A person who is not nice to the waiter is not a nice person.
I’ve seen this quote bounce around some social media lately and, insomuch as you may/may not be able to classify someone by one defining action, I agree with this. It is beyond pet peeve frustration level for me when people treat waiters/waitresses/fast food restaurant employees/service industry workers in general badly! And I say this now because I was just being unproductive on Facebook and I saw this little meme picture that said something to the effect of “Go to the drive-thru and when they say, ‘Can I take your order?’ say ‘no’ and drive away.” Under it someone had posted “punishment for the crime of working in fast food.” This just makes me livid! I’m sorry, but is that how your mama raised you? That is just plain rude. Now let me outline for those simpler folks who have clearly never worked in a customer service industry (or have, and have not learned a lesson about common courtesy) why exactly this is unacceptable, morally inappropriate behavior:
1. It’s not nice to waste someone else’s time like that.
2. This person has a shitty job anyway; it is not your job to make them more miserable.
3. Waiting tables or insert-generic-service-industry-job-here is HARD WORK. Though it isn’t intellectually demanding, it’s a pain in the ass, you’re up on your feet for hours, the pay is bad, the breaks are few, and the hours are inconsistent. We ought to respect the people in these positions who make everyone else’s lives easier.
4. You may think you’re messing with the big corporation, but you aren’t. You being demeaning to one individual, and you don’t know that person’s story. And that is not nice.
I’ve worked a variety of customer service jobs and am tired of others treating those who work menial jobs as though they are menial human beings. I am a college-educated, talented, driven person who works as many jobs as I have to in order to travel and educate myself. EVEN IF I WASN’T, even if I was in one of those jobs because I had no other choice, because circumstance had come up against me, or even if I was just one of the lazy-undriven people you occasionally run into out in the world, that is no reason to treat me disrespectfully, like I’m stupid because this is what I do. This is what I do to get by, for now, because later I’ll be able to do what I love. But even if being a cashier or a waitress or a fruit seller is all I’m ever going to be, that does not give a person the right to treat me like I am beneath them.
Bottom line: do not treat your waitress/fast food server/cashier badly. Do not dine-and-dash, leave eighteen cents for a tip, or pick on the person working the drive-thru window.
I fully believe in karma and, if you’re still hell-bent on treating these people badly, then guess what? Maybe someone will spit in your food at a restaurant or bag your bleach with your bananas at the grocers or short you at the drive-thru. Maybe your mechanic will over-charge you to fix some simple little car thing. Chances are that, somewhere along the line, us service-industry employees will get you back. And your life will be a little bit more miserable, too.
We’re all in the same sandbox we call Earth. Let’s play nicely together.