I had the worst stomach ache at work yesterday. It wasn’t something I ate and I know that I’m not coming down with anything. No, my stomach hurt because of something I witnessed. Yesterday I saw a child traumatized when he heard his father cuss out one of our tellers. The customer was obviously upset over a transaction he was unable to perform. What it was or why he couldn’t complete it is inconsequential to this story. But what he did next was inexcusable. He began to verbally assault this young woman, screaming at her to “f**k off,” and then he turned and stormed out of the lobby. His young son, who couldn’t have been more than 8 or 9 years old, was visably stunned. I could hear the sharp intake of his breath from across the lobby as he started to cry out towards his father, “daddy, no….don’t….don’t be so mean…”
How could anyone do such a thing? It is horrible enough that he used such language with another adult. But she’s tough, she can take it, she can see past the words. His young son will never forget that moment, I assure you.
My stomach hurt because I wonder how often this child has heard this from his father. I actually guess not much, judging from his shocked reaction this time. But what about the next time? And the time after that? What about in 20 years when this child is now an adult and decides to verbally abuse someone else? It has become an accepted pattern by now and he won’t think twice about it.
Yes, my stomach hurt quite bad.