I'm playing another tennis tournament this weekend and when I signed up, I didn't notice that the matches would begin at 4 p.m. on Friday. Normally, most of the tournaments I play start up at the earliest by 6 p.m. on Fridays. Considering that I usually play in places like Macon, this isn't a big deal. I can easily leave work at the normal time and get to the tournament location just before I have to check in for my first match, assuming I have the first start time, which I usually don't. This time the tournament didn't follow the normal schedule and I didn't think to check, leaving my wife and me with the surprise of having to find a substitute for the last hour and a half of class on Friday in order to make our start times. I knew it was probably a lost cause, but I thought calling the tournament organizer to ask for a later time wouldn't hurt. The worst result would be that we'd be told no and we'd turn in the forms and find the subs to cover our classes. I had K make the call because I was swamped with deadlines for my masters classes. It turns out that this was a mistake.
Telling this woman that she was being unnecessarily rude wouldn't have done any good. We may still have to deal with her at the tournament and people who go out of their way to be rude to strangers probably don't care enough to make being called out for being a dick matter. Here's my open letter to her just so I can get it off my chest without causing any problems.
I understand that the website said a couple of days before the draws were posted that singles matches may start at 4 p.m. on Friday, but I honestly didn't notice that information. Besides, that fact is irrelevant. When my wife called, she didn't come in with the attitude that she was important enough that you just had to drop everything and accommodate her wishes. We were hoping that perhaps some slack had been built into the schedule that could accommodate us or that someone else had asked for a move that would complement ours. We weren't asking for anything huge. Anyone who knows my wife knows that's just not the kind of person who would act like she was entitled to whatever she wants, and I was sitting in the next room when she called. I know that she simply explained our situation and then asked if moving our start times was possible. When you said no, she said, "I understand." That's where the conversation would have ended. Instead you sarcastically asked her if she'd bothered to read the tournament website and turned what should have been a 30 second conversation into minutes of bitchiness that left my wife visibly upset. Despite your attitude, she never once responded with anything other than understanding and politeness.
As her husband, this left me angry enough to want to call you back to bitch you out in return or shoot off a snarky e-mail apologizing that our small problem caused you to have to take a few seconds from your lousy, bitter life to answer a phone, but I held my tongue and my fingers. Talking to you obviously wouldn't do any good because you are not a decent person. I understand that perhaps you'd had a bad day at work. Perhaps we were just one of an endless stream of people calling to ask to have our early start times moved back and you were getting irritated. Perhaps your husband is a cold lump who doesn't love you anymore and won't give you the divorce you so desperately desire. Heck, given the sound of your voice, maybe you just found out that you have lung cancer from smoking a few packs a day for the last 20 years. I don't care. None of this justifies being rude to a stranger who approached you politely and deferentially. I can understand someone having a bad day and snapping at a loved one. They actually have a reason to care how you feel and they know the real you. They know that the jerk in front of them isn't the normal person and that you probably just had a bad day. They'll be around to see you later after you calm down and you can make things up to them. Even then, it's not right, but it's much more understandable. When you do this to a stranger you cause hurt that you won't be around later to clean up. You leave the insult open ended. No decent person does this. You obviously are not a decent person.
If you happen to stumble upon this open letter and somehow realize I'm talking about you, remember this: It's okay to react with sarcasm and anger to people who come at you with bitterness, anger, and the belief that everyone else is simply there to serve them. Doing so makes the conversation pointless and futile, but no one is going to fault you for not being a saint. However, when someone comes to you politely and with deference and you reply with sarcasm and irritation, you are a bully, and bullies are worthless human beings.