You’re looking at a person who deserves a medal.
Yesterday at work, a man came sauntering up to my counter. “You the cake designer?” he asked, by way of salutation.
“Sure am, how may I help you?” I asked, shoving aside the trash can that’s always in my way and grabbing my order pad.
He was carrying a piece of paper with him which he proceeded to unfold with unnecessary levels of sass. The paper snapped he unfolded it so hard, and I knew right there this was not going to be a customer interaction I would enjoy. He had an annoyed expression, too, as if I’d already sullied his shopping experience somehow by asking how I could help. He opened the paper, then tossed it on the counter, and said, “Make me that.” He crossed his arms. He stared a ridiculously defiant stare.
I had a pen in my hand. It’s a nice pen. Looks very professional unless you read the words on it. “Camp Dipstick.” That’s what the pen says and I love it. It’s my favorite pen. It’s got real heft to it, too. It’s metal, with a silicone coating that gives excellent grip. Heavy, metal, sharp, easy to wield…
I gripped that pen. My hand twitched. Time slowed. My hand began to move forward, seemingly of its own will, as condescension radiated from the man’s expression like a physical force. I couldn’t stop myself. I couldn’t help it. That smirk. THAT SMIRK. I HATE condescension. I can’t stand it. Be rude to me, that’s fine. Be an asshole if you want. But come at me with a dismissive tone dripping with judgment? Nothing gets me angrier faster. My hand lifted and moved and before I knew it I was…
Writing out his order.
I asked for his name and phone number, the standard opener for taking an order. He flipped the paper over and thumped the back where he had the information written down. I was supposed to know he already did that. My b.
A couple of times I got, “Yeah, suuurrrre,” as response to my questions, questions that clearly inspire sarcastic retorts like, “Would you like buttercream icing?” and “Would you like a filling between the layers?” I suppose if I’m going to ask questions like that, I kind of deserve ridicule. I mean, who do I think I am, right?
After the brief mostly grunty exchange, I went to read back the order to make sure we were on the same page. This is standard. They order, you confirm the order. I wasn’t doing it to hold him up or ruin his life, but I guess I just didn’t stop and think about my actions, did I? Don’t worry, he let me know I crossed a line. He rolled his eyes and sighed as if he was Atlas himself. “Just make it,” he snapped before storming away.
Folks, while there were many things I could have said or done, I took the order. I smiled. I wished his back a nice day as he too-cool-for-school strolled out the door. I put my nice, heavy, sharp pen away and filed the paperwork in the appropriate slot for long term orders. And next week, I’ll make his froofy unicorn cake the best goddamn froofy unicorn cake he’s ever seen.
Maybe I don’t deserve a medal. That seems a bit small for such an amazing feat of self-restraint and personal fortitude.
What, exactly, do keys to the city unlock?
Thus concludes a Musing for Thursday, June 7, 2018. I think it goes without saying that this is entirely sarcastic and I would never, ever harm a customer. It should, anyway. But, this IS the internet, soooo…..