Hey you, yes you, what’s the rush? Are you Usain Bolt? Are you a cheetah? Well, then slow the hell down, says Natalie Trice.
No, there hasn’t been an emergency call from school and I don’t have a hot date, but this how I react to the drivers who sit on my bumper and rev their engines to encourage me to leave ‘their’ space, and fast.
This behaviour has nothing to do with my parking abilities (that’s a story for another day), but is one of many examples of how complete strangers find it perfectly acceptable to get up your arse in a bid to get ahead.
Welcome to Generation Urgent, the bane of my life. These are the people who never queue online, therefore will do pretty much anything not to have to do so in real life either.
They don’t give way, they barge into you on the tube and as for that dog-eared copy of Metro, they’ll fight you to the bitter end.
With two kids, two dogs, a husband, a career and charity to keep in order, I know only too well that life is busy. However, when the cashier beeps through my shopping at high speed so I have no time to shove the Penguins and bog rolls into my Bag for Life, I want to shout, “STOP!”
My social media feeds are dripping in busy memes, I am forever double booking and with endless deadlines to be met, never have I wished more for an eight-day week.
While this makes me forgetful, a bit stressed and slightly sweary, it doesn’t make me an arsehole. That would be the bloke who tuts and causes my flustered fingers to wobble as I press my digits into the cash machine.
It’s also the owner of the sweaty towel who air punches when he, not me, bags the best spinning bike and as for the woman who knocked me flying to get the last copy of The Sunday Times, well, let’s not go there.
Only yesterday I was gatecrashed in Costa by the Monkey Music mafia, who spread board books and plastic debris across my table as a subtle hint to hot-foot it. Heaven forbid a lone drinker was taking up valuable space when she had less than half a flat white left.
Where have manners gone? When did patience stop being a virtue?
Why is it OK for you to breathe your morning breath over me on the train just so you could hold onto the rail? Who said you could rattle the public loo door to make me wee faster and exit in haste, often with my knickers tucked into my dress?
“Unless Donald Trump declares war and you need to stock up on lentil soup and bottles of water, don’t snatch my trolley before my quid is released, but instead stand back, wait and give me some blinking space.”
I wanted to ask the deep sighing girl why she was making such a fuss as I scrambled to find my change at the car park machine. Fearing a mouthful, I checked in with Eve Menezes Cunningham, a MBACP Counsellor at Feel Better Every Day, instead.
She said, “When we’re running on empty, the slightest thing can push our patience limits. Often, it’s when we haven’t allowed ourselves enough time or space to do whatever needs doing. We imagine it will be OK as long as traffic and other things outside our control all go our way.
“Naturally, other people have other plans. The cashier may have no idea about the rush we’re in (and why should she or he?) and the sooner we can remind ourselves that we’re all just doing our best and it’s not everyone else’s job to make our days smoother, we can take responsibility for our own feelings.”
Yes, this makes sense to me but unless Donald Trump declares war and you need to stock up on lentil soup and bottles of water, don’t snatch my trolley before my quid is released, but instead stand back, wait and give me some blinking space.
I am not perfect, not by any stretch of the imagination and have been known to do my fair share of bag rustling when time is short. Car rage, phone rage, yes maybe, just maybe, I have crossed the line once or twice but it wasn’t big, it wasn’t clever and I always felt a bit stupid afterwards.
I get that in the grand scale of Brexit, Beyoncé’s pregnancy photos and the ongoing double denim debate, being cut up on the school run isn’t that big a deal, but I still ask you, why is everything so bloody urgent?
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Natalie Trice is a Devon-based author, charity founder and freelance writer.