, but looks like you’ll never be a chef!

    By the way, I can tell you where I’d like that lunch delivered any day of the week. I’ll even consider tipping you $5 back on that $10!

  5. AVB says:


    A few years ago I passed a pregnant homeless teen on sixth avenue. She was asking for money, but I wanted to go the extra mile. I bought her a turkey sandwich from a local deli and slipped it to her with a bottle of water and $10. She unwrapped the sandwich and as I started to walk away she yelled after me, “Hey, there’s no mayo on this!”

    Good deed foiled by a condiment.

    • Rena says:

      Funny, because as a mayo hater I would have been extra delighted to find it without. I’ve had sandwiches ordered for me before that included mayo, and I keep the horror to myself and surreptitiously scrape it off when nobody’s looking.

      The nerve of this girl though! Seriously, shut up and buy some mayo with the ten bucks that was just gifted to you by a stranger!

    • Sunshine says:

      I had a similar experience years ago, but it has stayed with me. I was sitting in a small park eating a sandwich, alone–but several other people were also in the park and eating their lunch. A man approached me–not the others, just me–and in a very emotional way told me he was famished and would I give him money. Instead I offered him half of my sandwich. He looked at it with such despair and anguish. I guess it wasn’t what he wanted, what he wanted was money. I can no longer remember the rest of the conversation. He walked away, without taking the food. The so called whites of his eyes were yellow. He was also wild eyed. I was filled witih mixed emotions: frightened, yes; disappointed at my growing cynicism that he must not have really been that hungry, or else he would have gladly taken the food; upset at my feelings of fright and of not being able to just give him money, since no matter what he needed it for, he clearly was in some type of dire straits, and who was *I* to question that; so what if his hunger was for drugs rather than food? I should have just given him money. I was partly also annoyed he approached me and only me and no one else. Blah blah blah. The upshot is, why couldn’t I have spontaneously just given him money and not second guessed him. Just have reacted with unquestioning compassion, in the moment?

      • kiers1220 says:

        You DID! Unquestioning compassion is not giving what someone asks for, it is UNSELFISHLY and unconsciously offering whatever you have to them. You had (and were eating) a sandwich, which you offered to eat less and share with him. I don’t want to be religious, but if I’m not mistaken that is what we are taught from basic kindness. I’m only sorry that he sullied your thinking because I hope that your initial instinct will always stay so kind and unselfish. Lead on girlfriend and don’t change.

      • You got the idea, Kiers!

  6. Jen the Tiny says:

    As I arrived at the post office to mail my first round of gifts, including a large package stuffed with goodies for a deployed servicewoman, the only spot available was next to a white Cadillac SUV that had parked its huge assets over the line and crowded the space. I was careful about getting out but while fetching the packages from the backseat, I did bump the car a bit. I quickly snatched the door back in hand, checking for marks (none, of course, it was a nudge) and carefully extricated my packages out one-handed. Which is not easy since I’m all of five feet tall in my stockings and a couple of these packages were heavy!

    As I rounded the car (and I had to go around the car since the Caddy was over the line to the point that there was no way I could squeeze between the two), the young “lady” barrelled out of the driver’s seat, cellphone still attached to her ear, and snarled at me “Did you just bump my car with your door?!”

    “Well yes, a little bit-” I started to explain, about to tell her that I had checked and there was no mark.

    “Why did you bump my car?” she interrupted.

    “Well you ARE parked in two spaces…” I said to her backside, as she stormed around the back of her vehicle to check for the damage that wasn’t there. As she did so, she hollered at me: “Maybe next time you should consider being more careful!!”

    The packages heavy in my arms by now, and the line getting visibly longer at the post office I wasn’t quite inside of yet, I’d had quite enough of her rudeness. Turning on my heel to head to the post office door, I hollered back, “Maybe you should try doing a better job of parking next time!”

    It wasn’t very Christmas-like of me, I know, but I did have the satisfaction of seeing her re-park as I stood in line.

  7. Howard says:


    i once found a paycheck on the floor belonging to someone who worked at a neighboring business. on my break i went over to the restaurant to give it to a manager there. when i asked to speak to a manager, the employee went in the back and relayed my message. 10 minutes went by and no managers came out. the employee went back to remind them, and still no one came out. i was getting kind of impatient and asked again to speak to a manager. this time the employee came back with a message from the manager: “what do you want?” i ended up just giving the check to the employee who happened to be there and trusted them to do the right thing.

    an interesting postscript: this restaurant was later fined by the city for withholding tips from its employees.

  8. Thank you , Stella. It really riled me. What I shoulda said was “You had plenty of time to ask me for a donation!”

  9. Stella says:

    Clearly she doesn’t realize that everytime a bell rings an “angel” gets their wings. Ba humbug to you Ms. West Elm. We’re gonna celebrate with or without you! xo


    Several times over the last few weeks, I’ve dropped into a local West Elm store to sniff around. I kept hearing the tinkle of a little bell over at the register – I figured it was some sort of promotion where a random customer gets a special discount. When the bell rings, everyone around claps, too. Whatever it was, I liked it.

    Today I discovered what the bell-ringing is all about, because I actually bought something. When I got to the front of the line, the cashier asked me if I’d like to donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Sure, I said, add $2 to my bill. The woman behind me, clearly more of a West Elmer than myself, piped up. “Hey, you didn’t ring the bell!” she said. The cashier to our left has been ringing hers pretty merrily.

    But my cashier just looked at us and said flatly, “I don’t have time for the bell.”

    Really? Did I mention that it was the middle of the morning and not very busy? (And that she had also mistakenly shortchanged me a dollar?)

    You’re asking me for money, and you can’t even give me a musical high-five?



      I braved another visit to West Elm, because frankly, I cannot resist their wares. When the inevitable request came for a donation to St. Jude’s, I said yes yet again, but decided to dive in and tell the story of my last visit to today’s much merrier sales associate at the register, Carlos. His response:

      “I think you should ring the bell.”

      Carlos gets it. Carlos saved the day. Carlos made me feel good will toward West Elm again today.

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