The Roundup -

National Rude People's Day


It seems that anymore, someone somewhere has set a day aside for anything and everything imaginable. Just in the first several days of January and February alone, we have such oddities as Bloody Mary Day, Science Fiction Day, Fruitcake Day, Tater Tot Day, Wear Red Day, and Shower with a Friend Day. The list goes on and on for nearly every day of every month each year. I have no idea how these days are set, or for the most part, who would even celebrate them. I mean, there is even a Lumpy Rug Day and a Two Different Colored Shoes Day, both in May.

I have carefully scoured this lengthy list of special days from January through December, paying special attention to July and August because I know many of us, particularly tourists, honor a National Rude People’s Day. I just cannot find it listed anywhere. So, when this infamous day actually arrives, and it always does arrive without fail, I am always caught unaware and unprepared.

It seems National Rude People’s Day generally arrives in mid-summer, July or August, at the height of tourist season in Virginia City. It hits with a bang, without prior warning, and I am totally blown away when I realize, often as early as 8:30 or so in the morning, that the day has arrived unannounced once again, bringing a horde of impatient, uncivilized, insolent humans in its wake.

The day seems like any other day when I first awake in the morning, but somehow, somewhere, all the rude people who plan to visit Virginia City that day have been notified that today is their day, so cut loose and take advantage of all the satisfaction that bad behavior seems to offer. Unwelcome comments and actions abound.

Rudeness annoys me so greatly at any time, but because I work in a service industry, part of the job entails treating people with respect and courtesy even if they don’t deserve it. That proves difficult at times, particularly during National Rude People’s Day.

Let me provide a few of the less insulting examples of what I mean. I work at the Virginia City café, and ninety nine percent of the time, the patrons behave extremely well. I enjoy visiting with them and I’m pleased to provide them with the best service possible. Even during rush hour when I advise customers that due to the fact that everyone got hungry at once and therefore the place is packed, so it may take a little longer for their food to arrive, they smile, shrug their shoulders, remind me they are on vacation, and that a little wait won’t hurt them at all.

However, on National Rude People’s Day, the courteous tourists somehow have been forewarned and they stay home that day. On this bad behavior day, every other patron expresses displeasure about something. People want to eat on the patio and then complain about the heat, or the traffic on the road, or the warm dry wind that blows across the table, or the fact that they didn’t want to sit so close to other people. Others whine that they waited too long for their food, even though they can plainly see we have a full house of hungry guests. I’ve had customers lick their plates clean, then tick off on their fingers what they found wrong with the food, or the seating, or the atmosphere and then inquire if I will give them a large discount in compensation. I’ve had parents watch as their children scatter food on the floor, smear bits of their lunch on the table, and slop their drinks everywhere. These parents laugh as they leave and comment about the huge mess their children have left behind.

On National Rude People’s Day, anything goes. One customer harangued a couple at the next table over political opinions. This man didn’t know the couple at the next table, he just overheard what state they were from so he assumed he knew their political bend and started a tirade. I’ve had customers complain about the weather, the fact that Virginia City institutes a tourists tax during the summer months, they believe there is either too much ice or not enough ice in the water pitcher, they become annoyed that they can’t find an espresso machine anywhere in town, or to bemoan the fact that we still have dirt roads in Virginia City and we have no gas station. I’ve seen adults elbow one another out of the way to be first in line. The list of trivialities goes on and on.

One particularly hot Rude People’s Day, I slipped across the street to the candy shop. I figured nothing picks up a mood like a large slab of homemade fudge. I asked the gal behind the counter how her day had gone. She glared at me, pushed a strand of hair back from her tired-looking face, and said, “Today was National Whiners and Complainers Day and someone forgot to tell me.”

Aha. I immediately felt better. It wasn’t my imagination, I hadn’t brought out the rudeness in people, they brought it with them and decided to share among all the businesses in town.

I will keep my eyes open this year and if I get the slightest inkling that National Rude People’s Day looms on the horizon, I will pack a lunch, head to the hills, and hunker down for the day. I just hope that this year I get a bit of warning ahead of time.


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