Monday, December 7, 2015

Guns Ablazin'

I think that no matter how innocent your actions are towards another, there will be times when you inexplicitly set them off. There have been several times that I can recall where I have been laid into by someone who felt that I had insulted them to the core, whereupon they came at me with guns ablazin'. As far as I could tell my actions were wholly benign, but something they perceived in my behavior or words triggered them into an attack.

I was talking with a colleague in his office when a friend of his popped in to say hello. Out of the blue he offered to go and get him some coffee. I asked if he was my colleague's "pool boy" (a reference to a sketch on a show called Mad TV). He then laced into me with vehemence about my insensitivity that his people had been forced into servitude for generations. This guy was of Asian descent but he was American white bread through and through.

A colleague at work waved to me and said hello across a parking lot as I was going in one direction and he in another. I gave the usual dude head nod, which is normally universally accepted. However, this guy hunted me down and launched into me because I did not say hello back.

I pulled into the parking lot at work at lunch time the other day looking for an open spot. Half blocking the path was a car that I presumed was idling, the driver waiting for someone to join them. To be sure, I paused for more than a few casual Mississippis but the driver just sat in their car. I saw no taillights and no sign that the driver even cared whether I was there or not. I then pulled into the first spot that I came across among several available. A large woman then rolled out of the car and tore into me because I took the spot that she claimed she was planning to back into.

I wonder what goes through people's minds when they verbally attack someone that they don't know or don't know all that well. What reaction do they expect in return?