The importance of being nice to other UN members

It's important to be nice to people, don't you think? Politeness counts for a lot, as does never, ever raising your voice, no matter what. If someone expresses displeasure, that someone should not yell, scream, or put his or her hands on hips in anger. The proper response is to politely disagree, quickly followed by the qualification of 'respect' for the other person's perspective, background, childhood experiences and complete medical history. People who do not adhere to this code are decidedly not nice.

Well, golly gee, we just can't have a not—nice person like John Bolton representing our nation in the most august body known to mankind. What would the other diplomats think of someone who might have occasion to be brusque at times? Why, he might even have the gall to talk sternly to one of those United Nations peacekeepers who have their own interpretation of 'spreading the love' in foreign lands.

We need nice people to represent the United States in the UN. Look at what our magnanimity has done for our reputation there. But this Bolton guy! This guy is definitely not nice, and I can tell you that from personal experience. As soon as I'm done with this, I'm writing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to relay this story to them. I'm hoping to get a letter back from Sen. Kerry or Sen. Biden. Wouldn't that be the tops?! But I digress.

In 1994 I had the pleasure of serving as an intern on Capitol Hill. Those were halcyon days, those three months. Walking to work every day with the Capitol's dome gleaming in the morning sun makes one proud to be an American. There is a palpable spring in your step, even though the heat index approaches 100 before 9 a.m. My head often felt like a swivel as I spotted folks previously known only as images from C—SPAN and the evening news walking the halls along with me. I had turned 21 the previous fall, and working in the Rayburn building and being able to hoist a few brews after work and after softball games on the Mall made me feel like a full—fledged Hill rat.

An intern's work is never done, though, and sometimes takes him or her to other exotic locales within the Federal city. One time I was asked to run an errand to the State Department, so I hopped on the Metro and traveled to the Foggy Bottom stop, rode the escalator back up to the street and made my way over to State, so punch—drunk happy about being in Washington I nearly started whistling and flipping in the air the large envelope of papers with which I had been entrusted as I walked.

My reverie was rudely interrupted by Bolton. Apparently I had almost bumped into him as he was walking the other way on the crowded sidewalk. I had not seen him. He looked me up and down derisively. His burning, bloodshot eyes felt like they would bore right through the Congressional intern ID badge that I wore like an Olympic gold medal. I felt as if I would melt into a puddle right there in front of the State Department.

The man was surly and very not—nice in manner or appearance. He had bushy hair that looked as if he had gotten it clipped once every three months at Fantastic Sam's. His moustache was really out of style, but definitely contributed to his frightful visage. He yelled at me, told me to watch where I was going. He said I could hurt someone and that I was 'obviously not from around here.' I thought he was some sort of cowboy. I shuddered to think what it must be like to work for this man, and was glad to be fetching BLTs back at the Capitol for my jolly congressman, who always said thank—you.

I was reminded of this experience just the other day when a woman came forward with allegations of even worse behavior on the part of Bolton. It seems that this staffer at State had a similar experience with Bolton. Not only that, but it happened the very same year as mine! How crazy is that? Maybe it was just a bad year, but he sure seemed mean. It's hard to say that he has changed. Have you heard about all the awful things he has said about the UN? It's just not nice to even suggest that an entire ten floors of UN employees could be fired and nobody would notice. Don't you think that hurt their feelings?

Anyway, running into Bolton like that in the street sure was scary. Even in a town like D.C., where motorists have exactly 0.0002 seconds to take their foot off the gas once a light turns green before getting a honk from behind, Bolton's fury at me was intimidating and mean—spirited. It left me shaken and jaded. I have never returned to Washington.

I think it was Bolton I bumped into on the street. I'm pretty sure it was, anyway. Might have been. I mean, he had a moustache and that bad hair. It was eleven years ago this summer, what do you want from me? Still, Bolton seems like a pretty mean guy. We shouldn't send mean guys to the United Nations. It wouldn't be nice. And the UN is just full of nice people.

Isn't it?

