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Assholes: A Theory

Many years ago I  worked in a Mediterranean  blue fish bowl of chaos in which everyone ran around in circles while the temperamental cook screamed out orders making Gordon Ramsey look like a kitten. It was one busy evening I made the simple mistake of  taking the garlic bread to the wrong  table.


I heard “Darcia!”

I went to the kitchen “Where is the bread?”

“I took it to the table.”

“Go back and F*%^king get it!  It is not supposed to be for that table!”

He then slammed down a plate and yelled several names at me in Greek which will not be repeated on this blog.

My cheeks turned red, I turned on my heels, stomped out of the kitchen, and without a word picked up the bread from the customer’s table.

I stormed to the kitchen window “You want the fucking bread? Here is the god damn bread. You big fat asshole!”

It was that evening as we finished our tables I waited to be chewed-out and fired  hoping that I could still collect my end of  the evening tips. But I was never reprimanded or fired because he knew he was being an asshole.

In Aaron James, Asshole: A Theory he points out “Assholes are a given fact of life. They are a fact of life we somehow make peace with if we are to be at peace itself.” As the world shifts there seems to be a rise of assholes which we either learn to co-operate, resist, or ignore in our daily lives. At the time, I  lost my temper recognizing I was no longer willing to cooperate or ignore the asshole.  My only risk was to challenge him at his own game and let him know that my bark had bite.

The problem is this asshole was not born to be an asshole but was nurtured within society to be one. The rise of the Asshole is a societal problem in which we need to look at how we are nurturing our children. Are we raising them to be self-entitled without thought? If this, is the case then are we shooting ourselves in the foot by raising them to believe that they are the best without and should not have any concern for their fellow-man?”

Also,  as  technology and science advance there is a consumer need to purchase and want more. But we are no longer questioning the ethics behind the products or what we are consuming. We are turning away from the humanities for the convenience of  the fast fix.  Does it not create a disconnect from reality and beauty of day-to-day life?

As long as we are willing to give the  cable news asshole a platform to spew bias or allow for the cooperate asshole to tarnish our clean water supply. We are accepting a culture of assholes and perpetuating that they will always be a part of society. Imagine a world  in which  rational debates could be met with compromise  providing  more meaning to the betterment of man instead of expletives and bread throwing.

Aaron James points out, “If humanity had a body it would have an asshole.”   But why do we give an asshole so much power?

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Darcie Cameron is a RYT 200 who believes Yoga is a gift that is accessible to everyone with proper modifications, a patient smile and just taking the time to breathe. One of the greatest presents you will ever unwrap is when you connect your mind, body and spirit in perfect sync with your own breath. Connect with Darcie on Facebook

35 replies

    1. Maurice, I think we come from similar places as a Miramichi girl at heart that word seems to fly out of my mouth when I am with a close circle of friends, drinking beer, and discussing politics.

  1. I think, for a lot of women, we allow people around us to be assholes because we’re told to “be nice” and turn the other cheek. The assholes win.

    We don’t HAVE to be nice and we don’t HAVE to turn the other cheek – sometimes we just have to call Bullshit on the Asshole.

    1. I think as women we sometimes we get stuck on the “thin pink line” either we let the asshole win and are labelled nice or a pushover. If we don’t let him win and fight fire with fire we are more apt to be labelled a bitch. I can handle that…I have been called worse 😉

  2. You’ve been reading my mind again!!! When even my mother, the saint, says, “Daughter, some people are just pig shit,” it is clear that assholes exist. I’m working on not letting them get to me, but sometimes they just need to feel our wrath.

  3. I think we give assholes so much power because they are bullies and we are scared of them. But as you pointed out, when we reach our breaking point and confront them, they never say anything, because basically they are cowards….

    Swap greek restaurant for italian and I had a very similar experience…

  4. The episode described here makes “Hell’s Kitchen” sound like “Little House On The Prairie.” Sadly, assholes like that often only respect people who act like assholes themselves. It’s a slippery slope of assholery.

