Monday, December 6, 2010

You need a muzzel

Sometimes, I just want to reach across the counter at the people serving me at a fast food joint and strangle them. Either they're 16 years old and have no idea what the concept of cash back means or they're in their 50's/60's working for minimum wage and hating every moment of it.

Today, I took my mother out for a day of retail therapy. She and I both needed it. We've been through a lot these last few months with people playing mind games, pitting children against us and using every means possible to track what we're doing and finding ways to push us down even more. I called her up and told her "today, we're going out!". Towards the end of our shopping spree, we both noticed that we hadn't eaten anything all day so we went to the local pretzel factory to grab in a good munchie and a drink. The older woman behind the counter took my order first (even though Mom and I were ordering together). I asked for a simple plain pretzel. My mother asked for an "almond pretzel" but when the woman reached for the pretzel in the display case, my mother stopped her. "Do you think you could give me another one? This one looks like it has been sitting for quite a while". The woman behind the counter gave her this stare that I certainly did not like; you know that look someone gives you when they think you have three heads because they can't comprehend what it is that you're asking of them. Still, she pulls the pretzel out of the case and holds it up to her face, like she was inspecting it. Looking at my mother, she just continues to stare and then turns her eyes to me. "Don't you haven't anything more recent?" I asked. "That looks old and I wouldn't want to eat it." The woman in the back preparing the other pretzels stated that we'd have to wait for about 15 minuets before another almond pretzel would be available. My mother, who is starting to become hard of hearing, asked for the young lady in the back of the room to repeat herself but since I had heard her myself, I just repeated to my mother "they won't have any for a bit". The older woman at the counter, STILL HOLDING the old almond pretzel like an idiot holds a pencil, stares at her. "Well, then do you have something else?" my mother asks. "Like what?" Asked the woman. At this point, I am getting pissed. Her tone of voice, her body language and facial expression all said to me that she thought my mother was half stupid for asking for a fresh pretzel. "We have salt pretzels." she said. My mother asked her to repeat herself one more time, as the noise in the mall was loud and even I could barely hear her. "Salt." the woman said "S. A. L. T."

When she did that, I about lost my mind! I knew then she was not going to like what I was going to say next. She even glanced at me, knowing she had crossed a line and tried a smile at me to check to see how receptive I was of her nasty and condescending tone. I did not smile back and she knew she was in trouble. After ordering up our drinks, I handed my mother the pretzels and told her to go take a seat at a table behind us, that I would be over in a moment after I treated her to her pretzels.

"$9.95" the woman said to me.

"I did not appreciate the way you spoke to me mother" I said .

"I'm sorry, I didn't know-"

"You knew exactly what you were doing, and frankly it was rude and wrong. One of these days, you're going to come across someone who won't be as reserved as I and they'll really rip you one."

I took my drinks and turned to walk away, with her shouting behind me "I'm sorry, I didn't know-"

to which I turned and said "You knew EXACTLY what you were doing and I didn't like it."

After that, she was a nervous wreck behind the counter. I was watching from my table. All of a sudden, she became this pleasant, upbeat, kind "order taker". Where was this kind, caring, laughing soul when we came to visit her? She wasn't there. Finally, telling someone off actually HAD an effect!!!

Rachel -1
Pretzel Bitch -0


Ruth said...

Bravo!! People like that are the worst! For my friends fifteenth a few years ago, we decided to go to this small Italian restaurant - the waitress was looking at us like we were going to run out without paying all night (I mean, yes we were fifteen, but we weren't those types of teens!). Then she tried to take my friends pizza away before she'd finished - actually reached out and took the plate when pizza was still on it! My friend had to grab it back!!

Alittlesprite said...

I HATE bad service. My hubby is ONE person you don't want to give bad service to. He is extremely well spoken and if he feels he or anyone is getting treated badly, be it service or anything, he will speak up. And LOUDLY to. His voice really carries. LOL.
Well done you. I would have blown a gasket to if someone was treating my Mummy like that. :)

Caren Gittleman said...

Soooooooo glad you asserted yourself and stuck up for your Mother!

I do have to say though that rudeness spans ALL ages!!!!!

I am 55 and unemployed and have applied for TONS of "menial" jobs that I can't get because I worked 20+ years in advertising....if I were slinging pretzels I wouldn't be mean!!!

Rudeness spans all ages and runs rampant in the world of retail I'm afraid.....

Rachel Mae said...

Oh RETAIL is the worst. My Husband did the Retail thing for a very long time. His life has been threatend, people have assalted him and jumped over the counter at him, and profanity starts and the younger ages every year. I was astonished when my then three year old was playing in his play room and he was "fuck fuck fuck fuck" as he was playing. Not knowing what the word was but obviously, some kid at school was saying it! That was an interesting conversation.
I find fast food to be the rudest at times. And sometimes it isn't the clerk rather the person making the order! They can just be darnright down assinine!! So I think it is safe to say that humans in general are a big glob of rudeness unless you are one of the very few (who I have had the pleasure of meeting right here) who understand the need for kindness, compassion and understanding.

Rachel Mae said...

OH! And PAH-LEASE do not get me started on teenagers.... holy shit I could go on about them for ages. I feel bad for the good ones that try their best and end up getting punished by society for being just that; good.