Saturday, November 10, 2012

Losing temper

FROM WHERE I WAS SEATED I could hear a woman shouting. The customers, otherwise busy eating their hurried breakfasts, looked in her direction. Like me, they were wondering what the fuss was about. I came to my regular breakfast place, a fast food chain at the corner of Taft and UN Avenue, to have a quiet moment to myself, filling my stomach with something, reading the morning papers with a cup of hot coco; and here she was, adding drama to the scene. "Well, that's a neat way to start the day," I thought.

Seated at her table was a high school student in uniform, covering her eyes, quietly telling the shouting woman, who in all likelihood was her mother, to keep the tone down, as most teenagers are bound to do. Public humiliation, after all, is the last thing kids want these days. And during those moments, the girl probably realized her mother was just that—a humiliation—and chances that the ground would swallow her whole were extremely slim.

The woman was angry because her food was served too late. She noticed that customers who came
much, much later than her already had their food, the exact meal she had ordered from the menu. So what happened? Why was she bypassed? She lashed away invectives, blaming the waiters, the cashiers, the manager, even the multinational fast food corporation. "I've been waiting for a long time, and nobody even followed my order up! I hate this place! The service is atrocious!" she said, not her exact words (because it's not common to hear "atrocious" in every day conversations these days), but you get the point.

The Waiter, who for a long time was one of my favorite bloggers until he stopped updating his website regularly, said that waiting on tables is a tough job. He advocated for the giving of tips, for making reservations during Thursdays (when food in restaurants are of the best quality), and most of all, for the fair and humane treatment of the waiting staff. On that last point I agree with him wholeheartedly.

It would have given the woman much credit had she forwarded her complaints to the manager in a quiet, diplomatic way. But she did the exact opposite: she gave way to her irritation, which turned to anger, which translated to her throwing the food at the nearby trashcan for everyone to see.

My breakfast didn't end as peacefully as I had wanted it to, but I have my Saturday and Sunday off, and I'm grateful. Thank You, Lord, for the weekend.



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