Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Anger MGMT

Whether it be over the din of traffic-stopping jackhammers or bass-driven house music ejecting itself out of a shoe store in Union Square, at the person who just pissed you off in line at Trader Joes or directed at a Verizon employee getting a talking to about poor customer service just outside the entrance, everyone in New York seems to be yelling. Ok, so one expects to shout over the pounding of a jackhammer, but one should also learn to just quit talking until the noise is a block behind. The thing is, most decide to continue talking right over it.

The city is never free of noise. Horns are constantly honking at slow-moving buses, sirens wailing to get to the scene of a crime or accident, people shouting over their cellular devices (“I was, like, what the fuck? I don’t understand her…Y’know what I mean?” is a conversation I’ve overheard coming from several people). It seems as though this noise has driven people to their more hardened states, making them more inclined to snap at the drop of a hat. Cut someone off on the sidewalk in Union Square on one of their bad days? Be prepared for a world of hurt comin’ straight at your ears.

I’ve experienced a particular incident not once, but FOUR times: employees of the shop in which I’m patronizing simply standing around, usually in groups of two or three, complaining about their personal lives or employee relations in unnecessarily loud voices. Two women behind the counter at Foot Locker (my roommate, Maria from Greece, sees a brand name and MUST enter the establishment, which makes getting anything productive done while shopping with her a total impossibility, although at the same time endearing and enjoyable, if only to see that satisfied look on her face that she is truly in America now) went off on each other in front of the two of us about how the younger of the two, who happened to be slathering her lips in ChapStick, had an attitude problem. In Bed Bath and Beyond I had to interrupt a heated bitch-about-something-or-another fest to ask where the towels were located. In Associated Supermarket yesterday I chose to sidestep the woman who was getting an earful from her boss about another employee. I really wanted to know where to find soy sauce, but this guy looked pissed.

I suppose in some ways these distractions that take employees away from the drone of the workday are helpful, are much needed. They are able to vent and let off some steam in a city where the only place to escape stress and crowds is the comfort of your own bedroom or living room; even there, for some people, it’s easy to become surrounded by their possessions, claustrophobic even. But I look at it this way; their form of anger management certainly saves them a lot of money in analyst bills.

1 comment:

ddmarie said...

ugh. angry people. i know just living in la i have been guilty of serveral offenses, but it sounds like new york has it bad. i just hope if doesn't rub off on you!