Some People Are Jerks

Today, I learned a funny lesson. On June 8th, just about a month ago, we had the town building inspector come by as our gas company installed our dryer and did some work in the basement.

While he was here, he came up with a checklist of everything that was wrong in our home. Mind you, we had barely moved in, and the mistakes he referenced were all thanks to the previous owner. Anyway, the man humiliated me. He laughed in my face, and he had clearly reduced me to some sort of stupid young girl in his mind. He wouldn’t leave my property, he called my husband an idiot, and the second he pulled out of the driveway I cried a river of angry, insulted, powerless tears. That confrontation was clearly not what I wanted to hear during the miserable first week of our renovation after picking my dad up from surgery and preparing for an international trip less than 24 hours later.

Anyway, today, he came back to check on another installation. I was equal parts nervous and emboldened by my anger. I wanted to tell him to go to Hell, but I also wanted him to approve my stove installation so that I could eat something other than yogurt or meat from the grill.

I braced for impact, ready to be told that, once again, my house was a disaster.

I saw his all-black oversized SUV pull in, and I watched as his familiar smirk emerged from behind the tinted windows. I immediately felt reduced to a bag of nerves and tried to mentally prepare for whatever was to come.

I waited… and waited… and listened, ear to the door, but he was back in his truck and out of my driveway in a mere 5 minutes.

Where was the man who had pointed between my eyes and laughed at my distress just weeks ago? Surely this was the same guy. He drove the same car, wore the same smirk, and had the same job title…. But this guy walked in, said, “Great!” and walked right out.

I was almost bummed. I had been hanging on to this anger for four whole weeks, and I was a little bit excited to release it. I wanted to put him in his place, just as he had tried to do to me. I wanted to be a tough guy, and I wanted him to feel like I felt at his last visit.

But it was over in 5 minutes, and I didn’t so much as say “hello” to the guy. And guess what? I felt relief. So what does that tell me?

Some people are jerks. They were jerks yesterday, and they’ll be jerks tomorrow. They don’t only unleash their jerkiness on you. They’re jerks to everyone. And by being a jerk back, you’re not going to stop them from being a jerk to the next guy they meet.

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So, let the jerks be jerks, and don’t ever stoop to their level. It always, always pays to be a decent human being, and it honestly doesn’t matter if that jerk likes you or hates you. He doesn’t even like himself.

While my afternoon could have resulted in a back-and-forth with a guy who doesn’t really care what I think, it instead resulted in a game of catch with my pup, a newly-installed stove, and a new blog post. I think I know who the winner is.