Tantrum: A True Story


I was at Wegmans not long ago for lunch and I ordered a fountain drink. I stood waiting for the girl ahead of me to get a drink. I was in no particular hurry since I had plenty of time before I had to get back to work. The girl in front of me attempted to fill her cup up with ice only to discover that the machine was out. Her reaction was a very loud "You've got to be kidding me" followed by a lot of huffing, muttering ("I can't believe this"), and general aggravation. (An adult temper tantrum of sorts).

I found myself a little annoyed with her. Is this really an appropriate reaction? My thoughts didn't think so... It's just ice... You are making quite a scene... You have serious entitlement issues... You act like this was a personal offense... but my face was blank as I stared at a very interesting corner and waited for the episode to end.

When it comes to service the industry I almost always side with the servers. I spent my entire college career working my butt off in restaurants for customers who very obviously didn't consider me to be a human being. I wanted to tell this girl as much. Maybe the workers were shorthanded and extra busy today. I mean have you ever been to Wegmans between 11:30 and 1:30? It's a mad house. Actually, despite the chaos of Wegmans at noon, they have one of the nicest staffs I've ever met. They give you a lot of service considering it's a self-serve grocery store. I know for a fact they would very kindly have it filled immediately if asked and probably had no idea it was out.  Not to mention there was a second drink machine upstairs if she's in a real hurry...

So there I was, judging her a little...Why can't people be patient? Are we so busy that we have to have ice in 10 seconds or everything is thrown off for the day? Why is everyone so obsessed with their own needs/expectations/desires that they expect everyone else around them to cater to that? 

Then again... Maybe she actually didn't have time to wait. Maybe her boss was threatening to fire her if she was late one more time. Maybe she was having a bad day and this was just one more small thing on top of a full day of hardship. I mean, I don't really know her story...why am I judging her?

All of this ran through my head in about 20 seconds. 

1 comment:

  1. I've definitely been in the same situation before. As a member of society on "the other side" of the service counter, I notice and pick up on plenty of little and obnoxious things guests and customers do. For the most part, people can be quite oblivious to how their actions affect others and how their attitudes can make people perceive them. I try my hardest not to burden people or agitate them when I'm out in public. I try to be efficient when I'm walking or checking out, and not just loiter and hold others up. One day I hope to be out of the industry and not have to deal with all the hassles, tantrums and constant stress of pleasing customers. I do cherish the insight I've gained by working in restaurants; its changed and enlightened my view of the world, and you seem to share that same enlightenment. I'm glad you kept your cool; let that girl have her tantrum and be on your way with no less than a little more insight and probably a nice cold cup of soda. :)