Wednesday, July 28, 2010

China invents a Constructive Way to take out Anger

Today I was getting out of the subway on my way home from two treacherous days of dodging being selected for a NYC jury. I was a little grumpy, which can happen from being cooped up in a windowless room for two days straight and forced to listen to judges ramblings/tolerate all the weirdos that were called for jury duty too. I'm innocently climbing the stairs at my stop, perhaps with a slightly pissed off look on my face, and this little punk decides to block my way up the stairs and give me a hard time because I'm scowling and he is taking it personally.

Naturally, I told him he had better get out of my face immediately if he knew what was good for him (I've lived in some not-so-nice neighborhoods, sometimes you are not in the mood to be harassed).  And after a short yelling match/lecture on how to treat women he backed off. I went on my merry way. I don't think he realized what he was getting himself into. I was definitely not going to be sassed by a little boy thinking he's a thug who is half my age. People need to learn to respect each other. But really NYC, how many times has a random stranger yelled at you or someone else for no apparent reason?  I've seen it quite a number of times, though I must say this is the first time I have been targeted with the yelling.

People need an appropriate way to take out their anger. I get it, we all get mad, living in a big city can be very frustrating at times, especially during a recession when many people are out of work and things may not be performing at their best level due to budget cuts. The subway is always late and crowded; people are in the way; you missed the bus AGAIN. However, there is a right way to deal with it (e.g., kick boxing class, a glass of vino, chatting with friends), and there is a totally inappropriate way to handle it. That way would include yelling at strangers, or attacking MTA officials like this guy did. I know that our mothers raised us to be more polite and respectful than this.

In China, they have come up with a solution. There are "frustration-venting" stores installed into shopping plazas, and anyone who purchases something in the mall can utilize its services for free. I came across this little blurb in the August issue of Marie Claire magazine, and I was more than amused. After my little experience today, I can totally understand why it is popular, and even necessary.

The services the frustration venting shop offers are basically this, an opportunity to smash things to smithereens for 60 seconds. Rooms are set up with common household appliances, such as TVs, lamps, beds.  There are various stations that are designed to resemble a home environment, and you can choose if you want to trash the living room, bedroom, or kitchen, though I'm sure if you are this pissed off it won't really matter what you're hitting. They give you a bat, set the timer, and off you go. Wreak as much havoc as you please, no consequences. I would like to see some stations like that here. I bet they would be quite popular. Let's just hope they don't push the rates of domestic violence up with people taking a liking to hitting things in their home with a bat as a form of stress relief. That speculation aside. Way to go China. I wonder if you have people verbally attacking others in your public transit?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Um, I want my own little frustration station. Love it. Also, I love that you yelled at him. I was always told not to yell back at people that are bothering you, but I do it anyways! I can't tell you how many times I've put (usually a young boy or gross older man) in his place!


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