Thursday, February 6, 2014

Scrupulously Polite and Obliquely Dismissive

You know exactly what I mean when I say someone is scrupulously polite and obliquely dismissive.  Someone who is professional, but not helpful even though they obviously know something that may help you.  A co-worker told me about this phrase and I immediately knew what she meant.  I have found this behavior more often in connection with doctors' offices and government agencies which want you out of there space, quickly.

 Even I cannot say I am above this behavior.  I find when I am shopping I do not want to be sucked into anyone else's' drama.  I am very quick to extract myself from anyone who even tries to throw themselves on my mercy in the spice aisle at Shop N' Save or ask me about underwear while I am at Target.  And woe be to the hapless woman who dared to ask me how to get out of the store while I was deep in shopping Nirvana at IKEA.  I politely told her to follow the arrows and turned back to the amazing knives I was thinking about purchasing for $3.99.  Asking me a second time like I was some IKEA guru there for her convenience was a mistake.  Her mistake.  She was very lucky my mother and Natalie were close by and interceded before I tested one of those knives on her, but I digress.

The next time you hit one of those walls of civil unhelpfulness, remember the phrase, "Scrupulously polite and obliquely dismissive."  Also make sure the person isn't a plus-sized, middle-aged, woman swooning over knives at IKEA that curtain of niceness may drop very sharply.


AECDesigns said...

Don't you sometimes wonder how folks like that have survived this long? Like if they're THAT clueless, why aren't they still trapped in some giant super store somewhere? Clearly, they can figure it out on their own. They just want attention. ;)
And I admire your restraint at IKEA. I'd have beaten her with a Fjalltrav or an Arholma. ;)

Tempest ina Pot of Tea said...

I often wonder that about people.