Incompetence behind authority

Jean was walking with his grandfather through a public square in Paris.
At a certain point, he saw a shoemaker being mistreated by a client, whose footwear showed a flaw. The shoemaker listened calmly to the complaint and apologized, promising to correct the error.

Jean and his grandfather stopped to have coffee at a bistro.
At the table next to them, the waiter asked a man to move his chair a little in order to make space. That man burst into a torrent of complaints and refused to move.

“Never forget what you have seen today,” Jean’s grandfather said, “the shoemaker accepted the complaint, while this man next to us didn’t want to move.

“Useful men, who do useful things, don’t mind being treated as useless.

“But the useless always judge themselves as being important and hide all their incompetence behind authority.”

 

Taken from “Like a flowing river”