If I Had a Superpower…

cutleryI 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.

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21 thoughts on “If I Had a Superpower…

  1. imnotasupermom says:

    My son is a barista and they get similar bad treatment. I get that you become a little picky when you pay four dollars for a coffee, but the kid who makes a hundred coffees in an hour is only paid the value of two of those drinks, at best.


    • javaj240 says:

      So true!!! And, listen, I get picky — we can all get picky when we are spending our hard-earned money, but there is a huge difference between picky and unreasonable — and folks who just outright lie? They are the worst.

      Tell your son that I admire him. Barista’s have a very rough job. It’s similar to bartending, in that the customer can stand there and watch you (and sometimes even critique you!) as you do your job. Not always fun, LOL!


  2. Great post, Jackie–and yes, the entire hospitality industry suffers from this “reward the bad actors” mentality. Not that some people don’t have genuine grievances, but much of the time it seems to me we treat the people helping us as though they were indentured slaves, not actual living, breathing people with feelings and thoughts and all that. Frankly, this attitude seriously pisses me off. But then, you knew that. 🙂


    • javaj240 says:

      I am so going to use the “reward the bad actors” line… love it. Is it some sociological term? I have never heard it. And, yes, many folks think that we are their personal indentured servant for the time they grace us with their presence. Ugh. Most people are fine. They really are. It’s just the maniacs that we remember.


  3. Such an eye-opener for me! You are so right about the restaurant business rewarding bad behavior from their customers. I never thought about it before. It’s really not right…


    • javaj240 says:

      No. No, it’s not. And the thing is this — there are folks who have legitimate problems/issues — I have no problem compensating them for their inconvenience — it’s the ones who outright lie (and everyone knows they are lying) that irritate me no end.


  4. I like your superpower and can’t stand awful people. Nice post!


  5. I feel exactly this way as an RN. People are unfreaking-believable in the crap they make up about me. Like I really held their baby’s head under running water until he couldn’t breathe!! Seriously!!


    • javaj240 says:

      I could never be trusted to work in a hospital if my powers of telekinesis were ever to “kick in”…. imagine the trouble I could get into there… scalpels, needles… the possibilities are endless. LOL!

      I thought most newborns could breathe under water? Hmmmm. I learn something new every day!


  6. […] Continue reading this post on Ambling and Rambling. […]


  7. ohlidia says:

    I was watching Bill Maher the other night and one of his topics was the waiter/waitress industry in America. If people knew how hard a profession this is and that most rely on tips because the minimum wage in most states is appalling, I would think (and hope) that people would treat their waiter/waitress with the respect and dignity they deserve. My brother has his own restaurant her in Montreal and I have to say, aside from the dishwasher, the waiters (they are all male) are the hardest working people in a restaurant.


    • javaj240 says:

      Dishwashers are the hardest working folks in any restaurant.

      I don’t know if Mr. Maher covered this or not, but in most U.S. states waiters and waitresses make only a portion of minimum wage. (Minimum wage is not set by states, it is federal law.) We would be jumping for joy if we were paid minimum wage. I make $2.13/hour, which is the legal wage for tipped employees in New Jersey. This is the case in most states. The only exception to this rule is the unionized server — sometimes found in the hotel industry — unionization is almost unheard of in corporate or privately-owned restaurants.


  8. Mindbender99 says:

    Maybe they need to walk a day in the shoes of the server to realize how hard it really is…


  9. javaj240 says:

    Yeah, but it would be hard to ignore a fork sticking out of your forehead, don’t ya think?


  10. Haralee says:

    People and their rudeness can be amazingly stupid. Of course they would be oblivious to that!


  11. javaj240 says:

    I should’ve written that folks could go ahead and insert any hot man (or woman) that they consider “hot”, LOL!

    Personally, I don’t get the Ryan Gosling thing. Is it the vulnerability thing? Is that what attracts people to him?


  12. I’d replace David Beckham with Ryan Gosling personally.


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