Posted by: dougery | June 7, 2011

Unintentional(?) Insult Tuesday

Picture me standing in a coffee shop. There I am, waiting patiently for my order to come up, a small cup of coffee in one hand, the keys to the Jeep dangling from the other because this here is a man with places to be. Tall-ish, dark (haired) and rakishly goodlooking, I’m all business casual in my jeans and plaid dress shirt which my brother forgot when he last visited and I totally incorporated into my own wardrobe, sorry bro! A man of purpose and integrity amidst a sea of undergrads in their sweatpants and flip-flops and alma-mater stamped behinds.

My bagel finally reaches the terminus of its inexplicably long journey through the toaster and the fella says:

“Plain bagel, toasted, dry”

Which is coffee-shop speak for “without butter, cream cheese, peanut butter or spread of any kind.” I usually eat my bagel on-the-go and spreads just make a simple drive to work that much messier. And I guess I’m one of those weirdoes who likes the taste of bread for its own sake because some opinionated young woman in line with one of those $6 bottles of organic fruit juice says to her friend, loud enough for me to hear as I walk away:

“A plain toasted bagel, dry? Yum!”

Only her voice was absolutely super-saturated with sarcasm. Like if her words were a solution and the sarcasm a dissolved salt then said sarcasm would be solidifying into giant craggy crystalline daggers of mockery. I very nearly turned around and explained my drive-to-work consumption preferences but then it struck me, wisely, that course of action would be to court disaster. Best not give her the benefit of the doubt that I even heard her witty zinger. Because all us dry bagel orderers need to be put in our place, apparently.

Later that same morning I was doing a task at work that is far from prestigious or even all that hard. It is simple but necessary, something an intern could likely do. I have other, more important and interesting sounding activities that get me through the workday but such things were already complete or still on the horizon. So I was there, doing this task, when a co-worker passes by and says:

“How’s it going?”

I reply, “Fine. Just blanking the blank.” There I needlessly described what I was obviously doing. To which I received,

“Well you are getting very good at that. It will sure look good on your resume.” And they walked away.

I stood there kind of stunned. It was so unnecessarily mean and out of character that at first I thought I’d misheard them. Or maybe it was a joke. But I’d heard this person make jokes and this wasn’t the way they went about things. Were they trying to be funny? Why go so far out of your way to insult someone you barely know? I just couldn’t understand why or even how this exchange had happened.

Such is the way of things on Unintentional (?) Insult Tuesday.



  1. Would you have felt better if the girl had said, “Live a little, dude. Here’s a pat of butter”?

  2. Dude, embrace the plain bagel. Celebrate it. Become a zealot. You’re actually eating a bagel, enjoying the flavor of a bagel, rather than using it as a $1.50 way to shovel 1,000 calories worth of processed cream cheese product in your mouth. That girl was not only rude, she was also wrong. Plain bagels and plain bread are great.

  3. UGH! The coffee shop girl will get fat with peanut butter. And the work girl will never learn to “blank the blank,” and when she needs to “blank” one day, but no one is there to show her how, she will accidentally staple her finger to her face.

  4. i love mean croftie.

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