I spent some time last night giving some real thought to whether or not people realize that they have overreacted to a situation. Further, when and IF they do come to the realization that, perhaps, their inability to — Oh, I don’t know? — let’s just say, order dessert 0.5 seconds after they’ve completed scarfing down a giant Porterhouse, do they ever regret carrying on as if someone has kidnapped their firstborn?
Yeah. That happened. Among other things. But, let’s concentrate on “dessert guy”. Because he was a real piece of work. His ridiculous behavior included, but was not limited to, grabbing every employee who could be grabbed (mostly me) while complaining loudly that his server was “nowhere to be found!” — Yup! That guy.
For the record, when he made this ludicrous and completely untrue statement, he was actually pointing at his server. A woman who was, at that moment, a mere five feet away and engaged in taking an order at one of her other tables. So, not only was she able to be SEEN by him, she was also able to HEAR him! This is, let me just tell you, mildly distracting to a server.
Listen, I understand that sometimes folks are saddled with an inattentive server. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. I won’t lie. We’re not ALL fabulous. I would have been very understanding if he pointed out the window at his server who was outside on the phone making after-work plans. (Even had this been the case, she still would not have been “nowhere to be found”!)
Seriously, though, this was not the case. And this guy is not the only example of this type of boorish behavior. Let me, in the interest of good servers everywhere, explain something to any of who are not in this line of work — servers have more than one table! If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be able to make a living. Then, they’d be what you’d call, “servants”.
I really want to ask people like this if they race around the front of the grocery store, grabbing any employee they see, demanding that someone, anyone, ring up their purchases NOW! I’d like to know how that would go over at the supermarket or, honestly, any other retail establishment. Like a ton of bricks, I’d suspect.
In my industry, though, do you know what happens when a customer behaves like this? We reward them! By giving them free stuff! And they know it! As a result of their lying, conniving ways, they save money! Forgot your coupon? No worries! Just cop an attitude. We’ll take stuff off the bill!
It’s like negative reinforcement gone wild. Think of it this way — if your children were given lollipops every time they whined and demanded lollipops, what are the odds that they would stop whining and demanding lollipops? Slim to none, I’d say.
Aside from the Oscar-worthy overreactions that some people feel they must have in order to get a free piece of pie, what truly troubles me is when folks resort to outright lying to get their pie. Do they realize or even care that they may be contributing to an employer’s overall assessment of the employee that they decided was “fair game” so that they could go home with six measly dollars? (The short answer: “No!”; The long answer: “Who? What employee? It’s all about ME, ME, ME, ME, ME and MY unrealistic expectations!”)
Lots of us have fantasies. I daresay that many of these fantasies feature David Beckham, shirtless and cold, wandering around the neighborhood, possibly disoriented and in need of “warming up”, if you follow my drift. I, too, have fantasies. Mine, however, do not (always) involve hot men in need of my embrace. No. I tend to fantasize about finding out where idiots like “dessert guy” work, going there, and making their lives miserable, ya know, so that I, too, can save six dollars. If this requires lying through my teeth to their superior and portraying them in a negative light to get what I want — all the better! In fact, the more I have to lie about them, the more exciting the fantasy becomes.
I have other fantasies, too. Less socially acceptable ones — ones that I don’t normally discuss. Because they are somewhat violent and often involve cutlery. Sometimes I catch myself wishing that I was endowed with powers of telekinesis. That’s what my superpower would be, if I got to choose a superpower. The good news is, if I were to suddenly become telekinetic, you’ll hear about it. Chances are that I wouldn’t limit myself to employing my newly found power of telekinesis to do silly things, like summoning the remote. (A cursory “feeling around” beneath the couch cushions usually reveals it’s hiding spot!) The bad news is that you’ll hear about it because I’m certain that I would use it in newsworthy fashion. I guarantee you that more than a few people would be wandering around with forks sticking from their foreheads, lemon slices protruding from their noses, and monkey dishes lodged in their tracheae. I won’t even tell you where the emergency room physician might discover soup spoons or steak knives. If I did, you’d probably think that I had overreacted to a situation. You’d probably be right.