Monday, 20 March 2017

Losing One's Cool

The older I get, the easier I find it is to mobilize and show my displeasure about things.
Pussyfooting around is often the polite thing to do, but it often does not work with some who are dense, uninterested or both.
Sometimes a spade has to be called a spade.
Plain and simple.
The other night, fed up with one blogger's troublemaking on another's blog , I gave my frank and unsolicited  thoughts on the situation.
I hoped it helped .
Being called a twat, publicly is not nice
But it was kind of satisfying to do
On the internet it is easy to give your opinion.
In real life, it is not quite so easy.

The best put down I ever witnessed was on the 95 bus from Sheffield City Centre to Walkley one dismal evening many years ago and it involved a young mother of two and not a swear word in " sight"
The bus was busy, as was the traffic, so three large teenage lads, bored and fractious at the stop/start nature of the journey suddenly got up to no good and tripped up an elderly woman who had gotten ready to leave. The old woman stumbled into the laps of other commuters amid the giggles of one boy and suddenly the young woman was up out of her seat and in the boy's face.
In a clear, loud voice she said " what on EARTH are you doing?" 
The boy squirmed but she refused to let him unlock her gaze
" Have you a grandmother?" She asked him.
The boy tried to front her out and tightened his lips
" Have you a grandmother?" she demanded again
And she repeated the question several more times before the boy final answered in the affirmative
" Shame on you! " the woman said carefully and the boy's face flushed with tears as the confrontation was over.

The brave young woman with her two kids and shopping bags looped over her pushchair  not only shamed  that boy and his cronies but also pricked the conscience of an entire busload of passengers, including myself, who  probably would have done nothing but tut at the teen's behaviour.








66 comments:

  1. That young woman had guts. In teaching I often found that wily women were best at defusing angry situations involving yobbish lads. Male teachers could sometimes come across as aggressive or confrontational, adding fuel to the fire.

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    1. I found the same, when I was teaching. I was quite scary, so i'm told ;)
      Well done to that young woman!

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  2. Hooray for that woman; she taught a whole bus load a valuable life lesson that day.

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  3. "Sometimes a spade has to be called a spade. Plain and simple." - yes. and the older I get, the more I call out the h8/stupidity/ignorance. and I don't give six shits what anyone thinks!

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  4. If anything, I have think I have become more timid with age.

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  5. She was right, and calling a spade a spade is necessary to stop abusive behavior.

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  6. I always admire the people who dare to get involved. I hope she got a round of applause.

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  7. The mind boggles at what young people can get up to. So sad...

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    1. May I rephrase your reply, no offense meant:

      "... what people can get up to." Age, whether "young", old or medium rare doesn't come into it.

      U

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  8. I sadly suffer fools and idiots every day of my life , i have to bite my tongue smile nicely and pretend the customer is always right ...if they could read minds id be burned at a stake

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  9. Yes, John, a spade needs to be called a spade (unless it turns out a "five" pronged fork). And good on you to speak up for the (under)dog.

    I was brought up to speak my mind. Yet, over my lifetime, I have learnt that there are good ways of doing so, and not so good ones. Here is a thought often not acknowledged: Getting it "right" largely depends on how the recipient receives your message. In that respect blog land teaches a valuable lesson. Namely that if someone, for reasons not clear, is ill disposed towards you you are unlikely to live it down. Unless that person is actually prepared to make a 'U' turn. :)

    Whilst I often hear people, like your good self, say that the older they get the more outspoken they become I find myself biting my tongue more and more; literally going the opposite direction. However, like the woman in your example I too will pick up people on dropping the proverbial banana skin; jump to the rescue. However, what we need to remember, and it's astonishing, many people are just thoughtless, inconsiderate, oblivious to the consequences of their (in)actions, yet with little malicious intent.

    I think the most important, and as you yourself appear to be, is to be self aware, never afraid, and never too proud to say "sorry" when we ourselves put a foot wrong.

    Maybe you'll be so good as to tell me why so many of my comments sound like a sermon. End of which.

    U

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  10. i have absolutely no trouble at all calling someone out for their bad behavior.

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  11. Sorry to say I would probably be one of the tut-tutting brigade, but I'm sure Jenny would lay into them without a moment's hesitation.

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  12. I wish I had the courage to stand up like that. I do, occasionally, but I generally let what I consider to be little things slide. I choose my battles. A lot of racism, which has always been an undercurrent in US society, has bubbled to the surface with the election of President (t)Rump. Some are truly wallowing in what they consider "their" victory. I'm a liberal, Democrat homo. I ought to stand up more, but I've always felt time and karma will deal with them. It's not for me to wish ill on anyone because it comes back 4 fold on the ill wisher. Ofcourse, as I age, I realize that time isn't the ally it used to be. Bravo to that woman and to English culture that spawned it. I would have jumped up to help. I probably would have pulled the emergency cord, too, to get the driver's attention and perhaps dialed for the police. I suppose I'm more of an indirect confrontation guy. I'll do what I think is right and let God sort out the saints from the sinners.

