So I need to premise this entry. I am a Christian, so I know about people targeting a religious group and disliking them solely for their beliefs. That being said, this is not about religion. This is about representing yourself and how that reflects on your beliefs. Okay, now it's story time. There is a group of Orthodox people that come into my store somewhat frequently. They stand out because their pastor (maybe he is a reverend or a father...) wears a flowing black robe and a huge cross necklace that would shame any blinged-out rapper. He is followed by his very meek and drably dressed wife and lay-people. Accompanying them appears to be the contents of a well-stocked school bus, but actually turns out to be the result of a active sex life with no birth control. The adults themselves are not bad. They all have accents and it is hard to make out what they are ordering--and they never tip, but that is a day-in-the-life of a barista. The frustrating, migraine-inducing part are the screaming, shrieking children. Keep in mind, my store is small. It is the common hang-out of business men/women trying to find a more relaxed atmosphere to hold meetings or to work on their computers away from the distractions of the office. Enter 20 loud kids that take the toy box (Who put that there? They should be fired!) and take the contents (paper, crayons, stickers, glue) and spread it ALL over the floor of the small space. Then they run around screaming and wreaking havoc on the few customers that are brave enough to remain in the store. The parents happily chat away with each other as everyone else glares at them and mentally beg them to rein in their little monsters.
And this goes on for over an hour! Schools shouldn't spend their budgets on complicated health classes. They should teach abstinence-only sex-ed by sending their students to my store when this group is there. That will scare their pants permanently on. Shoot, I am re-thinking my own choices and I already had my son!
Today, the climactic moment, when I truly wanted to politely ask them to leave, was when one boy went tearing through the store and grabbed the full drink that I had just set on the counter for one of our (quiet) regulars, and flung it to the floor. In his defense, it was accidental, but why is he grabbing cups off of counters in the first place? Coffee and milk went flying everywhere, and I had to add one more drink to my growing line of cups I was working on.
Now my question is, are these parents aware of their affect on those around them? They are obviously members of a conservative church group. As a Christian myself, I try to be aware of how I represent myself (granted, I don't do the best of jobs...namely when I accidentally say stuff I shouldn't when coffee comes flying at me unexpectedly), but I wish these parents would try to discipline their children. In my experience, religious groups sometimes ere on the side of over-disciplining their children--also not the best idea, but at least they are obedient. Yes, kids should have a happy childhood where they are not afraid, but that being said, I miss my mother's mantra: "Use your inside voice." Mom, where were you this morning? I needed you.
The kids finally did leave (with their parents) and I could hear the collective sigh of relief among the rest of the room's occupants. Now we are sifting through the wreckage of the shop.
One more day behind the bar...