The Reflective Experience – researching ‘Rude’

If you’re in hospitality, if you’re in the people business, you’ve encountered ‘Rude’. Every day. You’ve seen Rude, felt Rude, absorbed Rude and become fluent in Rude. Gregg Patterson, Founder and President of ‘Tribal Magic!!!’ examines how to prepare for it and how to purge it.

Every Day – ‘Rude’
The Rude irritate and annoy – and their barbs sting. You grizzle. You bite your lip. You wake up at 3:00 a.m. in a sweat. Remember The Rude, relive their Rudeness and scream in frustration, knowing you’ve got to suck it up and shut up, because Rude is part of The Biz.

Every club manager has experienced The Rude – lots. In the parking lot The Rude will give you a dismissive look and chuckle at your choice of shoes and socks. In the lobby The Rude will snicker and laugh at your tight trousers and spreading waistline. In the Pro Shop The Rude will laugh at your east coast twang and imitate it with a chuckle. In the dining room The Rude will walk by you without a glance, eyes focused on napkin folds and salt shakers. In the card room the bridge players will twitter about your gray hair and suggest a beautician they know ‘who does hair colour RIGHT’. And in the locker room a group of chuckling Not-So-Scratch-Golfers will go silent and give you the ‘You Ain’t One of Us’ look as you scoot by with a forced smile and strained hello. Grrr…!

And finally, in a rage at their Rudeness, you say ‘to hell with the job’ and give each of these creatures a verbal smack in the mouth, laugh at their pretense, stomp on their egos and exit with an obscenity laced farewell and good-bye!
In your dreams…

Why The Rude are rude
There are lots of reasons why The Rude are rude, but at the root of their rudeness is an anti-social some- thing lurking deep in their psyches. Dealing with The Rude – and preventing our own rudeness from surfacing – requires an understanding of the ‘why’ behind the rudeness delivered.

There are different types of rude. Some people are consciously rude. Others are unconsciously rude. Some people are often rude and others are seldom rude. Some people deliver rudeness that’s small and forgivable, while others deliver rudeness that’s big, evil and memorable.

Genes affect Rude. Some people are born Already Rude and spend their lives polishing the rude they’ve already got. Others are born Inclined-to-be-Rude and work hard on becoming Truly and Outrageously Rude. And others are born Rude Adverse and do what they can to constrain what rudeness they’ve got with values, manners and empathy.

Rudeness flourishes when:

  • The Rude One is a weak, sniveling pile of nothingness and failure, and they try to hide their ‘lowness’ by doing Rude.
  • The Rude One has an ego that’s bigger than the goods they deliver, and they elevate themselves by diminishing others.
  • The Rude One feels ignored by the crowd, goes public with their rudeness and basks in the attention their rudeness delivers.
  • The Rude One has absorbed a lifetime of rudeness and has chosen to purge their pain by delivering rudeness to others.
  • The Rude One lacks empathy and fails to appreciate the sting that their rudeness delivers.
  • The Rude One’s ‘tribe’ celebrates The Rude One’s rudeness with a slap on the back and a hearty ‘ha- ha’ for having given The Target a big slice of Rude.
  • And, rudeness flourishes when those who observe the rudeness say nothing to The Rude One who’s doing rude.

Hospitality people need to know why Rude People are Rude to avoid delivering rudeness themselves.

Tactics of The Rude
Hospitality professionals know the tactics The Rude use to deliver true Rudeness.
Eye avoidance. Giving the dismissive, disdainful, ‘you are worthless’ look. Resting Bad Boy Face. Talking too loudly. Talking too often. Giving the silent treatment. Active not-listening. Responding with eye rolls, sighs, giggles or chuckles. Interrupting. Avoiding hand-shakes, fist bumps and physical con- tact. Crushing the hand during a handshake. Nodding off during meetings. Texting while ‘listen- ing’. Putting their cell phone on speaker. Not responding to emails, phone calls or notes. Commenting on dress, grooming or behaviour. Insincerity while agreeing, complimenting or remarking. AND never apologizing for the rudeness delivered.

Knowing the tactics The Rude use to be rude will prepare The Target for the rudeness they’ll experience – and will help in educating others on how NOT to be rude.

Categorizing The Rude
Everyone categorizes The Rude Ones with names that are memorable, personal and funny. Because funny takes the sting out of Rude. Imagine a comedy skit with each of these Rude Ones as actors.

  • The “I’m being rude and don’t even know I’m being rude” Rude.
  • The “I know I’m being rude and relish the rude- ness I’m delivering” Rude.
  • The “Those rules are for The Little People and not ME” Rude.
  • The “I tell it like it is and I don’t care what you think of what I’m saying or how I’m saying it” Rude.
  • The “I want to be the centre of attention so I’m going to be loud and obnoxious” Rude.
  • The “I’ll interrupt whenever I want” Rude.
  • The “I’ll flaunt the rules, laugh in your face and dare you to say something” Rude.
  • The “I’m going to give you my Just-Ate-A-Lemon look while listening to you speak” Rude.
  • The “I’m going to look at my email, answer my phone and send text messages regardless of who I’m with or what we’re doing” Rude.
  • The “I’ll never look you in the eye and speak when I walk by” Rude.
  • The “I’m PROUD to be Rude and will tell all my friends how rude I was” Rude.
  • The “I’m a Diva, special, elite, talented and excep- tional and You’re a Nobody” Rude.
  • The “We’re in The In Group and you ain’t” Rude.
  • The “I’m going to embarrass you with my sarcastic comments” Rude.

Categorize The Rude, laugh at their rudeness and teach others to do different than The Rude Ones do.

The Don’ts of Rude
Dealing with The Rude ain’t easy. You’ll want to bite—and can’t.

If you want to keep your job, keep the peace and keep your sanity, avoid doing The Don’ts.
Don’t hang around with rude people – because they’ll make you rude. Don’t hire rude people – because they’ll infect your team with rudeness. Don’t be rude to The Rude – because it’ll provoke more rudeness. Don’t avoid The Rude after experi- encing their rudeness – because they’ll consider your avoidance a victory.

And the biggest of Don’ts – Don’t ‘do rude’ because it’ll inspire rudeness in others.

Purging Rude
Rudeness is remembered and irritates long after the rudeness was delivered. The demons need purging. •

  • Exercise – to prevent brewing on the Rudeness experienced.
  • Debrief – discuss and then document the Rudeness experienced in The Book of Rude.
  • Ponder – discuss a single rude behavior previously documented in The Book of Rude.
  • Teach – give others examples of and insights into rudeness.
  • Publish – write a column in the newsletter on ‘rude encounters’ that are funny, upbeat, memorable and pithy.
  • Legislate – generate House Rules that identify the principles of and the tactics for proper Rude-less behaviour.
  • Confront – let The Rude know they’ve been rude and guide them toward ‘less rude’.
  •  Identify, discuss, digest, document, teach and purge Rude.

Prepare for The Rude
If you’re in The People Business, you’ll experience Rude – lots. Best you prepare.

  • Know Rude.
  • Anticipate Rude.
  • Avoid being Rude.
  • Ponder Rude.
  • Teach Rude.
  • Purge Rude.

And enjoy the journey…!

You can get in touch with Gregg via

Article published in Clubhouse Europe issue 23