“Rude people suck” was the statement, and though that’s not a particulalry gentle way to put it I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment. That the statement is itself rude is one of the ironies of life.
By rude, I mean the following definition (via Answers.com):
1. Lacking the graces and refinement of civilized life; uncouth.
3. Ill-mannered; discourteous: rude behavior.
Like most people, I encounter the majority of rude behavior at work (after all, once we’re through with school we can associate with, or more precisely dissociate ourselves from, rude and obnoxious people. As I work in a ED, I expect people to be under stress, perhaps not tempering their speech in ways they might under better circumstances.
The difference between rude people and those who are rude ‘due to the moment’ is that rude people show no remorse for their behavior, while regular, decent folks will recognize a line was crossed and apologise, in one way or another.
Then we get to the heart of the matter, at least for me, which is what to do with / about the deliberately rude patient. The rude family I can deal with, usually just by exclusion (waiting room = penalty box). The rude patient is a challenge both personally and professionally, to everyone on the staff.
(An aside: if you’re rude as a family member of the patient you’re doing your loved one a disservice. We’re all pros and will do our jobs, but avoiding you, and therefore the patient is only natural. It won’t result in bad care, but it can become a vicious cycle of avoidance, ‘nobody is coming in to check on him’, etc).
I believe somewhat in Karma, more in the “what comes around goes around” sort of way, and realize life will exact a revenge on boors far exceeding my ability, but it’s hard to remember that when someone who needs your help calls you a string of four letter words.
I and some nurses were discussing this recently, and the theme of the discussion was that the rude behavior of our patients would get them denied service in pretty much any other place (merchandise return desks excluded, more’s the pity). The rest of the discussion involved why people feel free to be abusive to us, and we decided it’s because they can. They know we cannot throw them out or deny service because of rude, obnoxious behavior, we have to do our best even when they’re at their worst.
Perhaps you have another reason, or better yet a meaningful way to deal with rudeness?