My job is about 50% customer service. More often than not this is the 50% of my job that I like best. It’s different every day. I see new people. Sometimes they are funny. Today, one man was not funny. Not at all.

The whole incident began because he says I disrespected him last week. I didn’t. As simple as that, I have never been anything but patient and respectful to this difficult man. It’s a long story but I give you my word on that. Are you on my side, dear reader? I hope so.

On that note, he said these things to me today:

“Don’t you know who I am?”
“I would slap you if you were a man.”
“Who do you think you are?”
“Do you see me in your bed at night?” (I’m assuming that one meant that I’m not his wife so I cannot tell him what to do. I am not even going to venture a guess at where else this might have been headed.)
“You are white trash.”
“I will slap you next time I see you.”

Through the repetition of these phrases (yes, all were repeated time and again) I still do not know what he wanted. I remained composed and asked him to not speak to me in that manner and apologized if anything I said seemed disrespectful. Two coworkers stood by as we let the man rant and they walked him out when he escalated his threat.

I left the area and went for a walkabout. (A cry-about, truthfully, and I hate that he made me cry)

By the time I returned to the officer – calmer if a little red in the face and about the eyes – word had gotten around. The event of the season. The boys in my office were concerned but not over bearing, the girls said I should have slapped him. My manager swore repercussions for such action.

Today I am grateful for that mean man. He reminded me that whatever else is going on, these people are on my side. It doesn’t matter who didn’t clean the coffee pot or didn’t answer the phone fast enough. They give a shit, at least a little. At least when there is some drama.