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The point is that politeness reminds the officer that you're a human being, like them, not the statistic that the author speaks of. On the other hand, if someone was rude to me and I were a cbp officer, I would certainly go the extra mile to stick it to them.



> ...if someone was rude to me and I were a cbp officer, I would certainly go the extra mile to stick it to them.

Precisely why you -- and most people -- shouldn't hold positions of authority over others.


Undoubtedly this is true, but it's also undoubtedly impractical. Check this out, it's even worse than you think: I'm not someone who really hungers for authority. I don't seek it out. Some people do, and I'd guess from my interactions with them that they have even more of this unfortunate trait than I do.

Even without that, I doubt there are enough qualified people in the world who are completely lacking in vindictiveness to fill the positions of authority that have formed as a result of the grand accumulation of human interaction. So, bearing that in mind, it's typically best to be polite to people who can hurt you.


Someone who wants to hurt you is going to do it independent of if you are polite it not.


True, but someone who just wants to hurt someone is going to pick on whoever stands out.


More to the point, the degree to which any human wants to hurt another depends on their emotional state. Impoliteness tends to destabilize it's recipients' emotional state.


Perhaps. Perhaps they will pick on the meeker instead of the stronger, the darker-skinned instead of the caucasian or the female instead of the male. Not all bullies are alike.


But impoliteness can tip the scale.


So who would you suggest should do this, or any, job that requires a position of authority?




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