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    1. We all need to do the best we can , when we ca me thinks

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  13. Cyber bullying is no different to any other bullying. It is difficult to shame them and once they are out of the headmaster's office they are back at it.

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    1. Rachel, I don't know whether you were ever called into the "headmaster's office". However, what I have noticed that, after a few reprimands from my incorrigible and optimistic self, you have dropped the liberal, nay generous, use of the f... word, not only in your posts but when addressing your commentators. We are not any longer told to "f... off". It makes your blog and comments so much more eloquent, so much more to be taken seriously, so much more evocative, not to say easy to read.

      Neither do you any longer tell people like me, on a third party's blog, that I am "not wanted". Remember? That was so sweet, so kind, so inclusive, so welcoming. I won't take credit for improvement in your manners. Maybe you had an epiphany.

      John Julius Norwich greetings,
      U

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    2. Ursula...this is my blog and my story not yours

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  14. Speak the truth and fear no man.
    Good words to remember when the situation warrants.
    Also, Tell the truth and shame the devil.

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  15. Bravo young man ! (someone taught him well)

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  16. My husband had a very good friend ( the godfather of my children -although he liked to refer to himself as their Godmother) ..
    He and my husband and some friends were out somewhere, a woman stared, tittered and said to her friend, Look , so and so, look at the Fairy.
    My husbands friend who might have been effeminate, was also quite tall and large .. looked down at the woman and declared in his operatic voice that reached all the way to China ...
    Madame, If I were a Fairy, I would take out my wand and fix your nose.
    She was mortified, everyone else grinned ..

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  17. I was looking forward to being a benign, avuncular, mild-mannered sort of chap when I was younger. It was not to be.

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  18. I remember seeing a 6' 4" policeman who was built like a brick shithouse, raising two football hooligans by their necks while speaking to the third their ringleader and a crowd of two dozen hangers-on on a crowded railway station platform on a Saturday afternoon. After a while the ringleader said "Can you put mates down, their faces are going purple." The bobby smiled and said:"Oh, I'd forgotten about them. . ."
    They all went meek as lambs to the match . . .

    They don't make 'em like that anymore.

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    1. Apparently in the village here, many years ago there was a bruiser of a policeman who " took no prisioners"

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    2. My Grandpa was both a player and coach of one our our footie sides here in Perth. some years after he retired he and my grandma were sitting watching the game, and these young yobboes behind them kept repeating everything he did or said, thinking presumably that because he was elderly he was fair game. My grandpa was a jolly old guy, but he had never backed down from anything in his life and he was always sturdy of build. Imagine their surprise when they said one too many things and he just turned and went over his seat after them and flattened them both. Bet they were politer to old blokes after that!

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  19. Perhaps we become less tolerant as we age because we have less time left in which to give the benefit of the doubt or turn the other cheek.

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  20. I admire people who can blast someone else for bad behavior.

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  21. What a particularly shocking thing for those kids to do! I'm not sure what I would have done in that situation. Probably wouldn't have been as brave as that woman, though.

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  22. I learnt to repress public emotions from an early age; 'losing it' became anathema.

    However, I've 'stood my ground', on a number of occasions; sometimes with unpleasant consequences. (Certain animal rights' demos, virtually guaranteed you a thumping.)

    I can understand people's reticence at becoming 'involved', when personal safety is at risk. Often though, it seems selfish insularity, and indifference, take priority over empathy.

    Is it your date with a weight scale tonight?

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    1. Fat club now next week..ive had to change my nursing duties!

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  23. Most likely I would have left without saying anything. Then later I would be angry with myself.

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    1. I worked as an assistant in an ophthalmologist's office in the late 90's. On Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday we had this excreable couple come in who said "You mean you're not closed on "N***** Day?" while laughing at their little joke. I was appalled, but I was low woman on the office totem pole so I kept my mouth shut. (The doctor was from Alabama.) When I had them back in the exam room the wife was complaining about all the Hispanic staff at the specialist's office we'd sent her to. She said to me "At least you're white!" The best I could come up with was "Are you sure about that?" and left the room. Probably didn't register with her though.

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    2. @TexasTrailer:
      It can be scary to say anything in a work situation for fear of losing one's job. I think your reply to her must have confused her tiny brain in some way, so good on you for saying it.

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    3. It is difficult for caregivers to challenge clients behaviour but i have done it after several big breaths

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  24. Twat is probably my most used swear word. Some days I just use it for punctuation.

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    1. Its just rude enough to be effective

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  25. I am sure the boy learned a lesson that day and hopefully grew up to be a decent fellow that would make his grandmother proud. Of course, sometimes a slug will always be a slug.

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  26. She didn't lose HER cool...she spread it all over that kid like icing on cake.

