Tuesday, 9 March 2004

Learning From the Public

On the bus. A man with briefcase gets on. Bus lurches forward. Briefcase hits man's (sittting on the aisle seat just behind the stairs) leg.

Man whose leg was hit says louder than strictly necessary and in an agressive tone, "Watch where you're going and what yer doing with this" as he slaps the briefcase dismissively with the back of his hand.

Briefcase Man replies, "I'm very sorry, the bus started up and I wasn't holding on because I was moving along at the time. Did it hurt you?"

I thought this was a very disarming response. Often when shouted at in public our instant reaction is one of fight or flight (shout back, be rude or ignore the person and run away). This was measured, reasonable, apologetic and concerned.

I suppose the only fault being he didn't apologise before being shouted at.

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