If A=Annoying Person on Tuesday, B=See You This Friday!

Now and then I have time at work (usually on a Tuesday afternoon between 2:07 and 2:22 p.m.) to reflect on the rude customer syndrome. It’s quite the hot topic in the media these days.

Is this a new phenomenon? Are there really that many more rude people in the world?

Or, are the numbers the same, and just more of them are dining out?

Don’t know. But they certainly command attention!

I also believe I can identify these people long before they ever enter my–or any other–restaurant. I may start taking pictures of them with my cell phone in order to be better prepared when they eventually stalk my podium.

To wit:

Mr. Restaurant Gal was mere steps away from the grocery checkout line with his various items for tonight’s dinner. (Mr. Restaurant Gal is a terrific cook, by the way.) You were agitated about the wait time in your line, one lane over. Worried that someone else might beat you out of the store, you grabbed your items from your conveyer belt, made eye contact with Mr. Restaurant Gal, then flung your items down on the conveyer belt he was headed toward. Mr. Restaurant Gal is an avid reader of this blog. He knows a problem child when he sees one and shares such encounters with me. Beware. He has offered up a full description of you so I’ll immediately recognize you this Friday.

You dared me to cross the street when I had the green light and you wanted to turn right at the same time. You drive a heavy vehicle; I am a petite pedestrian who values her ability to walk. My jumping back to the curb was not a sign of giving in to you. It simply meant I wanted to take my life in my own hands and not leave it in yours. When you come in this Friday, remember, I own your lunch hour, and the power to determine whether or not it stretches to two.

You yelled at the poor college kid ringing up your Starbucks order, saying she didn’t hear you right. You told the barista you bought a grande, when you actually ordered a tall. You then loudly complained that the barista still got your soy-sugar-free-vanilla-extra-shot-no-foam-whatever-the hell-else-it-was latte, wrong–all wrong. You were the reason all of us waited an extra five minutes for our coffee. You are also the reason I plan to share the photos I take with every restaurant in my city–and why I always tip the Starbucks baristas.

Only kidding about the photos. I have no clue how to take a clear, recognizable picture with my cell phone.

But I have a great memory for faces.






8 responses to “If A=Annoying Person on Tuesday, B=See You This Friday!”

  1. The Super Bongo Avatar

    I just wanted to say that although I’m always nice to people who are nice to me, (there are two horrible stories of really really bad restaurant experiences which I know even you would shudder over – and interestingly, both happened on my anniversary — what is it with wait staff picking one member of a couple to openly flirt with while dissing the other?) Anyway, the whole point to this comment is – after reading your blog and waiter rant, I have to say — I’m even more aware of my tone of voice and interactions with restaurant folks. The staff at a hip bar/restaurant in San Antonio can thank you for the very nice tips they received recently.

    Thanks for your well thought out and communicated perspectives.

  2. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    I love San Antonio! Tell the hip spot that Restaurant Gal sends regards from the front lines.

  3. Sue Avatar

    I work in a cubicle and don’t have the opportunities you do to screw with someone’s lunch hour. But I do have a wide passive-aggressive streak and can mosey like no one’s business when someone has been rude to me and is now banging their shopping cart on my ankles trying to get by…

  4. Natalie Avatar

    Oh foo. I was really looking forward to the mug shots. =)

  5. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Natalie–You of all people must know how to use your cell phone as a camera! Be my scout.

    –The Gal

  6. ricki Avatar

    I’m a college prof, and to me at least, it seems like the number of rude people has gone up. (Especially the number of people who feel that the mere fact of their existence entitles them to special treatment that the rest of the world does not deserve).

    I hope I never behave like any of the mean people you talked about. I know I have my bad days, my days when my response to the cheery wal-mart cashier’s “How are you?” is a tight-lipped, “Fine.” But I hope I never go out of my way to be mean, to make someone else’s day crap, to try to assert some illusory importance on the world.

    I suppose “no mug shots’ is a good policy though; mean people generally have the best lawyers. And the fastest tendency to sue.

  7. Mr. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Mr. Restaurant Gal

    Hmmm. Wish I’d thought of the camera phone thing when that lovely lady did her thing in the market. IIRC that sort of public shame used to work on antisocial drivers on Rt. 17 between San Jose and Santa Cruz. I can probably come up with a script in Photoshop to add an anonymizing strip of black tape over their eyes, just like in the olden days. That way we could all get to see those lovely ‘lemon juice’ expressions on their pointy little faces while preserving their ‘dignity’.

  8. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Mr. Restaurant Gal has had a challenging day. He is giving waaaaaay too much thought to this. No. No photos! Love you, sweetie.