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Why must people be so incivil? Venty-vent-vent.


Quill
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I swung by the Walmart tonight to pick something up for my son for a school project. As I was pushing my cart straight (so, I had the “right of way”, if there is such a thing for grocery carts), a woman was backing away from an aisle display and was about to run into my cart. I said in a cheerful voice, “Oop! Watch yourself!” She turns and glares at me and says, “Watch myself?! How ‘bout, ‘Excuse me!’” 

Like...wtf, lady? 

As I was moving away from her, she kept harping on that to her companions, “Watch myself? People are so rude!” And so on. I wanted to yell, “You’re the rude one, jerk!” 

Believe it or not, a few aisles later, I could still hear her bitching the next aisle over and, lo and behold, she turned the corner into my aisle and was impeded from moving forward by the support beam. Lol! So, I was passing her on the right and she couldn’t move forward because of architecture! Heh. I stared at her as I walked ever so slowly past. I was tempted to just park my cart and lazily pick out dill pickles, feigning oblivion. 

Stuff like this just really gets me. I mean, I am friendly and nice to people all the time. What is her freakin problem? 🤷🏻‍♀️

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1 minute ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Fwiw, the crowd that runs at Walmart here is way tougher than the Target crowd. Just FYI. Likewise, Tuesday morning is better than any evening rush hour or Saturdays.

Very true. I actually had a mental debate about which store to go to because I really hate that Walmart a whole lot. But to go to the nice store that would definitely have the thing I needed would put me another twenty minutes out of my way, so I went to Wallies. It did help me remember why I hate that store, though; who knows when I will go there again. 

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I was in a crowded Walmart one day and just slowly working my way through the aisles with my cart. A very tough looking woman in front of me said to her two companions. “This woman is trying to shove her cart up my ass and I’m going to knock her out.” 
 

So, yeah, fun times at Walmart. 

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Aww, let it roll off your back, if you can. That kind of thing really gets to me, too. 

Either she is a really unhappy person with who knows what going on or she is just a jerk. 

I find a lot of people never say excuse me or anything anymore! 😞 

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Don't quote this one, please. Someone RAN OVER and KNOCKED DOWN my elderly relative with her motorized shopping cart in Walmart, kept going, and called over her shoulder "watch where you're going" or words to that effect. My relative hit her head, was dizzy, had to be helped up, and was terribly bruised. She was definitely concussed, IMO. The manager handed her a plastic bag in case she threw up, sat her on a bench, and told her to let them know if she went to the hospital. That's it. 😞 

Edited by MercyA
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1 minute ago, SKL said:

"Watch yourself" is what my mom used to say as a warning before a discipline whack.

So that is probably why she didn't take your comment well.

🤷🏻‍♀️ Maybe English is not my first language. Maybe I hail from a country that says, “Watch yourself!” when someone is about to cause an accident. My tone was cheerful. I would say the same thing if a person was about to trip over box in the aisle. 

No...I think she was just a b!tch. That explains it! Lol

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2 minutes ago, Quill said:

🤷🏻‍♀️ Maybe English is not my first language. Maybe I hail from a country that says, “Watch yourself!” when someone is about to cause an accident. My tone was cheerful. I would say the same thing if a person was about to trip over box in the aisle. 

No...I think she was just a b!tch. That explains it! Lol

LOL I'm glad one of you was feeling charitable today ....

Just FTR I would not recommend "watch yourself" as a friendly warning.  "Watch out" might be better if there was actual danger to be averted.  (I wouldn't consider her bumping into my cart to be danger, but I wasn't there.)

They say, you never know what another person is dealing with in her life.  Just be happy that whoever peed in her Wheaties didn't pee in yours too ... (or did they?).

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I agree with SKL.  To me, “Watch yourself,” is a warning of impending discliplinary action.
Stated in a cheery voice, I might hear it as passive aggressive or patronizing.  
But she’s probably also a bitch. 😜

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opinion: I'm with the ones saying that "Watch Yourself!" may be why she over reacted.  It does not sound polite or friendly where I live. 

 

Reminds me of the comedy sketch out there The Perfect Horn for Southern Drivers.  A funny skit for the Happy Horn, a fake item in the south to represent the many ways a car horn honking can be meant. Sometimes it means get the F out of my way you moron, and other times it mean "hey neighbor across the street, how y'all doing?"

