When a former teacher suggested I turn my random Facebook snark into a blog, her only request was that I “not get political”. I hope this does not come as a disappointment to her, but I feel this needs to be said.
Our current administration has spawned an outbreak of grown men behaving badly.
Through my employment, I get to observe people professionally. In my experience, there is a clean cut date and time when my (and most likely other retailers) experience shifted from the occasional disgruntled middle age female “I’d like to see your manager – haircut” (No joke. It’s a thing. Look it up.) to the angry, acting out, grown man. “Men Behaving Badly”.
Our current administration warmed America up with salacious behavior. Scandalous claims of the treatment of women. Hostility to those of immigrant heritage. Making fun of the disabled. General dislike for those considered lower then themselves. Denigration of intelligence as something elitist or pompous. On the date of inauguration, a number of men (who likely held those desires and beliefs already) took on those reigns with a fervor. The President’s mindset, his behavior, made it acceptable for those men to wear the asshat.
In addition to being spat on, cursed, threatened, and generally berated as a ‘stupid woman’, I have had men ask for a male manager and suggest that I must have earned my job through sexual favors. “Are you a manager? Who’d you blow to get that job?” I wish I was joking.
Not only have my female staff been treated more harshly, my female customers have experienced mistreatment from older male customers. A few months ago an older man cut line one evening. The lady he stepped in front of (with her child) told him there was a line. He turned and yelled “Then I guess you won’t mind waiting in it, bitch.” He proceeded to yell, curse, berate, and generally behave badly. She, the young lady, was a combat wounded veteran. He was a man with no respect for a woman.
A man asked me about a product. I indicated that, although I wish we could help, the product he wanted to use was not chemically appropriate for the situation he wanted to use it for. He snarled, “You think you know something about something.”
Another manager in my store declined a man’s return. He had no receipt. It was high dollar. She was abiding by the return policy we have in place. He waited in his car until she went outside, then he jumped out and charged at her. Thankfully he chose to use his body, not his car. Thankfully two much younger men were near by. They took him down forcefully and the police were called.
There are more examples, including inappropriate physical grabs and swats. I could go on and on…but that doesn’t change any of it.
This type of stuff didn’t happen 2 years ago. Yes, people would get frustrated. Someone might raise their voice or use the occasional profanity. Someone might actually call customer service to complain. No one acted out physically. No one picked a fight with another customer. Times have certainly changed…Maybe it’s not his fault. Maybe this behavior was always latent. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but it seems incredibly coincidental.
Leadership is the example for the masses…and so it seems to be.