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December 16, 2008

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Jane

Call me weird, your retorts were perfect. :) I only wish i was that bold. People are so goddamned rude these days. I generally just act passive aggressively and leave unsatisfied. :)

Krys O.

You could always resort to treating them as imbeciles. "I'm sorry I didn't realize you were lost with the big people. Do you want me to get a grown-up to help you get back home?" Say this slowly and ooze condescension.

bartlebyvqf

There's an anonymity some people feel in New York City, or in any large crowd, which causes them to think "Since I am never going to see any of these people again, there are no consequences to being rude." The train to or from a Ranger game or Jingle Ball would be case in point. Worse yet are the last NJ transit trains out of Hoboken. Ask a homeless person how the Hoboken revelers treat them, it's shameful. it includes everything from shouting in an old woman's ear, to aggravated assault/attempted murder.

Listener Sharon

I've also noticed that the amount of pushing has increased lately. It used to be "excuse me" and then you got pushed before you had a chance to step aside. Now pushing seems to be the normal way to move through a crowd of people. Just one of the many drawbacks of living in our clean, safe, low crime, no threat city. We need a few more "Don't push me cause I'm close to the edge. Trying hard not to lose my head" types on the street. Keeps everybody's personal space respected.

Many years ago when I was hugely pregnant, but undetectably so from the back, somebody pushed me into a subway so he could get in before the doors closed. I turned right around and firmly pushed him out as the doors closed. He was too shocked to do anything but watch the train roll away.

Cynthia

Difficult as it can be to do so, I try to find some humor in it when confronted by that sort of wildly boarish behavior.
I figure, why should *I* stress over it, and negatively affect MY good health,well being and halfway decent mood? No way!

Cynthia

Difficult as it can be to do so, I try to find some humor in it when confronted by that sort of wildly boarish behavior.
I figure, why should *I* stress over it, and negatively affect MY good health,well being and halfway decent mood? No way!

WmMBerger

This is exactly why I don't go into Manhattan more often. The solution is to get out of the city, or walk around dressed like a member of Immortal (gauntlets, spikes etc.) As Albert Ellis said, "People are going to act the way they want—not the way I want."

Todd Norlander

You reminded me of a Christmas joke:
Jesus had just kicked the moneylenders out of the temple and was walking down the front steps. From inside the temple a voice shouted, "Shut the door, Jesus. What were you born in a barn?!"
Sorry

bartlebyvqf

has anyone heard the one about where Jesus said "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone?" What folks don't know, and I think this is only on a fragment from the Nag Hammadi codices, was that he followed this up with "Hey wait a minute, I'm without sin. [Goose Gossage wind up and release] Let the stoning begin!!"

Sorry coudn't resist.

E.P.

I'm from Ohio originally and I noticed this behavior as soon as I moved to the Northeast. People up here view politeness as a weakness and are often proud of the amount of attitude they can throw around. Rudeness and an extraordinary sense of entitlement are the hallmarks of folks up here. It's not just New York, Boston is often worse. I can't wait for the day I can leave these ignorant twits behind.

bartleby

That's not true, I work with tourists every week and consistently their response is that New Yorkers are more polite than they'd expected. Generally it's the out of towners coming to a dead stop on a crowded sidewalk, Canal St. especially. I can't speak to the issue of whether or not midwesterners shout into their cell phone or play their iPod so loud I can hear it over the music on my iPod

The anniversary of the day that bad thing happened has each year brought consistently ruder tourists. People who hated New York until they could use it for some sick justification and we're supposed to bow and scrape because they want to come and gawk.

Pete

Hell, if you want to go down that road, you can make the case that things went to shit when New York became so Pleasant and New that the failure to say "excuse me" actually started to rate as a problem in people's minds.

Jeez, didja all move here five years ago? I thought you were gonna say the shove in the back was a *gun*, like anyone would have thought not so long ago.

There are *problems* in the world, and yeah, all politics is local, and how you live your life on a personal level accrues on a global level, but still, is there DDT in the New York water now making people's skins too thin to survive?

It's not that being polite isn't important, but if you've got real life to deal with, expecting everyone else to isn't worth the stress.

Nilla

I once had a woman push me on the street...WITH HER CAR!!!! I was standing there waiting to cross the street when I was backed into BY A CAR!! When I went up to her window to tell her she hit me, she told me I shouldn't have been standing there. When I said, okay, well did you think maybe honking maybe was more appropriate than SHOVING ME WITH A CAR!!! She screamed back at me in Long Island Entitled gibberish.

JNo

I agree with Pete's comment. The Iowa firecracker should not turn his/her life into stories-- based on what I read here. This comment is not intended to start a verbal conflict.

Dale

"The Iowa firecracker should not turn his/her life into stories"

Where do writers get their stories if not from life?

I love phrases like "were you raised in a barn?"... If you grew up in a certain time and a certain place phrases like that and "Close the door! You think it's the 4th of July?" and "...why Mothers get grey!" can ring close to your heart.

illlich

Yeah. . . rude people in NYC. . . who'd a thunk it?

thand

“You were just standing there in front of all the magazines,”

I agree with the woman who pushed you. She was pushing back. You shouldn't have been ignorant of your public surroundings. It is rude to block the magazine racks. I hope she taught you a lesson.

The irony is that the women who pushed you at the magazine rack probably would be in solidarity with you at the theater. Only difference, she would have quashed the cellphone jabbering.

K

I think the thing out-of-towners have to realize is that _most_ random strangers you will bump into either can't speak english at all or only slighly. Additionally, personal touch and space are very different depending on the culture. So, often saying "excuse me" in english is a meaningless gesture. I have found a gentle index finger tapping on the shoulder works well, and no one interprets it as a threat ( a "can I have your attention" rather than a "get the hell out of my way" gesture ). Pushing is just being an asshole, but you know most locals come to realize that when you push on something it can have the nasty habit of pushing back. Who sez NYC is suddenly all safe and cozy? And sometimes, the gesture is warranted.

For example. You're all walking up a long flight of stairs out of the subway. When you hit the street, invariable, some out of shape bastard will stop right there at the top step to rest. Everyone else behind is now stuck on the steps. I will admit to having pushed one or two such people to get out of the station. It's just _one_ more step to get out of the gate, you know? That's the situational awareness thing the previous poster was writing about.

Ronnie

"You shouldn't have been ignorant of your public surroundings." Translation: "You should guess MY intentions and do what I want every moment of every day. If you don't I have the right to assault you anyway I want." Sheesh.

Ronnie

"You shouldn't have been ignorant of your public surroundings." Translation: "You should guess MY intentions and do what I want every moment of every day. If you don't I have the right to assault you anyway I want." Sheesh.

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