(edit to correct the title of the comedy ad from "It's a southern thing"

Edited by cbollin
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When you passed her a few aisles later you should've been quietly, absent-mindedly singing "Let It Go" as you slowly  glided by.

Also, the fact that this whole thing reminds me of a pile of Buddhist teaching-stories shows me that I've been spending too much time reading Buddhist teaching-stories lately.  I need to get out more.

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2 minutes ago, Selkie said:

Just guessing here, but maybe she thought that "watch yourself" implies she was at fault, in a way that "excuse me" does not?

It definitely was an overreaction on her part.

I imagine you’re right; I do actually think she was at fault (not maliciously, just factually) because she was moving into my path. So really, I do not think “excuse me” fit because I don’t need excusing. Not that I thought about it that hard at the time. I was just trying to prevent her having a painful collision with my cart. 

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The bitching was rude, but "watch yourself" does not exactly have polite connotations. "Watch out" would have been better. I would probably actually have said "excuse me", even if I didn't need an excuse

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1 minute ago, GailV said:

When you passed her a few aisles later you should've been quietly, absent-mindedly singing "Let It Go" as you slowly  glided by.

Also, the fact that this whole thing reminds me of a pile of Buddhist teaching-stories shows me that I've been spending too much time reading Buddhist teaching-stories lately.  I need to get out more.

I literally did sing that to myself once I was in my car. But yeah, it would have fit as I passed her again. 

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2 minutes ago, regentrude said:

The bitching was rude, but "watch yourself" does not exactly have polite connotations. "Watch out" would have been better. I would probably actually have said "excuse me", even if I didn't need an excuse

See, that’s fascinating to me because I think Watch out sounds hostile, while Watch yourself does not. To me the later sounds like I don’t want the person to get hurt, but the former sounds like, “Get out of my way”. 

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Part of this, too, I think is regional behavior. North Atlantic people are a bit gruffer than can be tolerated elsewhere.

"Excuse me" is always the right turn of phrase in the Midwest. "Watch yourself" could get you knifed as it is definitely a throw down phrase elsewhere in the nation.  

So, I get why you are responding why you are Quill, having shopped in your neck of the woods, and I also get why others are aghast.

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Treading carefully here (and I did check to make sure it isn't a JAWM post) --

I think "watch yourself" is pretty darn aggressive phrasing. If someone said that to me under that scenario I wouldn't have been rude, and I would definitely have said a very sincere "Sorry!" But internally the "watch yourself" wording would have made me PO'd and I would have labeled you as very rude and would have probably gone several rows over to avoid encountering you again.

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1 minute ago, Pawz4me said:

Treading carefully here (and I did check to make sure it isn't a JAWM post) --

I think "watch yourself" is pretty darn aggressive phrasing. If someone said that to me under that scenario I wouldn't have been rude, and I would definitely have said a very sincere "Sorry!" But internally the "watch yourself" wording would have made me PO'd and I would have labeled you as very rude and would have probably gone several rows over to avoid encountering you again.

Fascinating. See? I never know what I’ll discover on the Hive. 

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9 minutes ago, regentrude said:

The bitching was rude, but "watch yourself" does not exactly have polite connotations. "Watch out" would have been better. I would probably actually have said "excuse me", even if I didn't need an excuse

 

Yes, I totally agree with all of this.  But I would have let it go and not carried on like that!  My MIL would totally have made a scene, though.  

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Other regional quirks:

1. Do you greet the checkout clerk?

2. Do you thank the checkout clerk when they hand you your receipt?

3. Are you obligated to empty the cart of trash even if you didn't put it there before returning it to the corral? ie--you inherited a cart with receipt tucked into the frame at the bottom--what do you do?

4. Do you ever aid someone else who is trying to pick out produce?

5. Do you feel guilty for not letting someone with 1-2 items behind you go ahead of you in line when you have a full cart? 

6. Do you make eye contact with strangers in the aisle and smile?

7. Do you small talk with people in line (strangers)?

 

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"Watch Yourself" sounds the same as "Watch Out" to me.   🤷‍♀️    I don't think ever said "Watch Yourself" in my entire life but if I hear it, I would think it's a different way of saying "Watch Out".  I mean, isn't "you" implied in the statement "Watch Out"?   And I've definitely said to my kids when they are being particularly obnoxious and I want to warn them that they don't want to continue on the path they are going down, "Watch Out" with a particularly direct look at them. 

