This was Christmas Eve.
The waitress delivered the food. The waitress was just a kid, maybe just finished Form Five. She looked like she’s from the Interior, here in KK to earn some money, probably minimum wage at that. The customer—my dinner companion—immediately got upset. Wrong food or wrong-filled order: the pasta was not as-asked. With disdain dripping as thick as goo, the customer let the waitress have it: “How much training have you had? How long have your worked here? Do you know how to take an order?”
Seemed like a kitchen mistake to me.
The food was returned…and came back wrong again: not the right salad oil. The anger intensified; the pontification prolonged; the rants tempias over to me: “I am not afraid of anyone”. Righteous dissatisfied customer started wagging a finger at the general direction of the kitchen chopping section. The kid stood and hovered at our table, quietly taking the barbs.
The food was returned a third time. I dreaded what was coming back from the kitchen. I looked at my plate. I have lost my appetite. I debated whether to eat my food. I have heard of stories of kitchen staff dicking with asshole customers’ orders. They gained their secret revenge by spitting on the food. Once, one guy told me he scooped drain water from outside the kitchen to “sauce” one cantankerous customer’s food.
One time or another, we are all guilty of squeezing the maximum self-righteous juice when we know we are absolutely right, and someone conversely is wrong. Most times, things are shades of grey…debatable and uncertain, but when we know we are right, there is the temptation to be self-righteous and feel entitled. And so, we feel we are in every sense justified to knock the wrong to a thousand pieces. To, in a manner of speaking, cut them to size. To be like God for once: infallible, and so what the heck, let me ride this wrath to the maximum. Perhaps, unconsciously hoarding the wins, for the opportunity may not come again.
We finished the dinner. I paid the bill. (Did I say I actually paid the bill?) We walked out of the door and so did the darkness. The customer was still hitting the upset thread mill on maximum gear: “You know, I am not afraid of anyone; I will tell them my piece of mind anytime.” Right.
Oh, to be self-righteous and angry, or to be magnanimous and happy? To forgive and look forward, for tomorrow is Christmas. Hark now, hear, the angels are not singing right now.
Merry Christmas 😞