||[Dec. 8th, 2008|12:00 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
Survival Skills: Yr Doin It Wrong
Several weeks ago, I was coming out of the CVS in Porter Square and this very tall man started yelling at Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith sells Spare Change in the Porter Square area - you've probably seen him if you come through with any regularity. He works the top level of the Porter Square T Station when the weather's bad - otherwise, outside of the CVS or outside of the Shaw's across the parking lot. He is a slender, elderly Black man. He's very nice, but frequently incoherent.
The tall man claimed Mr. Smith stole his spot. Mr. Smith didn't really understand what was happening. I countered that Mr. Smith often worked this spot. Strangely, this did not placate the tall man. Then the tall man grabbed Mr. Smith's bag of extra newspapers and started to storm angrily away. THIS, Mr. Smith understood and followed after, yelling "Hey, those are mine!"
I followed after both of them, yelling at the guy to give Mr. Smith his papers back NOW! I used my Very Loud Voice. The man, seeing both of us following him, grudgingly gave Mr. Smith his plastic bag back and stated he was going to report Mr. Smith for selling without a badge and stormed off toward White Street. Mr. Smith's companion and I both urged Mr. Smith to clip his Official Seller's Badge to his jacket (which he did).
On my way home, I thought - THAT was dumb. That dude was huge! You have no sense, woman.
Well, I really proved that to myself tonight...
A fellow walked into the comic shop and demanded that I "open it" - I thought he meant the bathroom until he ordered me to hang up the phone and "open it" (inclining his head toward the cash drawer).
I don't respond well to threats or intimidation, so I started yelling at him at the top of my lungs to get the fuck out of my store. He refused. Since my boss was on the line with me, I told him to call 911 while I yelled at this guy.
We argued, but I yelled him right out of the store (although the customer coming down the steps might've helped spook him out of staying). I gave a detailed report to the cops, then had the post-adrenaline shakes for an hour.
Now my muscles are complaining and I'm thinking huh, my temper is going to get me killed.
I mean, he didn't have a gun or a knife, although he was acting like he might.
It kinda leaves me thinking now what?
Maybe I should take some anger management classes.