I was coming into my neighborhood a few days ago and ran into someone who was being similarly obnoxious.   Roads in my neighborhood are very narrow, just a single car wide in spots and it's not unusual for one car to have to pull out of the way/into a driveway to let another car by.    I came over a hill, saw her coming toward me and pulled all the way over into the end of someone's driveway to wait for her to pass.   She went by gesturing at me that I was in her way and acting like I was doing something wrong.  I LEFT the road so she could get by so I wasn't the one who was taking up too much space.   It was weird and did bother me for a while (and of course, I clearly still remember it).   

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4 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Yes, you had the right of way.  

 

But yeah, to me, "watch yourself" sounds nasty and rude.  And making it cheerful would exacerbate that because then it sounds sarcastic.

 

You weren't in the wrong.

 

But I imagine that she's posting on her own online social media about how incivil her interaction at the store was.

 

I will also say that in my own very personal world...I don't think "right of way" in a grocery store is a thing.  I mean sure....follow the "stay to the right" sorts of rules etc etc.  But mostly, I feel like the best, most polite way to get out of the grocery store is to do my best to stay out of everyone's way and as silently as possible get the heck outta dodge lol

Maybe. But she’s the one who made it a “thing.” She was moving backwards without regard for who she was blocking. 

I do agree with trying to stay out of people’s way in the grocery store. That is one reason I do not like Walmart because the carts are huge enough to bring home a side of beef and the aisles are just wide enough to pass with an inch of clearance if everyone is completely on their side. 

I don’t know...I won’t go back there soon because it was something bothersome and I would rather just go to the expensive store where people are aware of their bodies. But I do like knowing something I didn’t know before about how people perceive, “watch yourself,” which has never held a negative or rude connotation for me at all. 

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Ooh, weird. While I have heard “watch yourself “ as in, you’d better watch yourself, Smarty Pants, it’s also a very common “Ooh, careful” equivalent ime.  I say it all the time when someone around me is teetering with danger near a hot pot, climbing a tree, running too fast, about to hit their head... though oftentimes it comes out *while they’re hurting themselves, lol.  Tone is everything.

Lady was a cranky pants. 😛 

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8 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Other regional quirks:

1. Do you greet the checkout clerk?

2. Do you thank the checkout clerk when they hand you your receipt?

3. Are you obligated to empty the cart of trash even if you didn't put it there before returning it to the corral? ie--you inherited a cart with receipt tucked into the frame at the bottom--what do you do?

4. Do you ever aid someone else who is trying to pick out produce?

5. Do you feel guilty for not letting someone with 1-2 items behind you go ahead of you in line when you have a full cart? 

6. Do you make eye contact with strangers in the aisle and smile?

7. Do you small talk with people in line (strangers)?

 

1.  Yes, if they greet. Probably not if they just start scanning without saying anything.

2.  Yes

3.  I would have grabbed the cart without trash.

4.  I'm definitely not the person to offer this type of assistance but I would do what I could to help if someone asks. 

5.  It's likely I wouldn't even notice.  I don't look behind me much.   But all the stores I go to have express lanes so I wouldn't expect the situation to arise. 

6.  Not if I can help it.  

7.  Very very rarely.  Only if something really unusual is happening and we discuss to commiserate (like the lines are huge or the scanners aren't working or there's a storm happening outside.  

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Well, I bet you’re wishing you would have let her stumble into your cart now, aren’t you?😂 There’s always next time...

One of my last Walmart trips (I’ve had very few of them this past year) was during the time when they were trying to make people go one direction (I did notice people at Walmart seemed the most confused about this aisle thing). Anyhoo, I was going the CORRECT direction down a half-aisle that only had enough room for one cart. Someone came down the same aisle at me the WRONG way and obviously couldn’t get through. They then proceeded to very rudely ask me to move so they could get by...like I was supposed to back out of the aisle. WTH?! 

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26 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

And I mean, literally, that someone could run you over in the Midwest, leaving bruises on your foot, and the polite response is, "Excuse me. I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to get in the way."  It's not necessary, but if I were in the small town I grew up in, it is the polite response.

This explains a lot of what I don't like about living in the midwest, lol! 