  5. Ha! – loving your post and yes I wonder why I give them so much power! I am learning to ignore and if they are more important than me go right ahead of me because I choose to enjoy life and take my sweet arse timing doing it too:) Have a Great One

  6. This post got deeper and deeper the more I read. I’ve always believed, within reason, that you can behave in any way you want, but you must be prepared to accept the consequences. He behaved like a tin-pot Hitler and you called him out on it, for which you have my cheering admiration. I’m crap at confrontational stuff but sometimes, on a bi-annual basis, I blow my stack. We all have a line which must not be crossed, and I’m glad you showed him that. I hope you got tipped lavishly that evening

    1. The tips were always very good and the only reason why I stayed at the fish bowl for that period of time in my life. It is true we all have that line that should not be crossed or tested and we all know our limits. I also have the bi-annual blow-out and that is fine. You need to lay it out on the table for your own sanity and for that reason we cannot be zen all of the time.

  7. If you knew how hard I was laughing reading your garlic bread episode, you would know how many restaurants I have worked in with crazy cooks and even crazier owners. But to have to go and remove the bread from the table is the single most absurd and hilarious restaurant thing I have ever heard! I have had my biggest, loudest, most impassioned arguments with restaurant owners and cooks that I have worked for. I still have “server nightmares.” They are usually about restaurants never closing and I am serving for days, or stairs, lots of stairs and I am running up and down them from kitchen to table…Ugh, if I ever have to work in a restaurant again.

    1. I vowed after working at that restaurant never to wait another table, again. People can be ridiculous! Don’t even get me started about the stairs. The only good thing about Patio Season is it always had me ready for bathing suit season.

  8. “Are we raising them to be self-entitled without thought?” YES, we are! I just wrote a research paper on the difference between bullying in previous generations and bullying in ours. I’m not minimizing the damaging effects of bullying. But I believe very firmly that we have a culture of victimization, fear, and displaced accountability that allow bullying to be more pervasive, more damaging and harder to stop than ever before. There have always been assholes, and will always be assholes. What has changed is the way we celebrate and empower them.

    1. I love your response and we do have to change the way we empower them. We have to take a stand and evaluate how we celebrate the rise of the asshole. It should be more of a celebration about their fall.

  9. I love this post! So funny! Yeah, we do empower assholes, don’t we? I think it’s because the rest of us are so shocked at their complete curtness and brass balls! While we are standing there like a deer in the headlights, they end up getting their way. They also won’t take “no” for an answer and their strategy tends to be steamrolling everyone in a conversation. I once told an asshole to shut his pie hole. He was very angry. Luckily I was in a car, so I just drove off. This world isn’t big enough for all of us, and we don’t need any unwanted assholes laying around! First step: everyone needs to start plugging those holes, ha ha!

  10. we give a-holes so much power because maybe we become like all the parents/guardians/teachers etc. who tolerated the children reacting like an a-holes because 1) we felt the guilt & said, “oh, poor Junior having a rough day…do as you please…” 2) it is easier than taking time to correct awful behavior 3) like Silva G. stated…we stood in shock at such behavior & want it to go away as quick as possible. it’s true…a-holes are not born that way. somewhere these people realized the power of their awful behavior. i’m glad you stood up to that cook!

    1. Thank you! We had several incidents in that kitchen but that one has always stood out the most in my memory. I think we have to recognize that poor junior had a rough day but also take the time to let them know their are good choices to make which involve kindness and compassion. People are so hyper-focused on their children being the best that they are missing the importance of common courtesy and the importance of our children developing social skills that will broaden their horizons. Does that make sense?

      I also agree with 3 sometimes we want these people to go away. But giving them more power only make things that much worse. So we have to stop caving in and instead of waving the white flag role up our sleeves to say enough is enough.

      1. you just reminded me of the R. Deniro/B.Midler movie, Parental Guidance. this movie may have been just a comedy but you see it quite often in real life…as you once mentioned, old school is sometimes not so bad after all. ☺

      2. ?1?what?!? Parental Guidance is a must see movie…Bette Midler and DeNiro are quite the pair!! yes, add to your bucket list! ☺ lol

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