At work, I have a voicemail greeting that provides answers to the frequently asked questions I receive. It also explains I am part time and will call back when I am in the office. I did this in an attempt to alleviate frustration and to put a stop to the rude messages from people who were pissed off because I wasn’t there to answer their call … at 5:30pm on a Sunday night or 7:30am on a Saturday morning. These are not standard business hours, yet people still think someone should be here.

At any rate, the bulk of my pissy voicemails – the messages I got to listen to at the beginning of my day – were from Seniors looking for information about the senior passes. They would get downright mean and say all manner of nasty things on my voicemail because I didn’t answer my phone.

Now, even with the greeting providing answers and directions about these senior passes, I still get the occasional mad barking on my phone and it is so not fun. Even with the greeting stating that I’m a part time employee, today, someone call here SEVEN times in a matter of five minutes while I was in the supply room, doing inventory. On the seventh call, they left a grumbling, mumbling message full of profanity and slammed the phone down.

All of the grumpy messages I have received over the last 2.5 years, no matter why they were calling, have been from men. And the people who have been rude to me here, in person, because no one here can provide what they’re looking for, have also been men. Over my time here, I have received a few kind voicemail messages that thank me for the nice greeting. All but, maybe,  two of them have been from women.

While I understand that men, in general, are more stressed out and scientific data backs that, I have to question how we, as a society, have taught our men that it is okay to behave this way. It isn’t. It isn’t okay for ANYONE to behave this way toward another human.

We are all here together on this planet, humaning. That, in and of itself, can be difficult. How you CHOOSE to interact with other humans goes a long way in setting the tone for someone else’s day.

Choose love. Choose kindness. Choose gentleness. Choose respect. Choose allowance.

Choosing these attributes is a choice FOR the continuance of the human race.

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