7 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

Ooh, weird. While I have heard “watch yourself “ as in, you’d better watch yourself, Smarty Pants, it’s also a very common “Ooh, careful” equivalent ime.  I say it all the time when someone around me is teetering with danger near a hot pot, climbing a tree, running too fast, about to hit their head... though oftentimes it comes out *while they’re hurting themselves, lol.  Tone is everything.

Lady was a cranky pants. 😛 

Yes, I have always heard "Watch yourself" in dangerous situations. In my case, my mother was the type to say it long before it was necessary, and it was usually accompanied by an arm flung across my body. (Or while I was learning to drive, stomping her foot through the floorboards trying to stop the car for the squirrel crossing the road 1/4 mile away.) "Watch it" ranks a close second for use in dangerous situation. 

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7 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Other regional quirks:

1. Do you greet the checkout clerk?

2. Do you thank the checkout clerk when they hand you your receipt?

3. Are you obligated to empty the cart of trash even if you didn't put it there before returning it to the corral? ie--you inherited a cart with receipt tucked into the frame at the bottom--what do you do?

4. Do you ever aid someone else who is trying to pick out produce?

5. Do you feel guilty for not letting someone with 1-2 items behind you go ahead of you in line when you have a full cart? 

6. Do you make eye contact with strangers in the aisle and smile?

7. Do you small talk with people in line (strangers)?

 

1. Definitely always greet the clerk; to me, that is half the benefit of not using self-checkout. I’m always a little sad when a clerk has that, “Just don’t talk to me” vibe. 

2. Yes, I always thank the clerk. 

3. I try to avoid choosing a cart with trash in it. I have thrown away other people’s trash but I resent it. Receipts or sales circulars are not too bad but I hate when it’s a food-sample thing or a sanitizing wipe. 

4. I do sometimes aid someone if they look like they need help, whether that be getting a higher item for a smaller person or pointing a lost-looking shopper in the right direction. 

5. I will always let someone with a few items go ahead of me. I offer, anyway; sometimes they say they’re in no hurry. Conversely, I dont feel I have a *right* to be welcomed ahead of someone when I have just a few things, but I do always like it when it’s offered. 

6. I make some eye contact with strangers and smile, but generally not unless they are perusing the same shelf as I am. And much less in pandemic times than before. Masks have de-friendlied the population. 

7. I do small talk with others some. Mostly depends on their vibe, and I’m sure it depends on my vibe too. Sometimes I just want to get the taco shells and get home. But I will always engage with someone who chats with me. 

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16 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Other regional quirks:

1. Do you greet the checkout clerk?

Yes, always 

2. Do you thank the checkout clerk when they hand you your receipt?

Yes, always 

3. Are you obligated to empty the cart of trash even if you didn't put it there before returning it to the corral? ie--you inherited a cart with receipt tucked into the frame at the bottom--what do you do?

I’d choose a different cart without trash in it. I would definitely clear out my own trash.

4. Do you ever aid someone else who is trying to pick out produce?

Not unless asked.

5. Do you feel guilty for not letting someone with 1-2 items behind you go ahead of you in line when you have a full cart? 

I do let people go ahead with 1-2 items. 

6. Do you make eye contact with strangers in the aisle and smile?

Yes

7. Do you small talk with people in line (strangers)? 

Not usually. 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Quill said:

See, that’s fascinating to me because I think Watch out sounds hostile, while Watch yourself does not. To me the later sounds like I don’t want the person to get hurt, but the former sounds like, “Get out of my way”. 

"Watch yourself" sounds like there's a "Missy, or else!" following. I hear it as a reprimand for a misbehavior committed by the recipient.

"watch out" sounds neutral to me. I'd call this if some external danger is coming at that person, but not if I feel the person has misbehaved and I call them out.

 

 

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42 minutes ago, Quill said:

I imagine you’re right; I do actually think she was at fault (not maliciously, just factually) because she was moving into my path. So really, I do not think “excuse me” fit because I don’t need excusing. Not that I thought about it that hard at the time. I was just trying to prevent her having a painful collision with my cart. 

Were you unable to stop to keep from hitting her?    

I'm not sure that I agree that there's right of way in a grocery store.

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12 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

She certainly made it a thing by whining and complaining so much about the situation after the fact.  Cause you know, it's a perfectly standard grocery store interaction.

