We live in a fast- moving world. We eat on the go, text, rush everywhere. People often get angry or frustrated with people who slow us down for whatever reason. Today, I met a true asshole.
I went to WalMart today to buy a couple of things I needed. I hate WalMart and places like it. The high ceilings amplify sound, there are florescent lights, random beeping back up alerts, screaming children, and other sensory input. Still, sometimes I have to go there.
The asshole of the year stood behind me in the check out line. I only had 5 things to purchase and chose the express lane. I have problems with focus and attention in busy places, such as stores. Multitasking is hard for me in the best settings. It becomes nearly impossible in stores. The cashier talks, you have to process and respond- often when trying to pay for the purchases. Needless to say, I need extra processing time and move slowly in lines. Of course, today I had to forget my PIN and needed to enter it more than once.
I heard the guy behind me making comments. At first, they were mild things like “I don’t have all day” and “hurry up.” I didn’t get angry. This could apply to the cashier as well. Then he said, “Retards like you shouldn’t use this lane if you’re so slow.” That went over well. I have quite the four letter vocabulary when angry. That comment was all it took. My first response was actually fairly mild, “Shut the F up.” Now, I was really distracted and frustrated.
I wore an Army backpack to have room to carry home purchases. My speech and language processing also slow when I’m stressed or overstimulated. He made a comment about me being too stupid to have served in the military. I am proud of my military service and miss it. Here we go. Unfortunately, he managed to pile enough insults on me that I started to cry out of sheer anger and frustration. He “won” the argument.
The manager stepped in to stop the situation. The guy was told to leave and escorted by security outside the store. I was so upset that I wasn’t able to understand the pay process anymore. The manager slowly walked me through it.
This happened two hours ago. I am shaking as I write this and trying to hold back tears. I really want to hurt that guy.
Please, if you see someone struggling in line or anywhere in public, be patient and understand: not all disabilities are visible. Treat the person with respect. Or at least keep your mouth shut.
I came home to them:
Things will be better. Cuddle time with Brigid and play time with the ferrets (Bobby and Kaliyah) is therapy enough.