This will probably be a short post, but I have been meaning to write this for months now…but I just haven’t gotten around to writing it. I always have two or three ideas a month on what to write about. Blogger problems…right!
I have noticed (at least for me, and I’m willing to bet for most people) that I tend to think drivers are always jerks, no matter where they are driving, parked, or what. I say this because I have noticed that countless times I have misjudged someone’s actions as intentionally jerky over the last six months. Haven’t we all, though.
I first started noticing this months and months ago when I pulled into the gas station to get gas. I saw this jerk who had pulled his car up between two gas pumps so no one could use either of them. Well, it turns out the poor guy had broken down. It just so happened that he broke down at the perfect spot to where nobody could pull their vehicle close enough to the pumps to use them.
I don’t know, maybe it was possible to back up enough to the front pump to use it, and maybe someone could have inched uncomfortably close to the back of the stranded guy’s car to reach the pump, but I don’t think too many people would be that much of a jerk to do that while this guy is stranded.
Anywhoo, I must admit, I did call the guy a couple of mean names as I pulled into another pump until I saw him lift his hood and the such. I felt bad after that. After that instance, I really started taking note of how many times I assumed someone was just being a jerk.
After all, I’ll bet that I often seem like I am being a jerk when I don’t intend to be, whether it be pulling too far up at a parking spot to where no one can park in front of me or if it is not pulling enough forward that the rear of my Jeep is sticking out of the parking lot. We have all seen those jerks, right! Well, maybe they didn’t intentionally mean to be a jerk. Perhaps they were just in a real hurry to get in and out of the grocery store.
I will admit, though, that there is a difference between a parked jerk and a jerk driving down the road. I mean, people just don’t cut you off accidentally, right? They ALWAYS mean to! Well, I used to think so, but not so much anymore. I mean, we all have done it, and most of us wouldn’t consider ourselves jerks.
I remember one trip back from a trade show event where this guy swerves into my lane from the on-ramp to another freeway. Oh, I was livid! The guy swerves over from the on-ramp, cuts me off, and kind of guns it.
I decided that I would do something to make me feel just a little better…but wouldn’t matter an iota to him. I decided that I would drive past him and glare angrily at the fool! Well, I did that, and as I passed by, he responded to my glare with an apology! Can you believe that!? This jerk apologized to me for cutting me off!
Now, I do think he did apologize dangerously, but I understood that it was a sincere apology. He looked at me and mouthed “sorry” as he released the steering wheel and put his palms together in an apologetic gesture. It was yet again another instance of unintentional jerkiness.
The guy probably realized he was in the wrong lane and just swerved over…granted, not doing a good job of checking my lane, or he didn’t realize that I was going so fast. Or just maybe he knew he would cut me off but felt that he had to in order to get over in time. Yes, that last one is for sure a jerk thing, but I don’t think he would have done it if he felt he could wait for me to pass. But then again, he could have got on the other freeway, exited that one, and got back on his route.
Anywhoo, those two examples are just a couple of the times that I have realized people aren’t intentionally jerks when driving…or doing anything, really, at least most of the time. It is often our selfish perception and easily offended attitudes that makes us assume these people are just jerks.
I write this post, I guess, just to encourage you all to think and really think about whether or not the “offender” is actually intentionally doing so, or if we are just assuming that they are jerks when they just might just not be paying attention.
Anywhoo, I hope you enjoyed this short post.