 

But I suspect that she thinks you are the one who made it a "thing" with your "watch yourself" comment.  She likely perceives you as the rude one for making such a nasty comment over a perfectly standard grocery store interaction.  (I am not suggesting you are trying to be rude...merely that she likely perceives it that way.)

Well, yeah clearly. It is making more sense to me since people have said what that means to them. Not that I am over it; I still think her reaction was poor, and I’m still smuggly happy she got blocked by the post. Heh. 

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I generally go to stores at off hours, when they're less crowded.

people having too many demands on them, and not knowing how to actually release stress.  (watching the latest dramatic tv/movie of the week isn't it.).  When encountering such - it's usually easier to just move on, not say anything, and let it go.

I was listening to a woman who shared her experience.  She had learned to give grace to those who were judgy or short-tempered.  Even when she overheard a couple little old ladies gossiping about her (they didn't know she was there) and how terrible she was for leaving a wedding.  They didn't know her son had recently died, and she thought she'd be ok - so she went to the wedding.  But, she wasn't OK and felt it would be better to leave than burst into loud wailing in the middle of the ceremony.  She extended grace to these gossipers - knowing that if they knew her son had recently died, they wouldn't have been so unfeeling.  I had similar when I was in a hospital elevator with a man who just had to share his joyful news that his relative was going to recover.  I was on my way to turn off my mother's life support.  I said nothing, I wasn't at a point where I could say "congratulations".  Nor was I going to censure him for his lack of feeling or rain on his joy by informing him that my mother was going to die that night.

My point is -if we would take it upon ourselves to cut most of these people some slack, to listen to them and give grace - a lot of this general friction in society would also be reduced.

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3 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

Were you unable to stop to keep from hitting her?    

I'm not sure that I agree that there's right of way in a grocery store.

I did not hit her. I did stop proceeding when I said, “oop! Watch yourself!” Because if she had stepped one more step backwards she would have hit my cart no matter what. 

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4 minutes ago, Quill said:

I did not hit her. I did stop proceeding when I said, “oop! Watch yourself!” Because if she had stepped one more step backwards she would have hit my cart no matter what. 

Clearly you had to say something and I don't think It being "Watch Yourself", "Watch Out", "Look out", "Stop!" or some other perfectly normal phrase would have mattered to her attitude.  Maybe if you said "Hey moron, watch where you're going!" she would have cause to complain.  

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Re: "watch yourself." I think my reaction would be totally dependent on how it was said. Commanding and sharp? I'd consider it rude. Cheerful, with a smile? I'd consider that helpful. Adding the "oop" would soften it, I think. 🙂 

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1 hour ago, Quill said:

🤷🏻‍♀️ Maybe English is not my first language. Maybe I hail from a country that says, “Watch yourself!” when someone is about to cause an accident. My tone was cheerful. I would say the same thing if a person was about to trip over box in the aisle. 

No...I think she was just a b!tch. That explains it! Lol

To me watch yourself has a kind of rude vibe to be honest so maybe it’s a regional thing.  If someone said watch yourself to me in a cheerful tone I’d probably stew over it half the day.  The rest of her behaviour was way out of line though.  

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1 minute ago, Ausmumof3 said:

To me watch yourself has a kind of rude vibe to be honest so maybe it’s a regional thing.  If someone said watch yourself to me in a cheerful tone I’d probably stew over it half the day.  The rest of her behaviour was way out of line though.  

Ita!

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1 hour ago, prairiewindmomma said:

And I mean, literally, that someone could run you over in the Midwest, leaving bruises on your foot, and the polite response is, "Excuse me. I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to get in the way."  It's not necessary, but if I were in the small town I grew up in, it is the polite response.

Reminds me of these:

image.png.658586e90b6d1aa972e0c5f76fcde2c3.png

image.png.34fd6b5dfb2d966df89ab7305402bb01.png

image.png.6a859b2bdd0436961457cfaa1047bb91.png

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41 minutes ago, Wheres Toto said:

Clearly you had to say something and I don't think It being "Watch Yourself", "Watch Out", "Look out", "Stop!" or some other perfectly normal phrase would have mattered to her attitude.  Maybe if you said "Hey moron, watch where you're going!" she would have cause to complain.  

I did actually think something much worse...”Oh, I guess you would have liked it better if I said move your %@$&&*””$$’sm out of my %%:-)#)#;$+( way...” 

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