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.
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.