Login   Sign Up 


Why I hate...

by markosterloh 

Posted: 04 November 2003
Word Count: 483
Summary: Monologue submitted for a website where anyone can vent their frustrations at a cruel and confusing world

Font Size

Printable Version
Print Double spaced

“Good morning.”


“Thanks a lot.”

Not even a smile.



It’s the same wherever you go. In shops, ticket offices, supermarkets, swimming pools, doctors’ surgeries, dentists’ surgeries, buses, trains, you name it – one’s natural inclination towards politeness and courtesy is, more often than not, rebuffed with all the good grace and acceptance afforded your average rapist.

I wouldn’t mind if these customer service professionals had good reason to ignore such innocent and well meant entreaties.

For theirs and everyone else’s information, I am not Jack Nicholson with a bad case of writer’s block. I don’t have spittle oozing down my chin. I don’t smell like rotting cabbage. I don’t produce smells like rotting cabbage - at least, not in the company of strangers. And I don’t hand out leaflets inviting voters to support their local BNP councillor. Mind you, in certain parts of Oldham that would probably have a different effect.

I wouldn’t get so incensed if it weren’t for the frequent looks of confusion or annoyed surprise. What did I say? Should I perhaps have…spoken…more slow…ly? Increased tHE VOLUME - A - TAD? Or should I have spared them the social embarrassment of oral interaction by simply flashing my leisure pass, before striding cockily towards the changing rooms with barely a backwards glance?

Now, I fully recognise that any job involving prolonged or frequent contact with the general public can fray the nerves, but I’m not the general public. I’m just me. I’m not demanding anything of my fellow human beings other than the brief acknowledgement that I exist and that this, on balance, is a good thing.

A confession: I used to serve the public in my previous guise as an Assistant Manager of Oddbins.

Day in, day out I would dispense wine, spirits and cigarettes to the stressed and depressed commuters of London Bridge.

They were rude, aggressive and always in a hurry. Over time I picked up some of their attitudes, reflecting back their bitterness and resentment, as together we ploughed deeper the daily rut of our unsatisfying lives.

I’m not proud of this. I’m not proud of telling the man from Price Waterhouse to shove his rioja up his rectum (I did enjoy it at the time though). At least I recognised this gradual erosion of respect for what it was and quit before the urge to smash a jereboam over someone’s head became too strong to resist.

So that’s what I hate. I hate people who can’t be bothered to be nice. People who believe that there’s no point saying ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye’ because they assume they’ll get nothing back and everyone’s an arsehole until proven otherwise.

Maybe it’s a London thing.

They say people are nicer in the country, but then quite a few of them hunt foxes, drive Land Rovers and wear far too much green and I hate that too.


Favourite this work Favourite This Author

Comments by other Members

roovacrag at 13:37 on 04 November 2003  Report this post
I liked this.yes northern people are more polite i find. Costs nothing to have manners and people should have more. Would have made a great poem. try it
XX alice

markosterloh at 14:32 on 04 November 2003  Report this post
Thanks for your kind words, Alice - you have the honour of being the first to comment on my stuff. To be honest I hadn't thought of putting non-work related material on the site (the prospect of high mortgage payments tends to concentrate the mind on less creative pursuits!)but i do have the odd poem knocking about...hmmm...maybe.

roovacrag at 14:51 on 04 November 2003  Report this post
Mark write. If you enjoy it do it.I write a lot of rubbish, but i enjoy it.
xx Alice


ouch......just read your profile.
Hope you succed in all you doxxxxxxxxx al

To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .