When you’re busy, you have to engage in calculated neglect. The stuff that gets neglected seems to be on the receiving end of mean when in fact it’s only a lack time that is leaving something ignored.
Also, dealing with people is usually more complicated than dealing with things. So, a busy person will be more likely to ignore a person first when presented with a choice between the two because it’s less work.
We’re in New York city for a visit. There are lots of people and things here. Most of the people here we’ve dealt with are very pleasant to when the situation arises. The one on one interactions are not mean. Sometimes they are efficient interactions, like with a cop giving me directions, but not mean. Everyone is very busy though and that comes across as mean when you aren’t dealing directly with people. Everyone is just busy.