- September 7, 2019 at 3:09 pm #851642
I’m a 17-year-old senior, and I went to the K-12 youth center in town after school yesterday to shoot some 8-ball and talk story. All was going smoothly until I had mucus in my throat and had to go outside to cough it up and spit it out. I opened the latch on the back doors, and I pushed them open, but they swung out a little too fast and hit the outside wall. The doors weren’t damaged at all though.
A lady staff started going full-blown tough chick on me right away as I was shutting the door (ex. “hey, what the hell’s your problem?” “why you acting like that for? etc.), for something I did by accident, and so I tried to say I was sorry and explain myself, but they just weren’t hearing it. A simple, “please be careful next time”, or “don’t do that again” would’ve been a better thing to say to me don’t you think? Then a guy staff started yelling at me at the top of his freaking lungs just cause I didn’t really respond to the lady (you know what they say about having something nice to say?), and he just kept getting violently loud. Keeping my lips shut was my way of not adding anything to whatever fire they had going on.
I was looking towards him and still kept my mouth shut, but I was only like half-listening to him and I was ready to just get up and leave. They are not my mother, they are not the police, I don’t work for them, this is outside of school, and I didn’t sign a contract with them, ergo they have pretty much no authority over me. I was free to grab my shit and remove myself from this toxic situation, and under the 1st amendment, I am free to say anything and express myself in any way. I quietly went and grabbed my backpack, then started walking towards the back door, when the guy yells at me “you better not slam that door!” and I opened it as painstakingly slowly and softly as possible, then I closed it the exact same way, just so they wouldn’t bitch and complain some more. Then he starts yelling at me again about my attitude or something, which was totally uncalled for, I think so!
So after I was out on the sidewalk, I decided to raise a middle finger high in the sky facing towards their back window. He deserved it for yelling at me some more after I tried to be mindful about the doors and open/close them softly, isn’t that what they wanted? I kept walking down the sidewalk towards the road, and the guy comes outside and says “TURN YOUR ASS AROUND!” in front of a big group of little kids (how professional) and starts saying at the top of his lungs stuff like “why the hell you stick middle finger for?!” (said to myself “why you think, dumbass?”), but I didn’t stay and chat for very long, kinda just laughed him off. This place is actually pretty damn close to the police station, so I felt safe enough not to be chased or something. After that, I saw my two little cousins, got a mocha frappe at the ice cream shop, then kicked it cruising in the air-conditioned town library for the rest of the afternoon.
Before you tell me about respecting elders, remember that I tried to apologize as soon as I screwed up, kept my mouth shut throughout almost all of this, and only started to get silently irritated when they decided to rag on me and yell at the top of their lungs for a simple accident that did no harm instead of calmly and politely expressing their concerns; they’re just 20-somethings anyway, barely older than me. Plus, I have the right to talk/express in any way I like under the 1st amendment, so sticking middle finger is not a crime! I hate grouchy people like this, who bitch and make mountains out of little molehills. What did they have to get so aggressive about?September 7, 2019 at 4:15 pm #851645
Let me ask you this. Are you well known to these staff members? Are you there regularly and are they familiar with you? Or do they not know you at all?September 7, 2019 at 4:19 pm #851646
I used to come to the place a lot in elementary school. But I kinda stopped coming during middle school. Recently I started coming there o rare occassios for cruise, and none of the same staff from when I was small are working there anymore. They are familiar with me but I hardly see them and they don’t know me that well, nor do they know my parents. Plus I’ve noticed that you’re lucky to even see 20 kids at the place these days, when I was small had like 40-50 all the time (I wonder why?).September 7, 2019 at 4:25 pm #851649
Ok, my take on this is that you’re generally a loud and disruptive kid. So when you accidentally slam the doors open, they see it as more loud, aggressive, disruptive behavior and they come down on you harder than they would otherwise.
