How to judge others without actually judging them

Once again, I had a very…different…customer at work today. As our conversation progressed, I came to realize this person was very egotistical, as he seemed to think my “negative” answers were a commentary on his own actions. It was a long and trying conversation, but here’s the gist of it;

Man of about 25-30 years old comes in at about 1pm. He grabs a comic, sits at a table and reads for a bit, continually rubbing his forehead. As he gets up to return the comic to the shelf, he totters a bit like he’s losing his balance, but steadies himself.

Naturally I ask if he is okay or if he needs a drink of water. He tells me no, it’s just that his combination of drink + weed is not meshing well…after which he winks at me and insinuates that I must surely know how that feels. I tell him I don’t, and go back to receiving inventory. Big mistake.

He gets up, leans on the counter and basically lists off stereotypical teen/college “activities” that he is positive I’ve engaged in:

-Getting drunk? No.
-Smoking tobacco? No.
-Smoking marijuana? No.
-Doing cocaine? No.
-Driving while/after drinking? No.
-Waking up in a strange bed? No.
-Sneaking out after sex? No.
-Showing my tits for drinks? No.
-Hanging out in bars? No.
-A bunch of other things I do not care to mention here.

By the end of our “conversation” he is absolutely pissed about my one word answers.
First he claims I’m lying- I assure him I am not.

Then he says I’m incredibly boring- to which I say he’s probably correct.

Lastly, he says he’s “not surprised” that I have not done any of these things because now that his head has cleared a little, he realizes I’m “very ugly, with no personality or sense of adventure”. I smile and tell him that I am fine with his opinion, even though quite a few people would disagree with him.

Disgusted, he walks out, still unsteady on his feet. I go in the back room and laugh for a full minute, startling one of my coworkers. Ah, people…They always take such offense at your refusal to act as they do, even when it’s dangerous/unhealthy. It’s as though their view of the world is completely threatened by someone who lives differently.

What about you, dear readers? Have you ever met someone who was unjustifiably offended by your decision to not engage in dangerous or addled behaviors? If so, how did you respond?

3 thoughts on “How to judge others without actually judging them

  1. Those type of self destructive activities have never appealed to me nor have the people who do them hold any attraction for me. If they don’t like it then to bad so sad cause I’m just too busy reading the latest science fiction novel to notice. 🙂

  2. I completely understand. It may be because I don’t have a trusting personality, but I’ve never understood why/how people can indulge in substances that make them vulnerable. I also follow the Rede very closely and it says “an ye harm none”, which I’ve always taken to mean myself and others. Since recreational drugs are harmful…I have no reason or desire to use them.

  3. I guess he ended up feeling pretty bad about himself after your honest answers and put you down to bring himself back up. How sad. And a guy to avoid, eh?

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