So, I’m an idiot. Actually, I’m a “f&$%ing idiot” to be exact. I was called those exact words this week after an innocent mistake while driving on the highway in a construction area. Not being able to see around the dump truck, I mistakenly followed it into the wrong lane of the construction area believing I was following the flow of traffic. This resulted in a construction worker (a foreman) yelling loudly only a few feet away from my car, calling me a “f&$%ing idiot”, and dropping the f bombs several more times at me while shouting up a storm. I had no idea what I had done wrong until, in my shock, I finally registered that he was pointing and yelling at me to “get in the other f&$%ing lane”. I obediently moved over, without incident. All the while, my six year old daughter sat in the back seat.
Let me point out that there was no immediate danger. I was not speeding or causing potential harm to him or any of the construction workers on site. There were no markers saying which lane to stay in and no flag person directing traffic at midpoint of the long stretch. There were pylons lining the middle and sides of the road, but no indication given as to which lane was the side to travel on. My sight line was extremely limited behind the dump truck and so I had no idea as to which way to go, as there were no other vehicles ahead. But, for that, I’m a “f&$%ing idiot”.
I’ve never been called an idiot before (at least to my knowledge), let alone a “f&$%ing idiot”. I know I’ve been called other things, maybe even worse things, and I know that there’s probably at least of couple of people who probably don’t think too highly of me right now for their own reasons, but ‘idiot’ is a new one for me. Maybe you could even say that I’ve hit an all-time low with that one.
What exactly is an “idiot”?
Dictionary.com tells me that an idiot is an utterly foolish or senseless person. Wikipedia.org explains that an idiot, dolt, or a dullard is an intellectually disabled person, or someone who acts in a self-defeating or significantly counterproductive way.
Personally, I think I fit neither one of those definitions, but once again, some may disagree. I think what’s important here is that even if I was utterly foolish or senseless, or even intellectually disabled, there is NO WAY in HELL that I, nor anyone else, deserve to be treated like that.
Treating others in this way is absolutely shameful. Name calling and cussing at someone is completely unnecessary, and, in my opinion, speaks volumes about the person who is doing the insulting and cursing. It is mind blowing to think that anyone feels they have the right to treat another person in such a low, derogatory way; it’s bullying, it’s verbal assault, and it’s shameful.
Maybe I should feel pity for that hateful man on the highway. Perhaps he was having a bad day (although it was only 9 am), suffers from low self-esteem and needs to feel superior to others, or perhaps he is dealing with other issues in his life. But you know what? Even a naturally compassionate person like me has a hard time feeling sorry for someone who was so blatantly malicious and verbally abusive towards a complete stranger in a confusing predicament, especially with a child in the vehicle. Calling someone an idiot, let alone an “f&$%ing idiot”, does not evoke sympathy in most people I’m sure, especially in such circumstances.
So am I an idiot for not knowing which way to go in this confusing construction zone? (Even my most industrially intelligent friends say no.) Did I deserve to be shouted and cursed at repeatedly by a community worker for an innocent mistake which was easily corrected? (Again, my community service worker friends adamantly say no.) Personally, I’d like to think not. Perhaps the only thing that makes me foolish out of this whole experience is the fact that I allowed this person, this sad excuse for a fellow human being, to upset me to the point where I was visibly shaken from the encounter and that I allowed it to bother me for the next couple of days.
What I’ve taken away from this experience is vital. This occurrence has reinforced my firm belief that everyone we meet, whether it is a formal introduction or a passing on the highway, deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. NO ONE deserves to be screamed at, called names, or to be treated badly for ANY reason. Once again I believe that the Golden Rule is of the utmost importance – treat others the way you would like to be treated yourself.
So, construction worker/foreman from a construction company which I will not name and slander at the cost of you, you know who you are and what you are, and this is my message to you:
I AM NOT A F&%$ING IDIOT and SHAME ON YOU for your behavior. Let’s hope that maybe, one day, you will eventually learn to treat others with respect, regardless of their mistakes.