Also, the first amendment absolutely does not give you the right to do and say whatever you want. A youth center has rules. Any establishment has a code of conduct. If you’re loud and disruptive at a bar, they’ll kick you out. And even just out in public, there are obscenity limits to the first amendment that you could actually be arrested for violating. There’s also disturbing the peace.September 7, 2019 at 4:29 pm #851650
I know I can’t just do whatever I like, otherwise, I’d have a big briefcase full of 100s and a target on my back.
Mind you, before this happened I was playing 8-ball quietly and not bothering anyone, then said nothing to them while they were chewing me out, I just kept my lips sealed. All I did was raise a finger to the sky when I was on the sidewalk outside of their premises (thus free from their internal rules). I knew he’d probably warn me about the door as I was heading out, but I did not deserve to get yelled at after I opened and close the door softly and slowly as I exited to try and be a little mindful.
Even my older brother says the same thing about this; freedom of expression, sticking finger is not one crime. Exhibit A: https://qz.com/1573361/a-us-court-affirms-your-right-to-flip-the-bird-to-cops/September 7, 2019 at 4:34 pm #851653
Right, it’s not a crime, but a kid who flips adults the bird is going to obviously make them angry, what did you think? They get paid shit wages to babysit you kids.
So yeah, based on this I’d say you have a reputation as a troublemaker and they overreacted based on that.September 7, 2019 at 4:41 pm #851655
Of course, he got mad about it. I expected that, and he was already mad anyway. What I don’t get is why he yelled at me after I tried to be GENTLE with the doors, that was just cuckoo.
Reputation as a troublemaker? The staff at the places I go to hang out, teachers in school, family members kids I meet around town, aunties uncles, even people I barely know always have positive things to say to me, and think of me as a good kid. This was like a 0.001% kind of incident.September 7, 2019 at 4:42 pm #851656
Yeah, I’m skeptical based on what I know of you.September 7, 2019 at 4:44 pm #851658
OK, I don’t blame you.
Still, yelling at me for trying to be considerate, wth?September 7, 2019 at 4:46 pm #851660
All they saw was you slam open the doors and give them the finger, so yeah, that makes sense to me (an adult).September 7, 2019 at 4:47 pm #851661SkyblossomParticipant
Often when adults see a kid slamming doors they assume the kid is angry and acting out. They usually don’t assume it was accidental. The best thing you can do is de-escalate the situation. So, take it down a notch if you can. You accidentally slam the doors. She assumes you are doing it on purpose and shouts at you. You could have used a regular or even soft voice and said you were sorry and didn’t realize the doors would open so easily.
Even if the intent wasn’t to slam the doors that is what you did. In general people will watch you do something and assume you did it on purpose.
Sticking up your middle finger isn’t a crime but it isn’t good either. If you need to let off steam that way stick your hand in your pocket and then do the middle finger where they can’t see it. You do have to admit that you wanted to be seen. Giving them the middle finger after leaving makes the original slamming of the doors look like it was on purpose. It looks like an angry teen slammed doors, then stalked out and then flipped them off. Everything you did after the doors banged confirmed for them that their first impression was right. You seemed like an angry, out of control, teen.
You have the right to express yourself and the right to free speech. It would be better for you to learn to express yourself more positively so that an accidental situation doesn’t leave everyone angry. It’s good to learn how to tone down an incident. It’s always positive to be seen as the good person, the kind person, the helpful person, the mature person.
Maybe no one managed to be that person in this incident but you can strive to be that person in the future.September 7, 2019 at 4:51 pm #851663
No, they also saw me listen to them with my lips sealed while they were quite violently yelling at me at the top of their lungs about the door, which wasn’t even broken and I tried to politely apologize for (“sorry I was opening the door to spit out mucus, didn’t mean for them to slam into the wall”), and grabbing my backpack and walking towards the backdoor quietly. He said, “you better not slam that door”, so I tried to be gentle and opened it as painstakingly slowly and softly as possible, just so they’d be happy. After this, he yelled out “what, boy!” or something stupid like that. He’s the one who chased me out on to the street (I think that is illegal), and said “HUNTER, TURN YOUR ASS AROUND!” in front of a group of little kids who followed him outside, not me.