Family Date Night Out (Appreciating Customer Service Jobs)

Last night, Nick had a fun idea that we go out for ice cream after dinner. Not exactly helping the whole "eat better" resolution thing, but, hey, it's been a whole week, right? So we decided to swing by the old Dairy Queen and hit up Redbox on the way home to rent a family flick. Now I want to premise this. I may have a quick temper, but I usually save that for at home with the people I love (lucky them), and I don't normally yell/get angry with strangers. This was typically frowned on as I was growing up, in case you start to question the parenting I had as a child. Even Jesus got mad sometimes too.

Anyway, we go into this Dairy Queen and I immediately noticed an older couple was ordering with the cashier. The older man was speaking loudly, and I just wrote it off as him being geezerly (he's old, give him a break). Then loud gave way to rude. Apparently DQ was having some sort of cheeseburger-palooza and had a poster of 3 different cheeseburgers for people to choose from. The man was telling the girl at the counter that he wanted "that one" gesticulating angrily at the poster across the room and was getting furious that she was trying to specify which of the three burgers he wanted.

"I want the damn cheeseburger!" he said, "Isn't that a [insert more expletives here] cheeseburger?!" He made eye contact with me as I stared at him, aghast (while holding my son), and he made this face that said "Aren't these people the WORST?!" and I tried to make my face say something back like, "No, you are" (but I don't think my face bends that way).

The conversation went on as he berated the girl. The man's wife, being sugar sweet in an attempt to make up for the mistake of bringing her husband out in public, started complimenting me on how adorable my son was and how we probably always were told that. I thanked her and engaged in a distracted conversation with her about the cut on his eyebrow and how he's like a tank and likes to crash into things. I couldn't stop listening to the altercation that was happening in front of us.

I heard the man yelling at the girl that she was stupid and didn't understand anything (all she was trying to say was "Will there be anything else?"), when they were finally though, he turned to me and said (loudly enough for the whole store to hear him), "[Expletives], You'd think they could hire someone that wasn't an idiot and could actually understand English!" (she was Asian and spoke perfectly fine english).

I couldn't stand it anymore. I told him that she was doing a fabulous job in that she wasn't yelling at him for being such a horrible [something I probably shouldn't have said and I hope does not reflect poorly on my parents]. And I kept on saying more and more about how she was just doing her job and he was being a complete ass-hole. He responded to me in some way (I was so mad I don't even remember it anymore), but it was enough to make me turn and tell Nick and Hood that we would wait outside until that horrible man was no longer in the restaurant to make it extremely clear that we wanted no part of him.

Hood was pretty confused and I think I might have embarrassed Nick, but we stood out in the cold while we waited for the couple to get their food. I apologized to Nick for getting so worked up. It makes me so upset when customers abuse people in the customer-service industry. Being a barista, I have dealt with my fair share of horrible people like that, and it was nice to get to stand up for someone else for a change and let the customer know what the employee was probably thinking but couldn't say (if she wanted to keep her job).

When the couple finally came out, we were of course standing right next to their car, the wife held the door open for us as we re-entered and said something very cheerily like, "Ooh! It's chilly out here! I hope you guys have a nice day!" (As an aside, I don't know why she didn't tell her husband to be nicer or something. Nick said that its probably a generational thing and women didn't correct their husbands then. I try to be respectful to Nick, but I am pretty sure if he ever acted like that to anyone-no danger in that happening anytime soon-he would have to bear the brunt of my wrath).

When we went inside, the store manager was at the register, and I saw the previous cashier in the back washing dishes and sobbing. I apologized to the manager FOR the man, telling her that I am sorry there are people like that in the world, and that I appreciated that the girl was so kind to him. I wish I could have done more, but I was just still so upset, I couldn't find any words.

Family night did eventually calm down and, you'd be proud of me, I didn't yell at any more people for the whole rest of the day!