(Warning: Includes spoilers from episodes 1 and 2, air date 9/25/08)
Michelle, the angry victim, was the first person voted off Survivor: Gabon last week. It reminds me of something I witnessed at the doctor’s office a couple of weeks ago.
I was in the waiting room when this tense woman walked in. Angry Woman went to the front desk and asked where Dr. D.’s office was. The receptionist told her that this was indeed his office. Her response was, “Oh, well I would have expected his name to be on the door or something.” The receptionist asked her name, and whether she had her “orders.” In a short tone, Angry Woman said that, no, she didn’t have her orders. The receptionist asked about some other paperwork and by now, Angry Woman was pissed. She sarcastically told the receptionist that she did not have that paperwork either, the implication being that the receptionist was out of line for asking. Angry Woman was given some forms to fill out and she sat down, fuming. After a moment, she declared to the room at large, “I might just have to leave.” She looked around at all of us, seeking a sympathetic face I suppose, and apparently the woman next to me gave it to her. Angry Woman addressed my neighbor directly: ”Did they treat you like that? I might not be able to stay here if they are going to treat me like that. Did they treat you like that?” My neighbor mumbled, “Yes.” Then Angry Woman muttered to herself for a minute or two. Eventually she went back to the receptionist and gave her a tongue lashing about how people who come here are in pain, and need help, and if this is the level of service from the receptionist what can she expect from the doctor, and she might just have to leave, and she is outraged, etc. etc.
I’ve been to this doctor about 8 times, and the administrative staff is way above average and I’ve always been treated with respect. The receptionist treated Angry Woman the same way, at least until Angry Woman gave her the bad attitude. Then, the receptionist was a bit more formal and short, but that’s about the extent of it.
After chewing out the receptionist, Angry Woman joined my neighbor and they started bitching together about how terribly they have been treated. I had to change seats because I just couldn’t take the needless negativity.
Later that day, I went to the drive through at McDonald’s. I ordered a Filet O’ Fish and a milk. Chicken McNuggets came up on the display screen. I corrected the order a few times, and managed to get the fish sandwich and milk up on the screen, but no matter what I told the woman on the other side of the intercom, those nuggets stayed up there. I was laughing when she asked me, “Will that be all?” as the quantity of nuggets went from 1 to 2 to 3. In a silly voice to make sure she knew I wasn’t mad, I said, “yes, but NO NUGGETS.” She laughed and finally got them deleted. When I got to the window to pay, I said, “You’re really doing the hard sell on those nuggets today, aren’t you?” She laughed and we had a nice moment.
How many times in the past have I been bitchy about someone getting my order wrong, or misspelling my name 3 times in a row, or not using their turn signal? What a waste! Most of these people are not incompetent or mean or out to get me. Maybe they are new on the job, or hard of hearing, or are actually doing something good that I’m just not aware of. Sure, the incompetent people are out there, but going through your life angry about how the stupid people are making your life hell is counterproductive. I’ve been doing it for 30 years and I’m just realizing that I’ve been the stupid one.
Michelle bitched and moaned about how her tribe mates were stupid. They voted her off because of her negativity, but she was convinced that they were losers and that they voted her off because she was strong.
Victims choose to live in the world that they complain about.