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    1. The best comment so far

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  27. I was sitting on a bus a couple of years ago when a group of burly teenagers got on. One of them turned up his music to an ear splitting volume. He was asked by several elderly passengers to turn it down but chose not to. I walked up to him and said that if he didn't turn it down that I would share my music with him. He ignored me so I sat directly in front of him and turned my music on full belt.... It was either perry como, matt munroe or something of that ilk. Then I turned to the culprit and said that I was actually on my way to his school and I never forget a face.. I would call him out in assembly. He huffed, puffed and swore at me. I kept my cool and asked him why he was searing at me when I hadn't sworn at him. Then he turned it down.... in truth I never remember a face. He probably got the shock of his life though as I really was going to his school to do an assembly.... He got off the bus a couple of stops before me... I got a round of applause from my fellow passengers who admitted that they would never dare confront anyone

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    1. Wonder if I'd have your chutzpah in such a situation. Given that the bus I normally ride does now and again have a passenger who gets 'trigger happy' on it, I may just suffer in silence.

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    2. Perry como would have had me apologising too

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  28. What is so impressive about this confrontation is that it allowed the boy to realize the shame of what he had done. It could indeed have been a life-changing experience for him -- at least I'd like to think so...

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    1. And she was only a wee slip of a thing too

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  29. What a bold young mom to shame that boy; I hope it changed him for the better, and the other passengers might speak up in future. Bless her heart.

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  30. As I am quite small I am reluctant to get into a situation where I might easily be punched. My righteous indignation has only ever been expressed to the owner of a farm animal petting zoo in summer when the animals had no water (none). I also called the SPCA to report them. And also when a carer at my father's nursing home made snide remarks about a resident not knowing the way to her room, I called her out for it too. I didn't dare say much there in case it came back on my father, but I felt he would have approved of that particular move.

    Well done to that young mother. Good for her. Too bad there are not more like her.

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    1. I think cruelty mobilizes action..it also makes people brave

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  31. Sometimes I'd like to hit people with said spade.

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  32. Well done. That young mother set a fine example for her children.
    I can stand up - but only for other people. Not for myself.

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  33. She's someone I would admire. What a powerful presence she must have! I admire you, too. What a powerful presence YOU have.

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  34. The young mother was admirable, but her actions put her children at risk. What if the boys had been more violent and attacked her physically, her children would be helpless.

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  35. Humanizing an shameful act. Allowing or forcing someone to feel what someone else might feel. Painful form of empathy.

    What a gal!!!!

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  36. I would have a hard time doing what that young mother did and to be honest, today, she might well have been beaten up for it - you never know, but good on her. I am very, very laid back so rarely lose my cool anyway and more to the point I don't want to because if I do I go from 0 to 100 in about 10 seconds. I do remember one time, about 10 years ago though, when I was flashed. Well can we say "more than flashed" if you know what I mean. It was lunchtime and whenever this has happened to me in the past I have been frightened - stupid I know, but it is incredibly upsetting. Well this time, I just looked the dirty old pervert up and down, stopped on his wrinkled little member (his pants were round his ankles) and said "that looks like a penis only smaller" - and the sick old bastard ran off. It felt good for once to stand my ground instead of feeling that fear! Anna

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  37. Good for that girl. I hope she made the rest of the people on the bus feel ashamed.I'm horrified that no-one else came to the old ladies aid.

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  38. This was very disrespectful and could have caused an injury! Mamma to the rescue, I'm glad she stared and shouted the boy down. In life, standing up for what is right and true isn't always the easy road. We must try though.

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  39. "Looks like a penis only smaller"
    This is brilliant. I sort of wish I had the occasion to use it :)

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  40. Well done for her. Perfect role model for others and especially for her kids.

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  41. Bravo to the young mom . . .
    It takes a bunch for me to "lose it!"
    But I have been known to do so . . .
    a spade is a spade is a spade.
    Unfortunately, I am not calm and pretty when I speak up to truth.
    I sure feel better though when I do, even when I "lose it!"

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  42. Bravo to that young woman! It is easier to 'look the other way' but increasingly important not to - incidents of racial abuse and such antisocial behaviour seem to be increasing, and I fear that 'taking a stand' is going to become increasingly important. I was braver when I was young - anti Vietnam and anti Springbok tour protests were logical responses to the social issues of the day. Today, it seems important to smile publicly at the woman in the burka, so support refugee resettlement, and if necessary to call Fake News by name - lies.

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  43. I'm so glad to hear that young mum stood up to the boys. I'd have done the same. I've put a stop to bullying by saying something. One girl I spoke to who looked terribly anxious walking home from the school bus has always smiled at me since. She's gone from introverted to being a school prefect.

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  44. Huzzah for her! I must admit I am somewhat intimidated on public transport, being a bushie who rarely has to venture on to it, and would find this very hard to do. I'd like to hope I'd do it though!

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  45. Well done to her, it takes guts to do but sometimes in the heat of a moment we find courage we don't realise that we possess.

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