The Massage Lady

As I was exiting my gym the other day I saw the massage lady coming up the stairs toting her collapsible table. She has an office or room on the second floor of the building and gets to work around 7-7:30. I see her at least once a week.

The massage lady is always angry.

She is in her car shouting on her cell phone, she walks across the parking lot shouting on her cell phone or sometimes berating a young woman also carrying a table. She is also a Russian immigrant so her angry shouting is sometimes in Russian, sometimes in English. The thing about angry shouting is you don’t really need to know what the words mean to get the gist.

The other day she got to the top of the stairs as I was going out the door so I held the door open as I left. This made me the target of the angry massage lady, or maybe it was just because she wasn’t on her cell phone and no one was with her. Either way she started shouting.

“What is wrong with you Honey? You think I don’t carry this everyday? You think I don’t open doors myself?”  I looked at her and said ‘No, I was just being polite.’

Propping the door open with her table she kept shouting, “You think I stupid? You not polite you obnoxious.”

I tried again saying ‘No. I’m not being obnoxious. It’s called Being Polite.’

“No you obnoxious, you bitch” was her answer where upon I said ‘Its called being polite you crazy woman!’ and walked to my car with her shouting obscenities behind me. The owner of the building was in the parking lot putting out the garbage and came over and apologized and said “she is out of here this week.” I can’t say I am surprised she is being kicked out of her building.

Her behavior was so bizarre I wasn’t even angry. I told the owner not to worry about it that she obviously has a sad life. I wonder how she can give anyone a massage with all that anger coursing through her all the time. Or maybe she’s one of those violent masseuses that leaving you feeling sore like you had a bad workout. I tend to avoid paying for that kind of abuse.

Needless to say it was a unique way to start to the day and the first time good manners was the reason someone called me a bitch.

I have included two charts for your edification because of course there are research studies and theories of politeness/impoliteness. One illustrates the dimensions of impolite behavior, and the other is a representation of how people respond to impoliteness. I see from the chart there were other choices I could have made rather than calling her crazy. Next time I will be more polite.

Responses to impolite act
Dimensions of impolite terms