Yesterday's post about "nonconfrontational" cowardice left out a really important thing. Standing up for yourself doesn't give you a license to be cruel or a bully.
At work, I occasionally leave the Post's live chats up on my screen when I'm addressing envelopes, sitting on hold, or doing other repetitive tasks. Having something to look at is a great way to prevent burnout. Today's chat was by Tom Sietsema, the Post's food critic.
I read a post by a patron at Brasserie Beck claiming that a waitress bullied him, then used the excuse, "I'm a blunt person." I just HAD to weigh in on that one, and enjoyed the following exchange with Sietsema:
"I'm a blunt person...": Ha! A waitress described herself as blunt? That usually means, "I'm very rude and think tact is for suckers, but I frame it as being blunt so people think it's charming." Tact is essential to good service. If you're "blunt", get out of the restaurant business and go work at the DMV. Seriously, that's the best laugh I've had in weeks.
Tom Sietsema: "If you're blunt, get out of the restaurant business and go work at the DMV" --- or CVS, I would add!
It bugs me to no end when people describe themselves as blunt. These are the same people that trample your heart and then say, "Well, I was just being honest!" Honesty is telling your friend that the purple sweater has a cute shape, but the color washes her out. Cruelty is telling your friend that the purple sweater makes her look like a big fat grape crossed with a zombie soldier.
So, yes, stand up for yourself. Speak up. Just don't be blunt. Blunt is code for trying to get away with mistreating others, but framing it as a cute little personality quirk. Blunt people are little more than bullies. And bullies are never cute.