Sunday, March 13, 2005

A Superior Alternative To Teasing

Talking on the phone today, I was told how stupid my friends' co-worker is. The comments were quite demeaning, and revolved around her inability to spell. She had the nerve to spell, on a sign, the word sandwich as sanwitch, and fries as frys. Now, these spellings might be somewhat humorous, but at least they are phonetic. Also, her lack of spelling ability did not keep her from what she was assigned to do.

When my friend saw that the words were misspelled on the sign he did not say anything to her about it. He just went about his work. Of course, as soon as he got on the subject with me it was the funniest thing in the world (apparently). After he went on for some time, I mentioned that I consider myself a good speller, he also said the same about himself. He took this to mean that I agreed with his approach, I did not. My only point about his and my good spelling was that there were still words I do not know how to spell.

After the phone conversation ended I began thinking about an alternative to teasing in general. It can be summed up in one word - teach. My friend could have just as easily took the time to teach this vile misspeller the correct way to spell the words sandwich and fries. Whether or not she remembers them, does not matter. What matters is that a better working relationship good have been started. What matters is that the next time she may ask my friend how something is spelled. What really matters is doing the right thing by helping someone when the opportunity arises.

There are things which people get teased about, which they cannot change (height, looks, and background for example). In these instances teaching is still the superior alternative to teasing. The only thing that changes is who is doing the teaching.


At 10:41 AM, Blogger Gienna said...

I like the idea of teaching instead of teasing. It's easier to make fun behind someone's back, though, isn't it? If you say something to the person, you risk a) being wrong (maybe it really is sanwitch and frys and you just didn't know it) or b) coming off badly and having your attempts at help rebuked. Maybe the person would go home and call their friend to say "You wouldn't believe what that ass that I work with said to me today ..."

At 8:57 PM, Blogger Malcolm said...

It's a good rule never to run anyone else down, especially behind their back. Determined application of this rule will make a difference in your life (a positive difference!).


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