Matt May can be reached at matthewtmay@yahoo.com; he blogs at http://mattymay.blogspot.com

It's important to be nice to people, don't you think? Politeness counts for a lot, as does never, ever raising your voice, no matter what. If someone expresses displeasure, that someone should not yell, scream, or put his or her hands on hips in anger. The proper response is to politely disagree, quickly followed by the qualification of 'respect' for the other person's perspective, background, childhood experiences and complete medical history. People who do not adhere to this code are decidedly not nice.

Well, golly gee, we just can't have a not—nice person like John Bolton representing our nation in the most august body known to mankind. What would the other diplomats think of someone who might have occasion to be brusque at times? Why, he might even have the gall to talk sternly to one of those United Nations peacekeepers who have their own interpretation of 'spreading the love' in foreign lands.

We need nice people to represent the United States in the UN. Look at what our magnanimity has done for our reputation there. But this Bolton guy! This guy is definitely not nice, and I can tell you that from personal experience. As soon as I'm done with this, I'm writing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to relay this story to them. I'm hoping to get a letter back from Sen. Kerry or Sen. Biden. Wouldn't that be the tops?! But I digress.

In 1994 I had the pleasure of serving as an intern on Capitol Hill. Those were halcyon days, those three months. Walking to work every day with the Capitol's dome gleaming in the morning sun makes one proud to be an American. There is a palpable spring in your step, even though the heat index approaches 100 before 9 a.m. My head often felt like a swivel as I spotted folks previously known only as images from C—SPAN and the evening news walking the halls along with me. I had turned 21 the previous fall, and working in the Rayburn building and being able to hoist a few brews after work and after softball games on the Mall made me feel like a full—fledged Hill rat.

An intern's work is never done, though, and sometimes takes him or her to other exotic locales within the Federal city. One time I was asked to run an errand to the State Department, so I hopped on the Metro and traveled to the Foggy Bottom stop, rode the escalator back up to the street and made my way over to State, so punch—drunk happy about being in Washington I nearly started whistling and flipping in the air the large envelope of papers with which I had been entrusted as I walked.

My reverie was rudely interrupted by Bolton. Apparently I had almost bumped into him as he was walking the other way on the crowded sidewalk. I had not seen him. He looked me up and down derisively. His burning, bloodshot eyes felt like they would bore right through the Congressional intern ID badge that I wore like an Olympic gold medal. I felt as if I would melt into a puddle right there in front of the State Department.

The man was surly and very not—nice in manner or appearance. He had bushy hair that looked as if he had gotten it clipped once every three months at Fantastic Sam's. His moustache was really out of style, but definitely contributed to his frightful visage. He yelled at me, told me to watch where I was going. He said I could hurt someone and that I was 'obviously not from around here.' I thought he was some sort of cowboy. I shuddered to think what it must be like to work for this man, and was glad to be fetching BLTs back at the Capitol for my jolly congressman, who always said thank—you.

I was reminded of this experience just the other day when a woman came forward with allegations of even worse behavior on the part of Bolton. It seems that this staffer at State had a similar experience with Bolton. Not only that, but it happened the very same year as mine! How crazy is that? Maybe it was just a bad year, but he sure seemed mean. It's hard to say that he has changed. Have you heard about all the awful things he has said about the UN? It's just not nice to even suggest that an entire ten floors of UN employees could be fired and nobody would notice. Don't you think that hurt their feelings?

Anyway, running into Bolton like that in the street sure was scary. Even in a town like D.C., where motorists have exactly 0.0002 seconds to take their foot off the gas once a light turns green before getting a honk from behind, Bolton's fury at me was intimidating and mean—spirited. It left me shaken and jaded. I have never returned to Washington.

I think it was Bolton I bumped into on the street. I'm pretty sure it was, anyway. Might have been. I mean, he had a moustache and that bad hair. It was eleven years ago this summer, what do you want from me? Still, Bolton seems like a pretty mean guy. We shouldn't send mean guys to the United Nations. It wouldn't be nice. And the UN is just full of nice people.

Isn't it?

Matt May can be reached at matthewtmay@yahoo.com; he blogs at http://mattymay.blogspot.com