Sometimes people are silly.  That’s a very gentle way of acknowledging that when one works in a service industry it’s easy to grow exhausted by others’ behaviors.  Over-working oneself in such an industry only magnifies the situation exponentially.  As can be easily surmised, at present I can safely be placed within that latter category.  That said, in a spirit of what I shall term ‘social observation’ (read: This-is-the-part-when-Aaron-bitches, aka, What the hell’s wrong with people in this city?!?), like a slowly bubbling volcano I vent the following:

  • This evening not one but two separate tables sat down in the Italian seafood restaurant where I work, immediately stated that they didn’t eat seafood and subsequently complained about the lack of meat on the menu.  Now, unlike most restaurant in the city we do not hide our daily menu selections—in fact, the menu’s on our website and in the window of the restaurant—so it’s difficult to surmise how the confusion arose.  Imagine that I hate Mexican food: would I be happy having my birthday dinner at Senor Frogs Tex-Mex Cantina??  One scratches one’s head.
  • My local library, like many grocery stores and airport kiosks, has a self-check-out function: you simply scan your card, enter your PIN and scan the item bar-code et voila, off you go.  Please keep in mind that the library, unlike a grocery store or airport kiosk, is a free service.  Yesterday I overheard a woman ask a librarian for assistance: “I have to check-out these 75 books (seriously, I’m not inventing this number), can you watch my child while I do that?”  The child in question was about 11-months old and was at that moment strapped to the mother’s back like some lesser bi-ped.  One wonders what sort of watching the mother had in mind, to say nothing of why she was requesting child-care from a complete stranger.  To top it off, when the librarian demurred the lady instead suggested, “Why don’t I just watch her and you check the books out for me?”  I left before the issue was sufficiently resolved.
  • At the restaurant where I work we have a Happy Hour, which lasts for (ahem) one-hour, and during which time oysters are served for $1/each.  During regular dinner service (i.e., The remaining hours of service), oysters are $3/each.  That is a significant price difference and should be grounds for those inclined to oyster consumption to arrive at the restaurant during the pre-assigned period.  However, recently during dinner service I had a customer complain that his oysters cost too much and insist that, despite it not-being-Happy-Hour, he only wanted to pay $1/oyster.  I kindly explained the situation to the man, and he not-so-kindly insisted upon his desired price.  To me his logic seemed a lot like going to a car wash and saying, I want the $50 cleaning and waxing but I only want to pay $20 for it.  I thought for a moment, told him he could pay $3/oyster now or wait until Triple-Time came, at which point they would be $9/each.  As you can imagine, he did not eat any oysters, and I did not feel bad for him.
  • Some time back a gentleman sat down in the restaurant and immediately began to complain about the parking: “I drove around forever and then had to walk 10-blocks just to get here.”  I mentioned the parking lot located directly across the street from the restaurant (and by ‘directly’ I do mean directly, as in about a 50-foot walk), but he only continued to complain and suggested that we (the restaurant) should “offer some sort of parking service”.  I noted that we are, by definition, a restaurant and not a parking service, and as such will focus only on topics that we do well, like food and drink.  He replied that, “Lots of restaurants offer valet services”.   I assured him that while that was true, we were not one of those in question, and then I added, “However, valet service is an excellent idea, and if you sir are looking for a little extra income on the weekends we’d love to hire you – we pay minimum wage plus tips and we’ll definitely buy you a vinyl jacket with a logo”.  This quieted him in the short term, though I’m sure that like any good Seattle-ite we’ll hear his whinings on Yelp one of these days.

(I will refrain from a lengthy grumbling on the topic of Yelping at present, suffice to say: If you experience a difficulty somewhere [restaurant, bar, grocery store, atuo-mechanic, etc.] grow a pair and say something while you’re in the store interacting with a real human person—don’t scurry home to the safety of your internet connection like some prissy milksop only to vent there.)

There are more.  I’m exercising restraint because cataloging them doesn’t simply border on the infinite, it also makes my heart feel black.  I’m not a  smug person, and while I realize that’s exactly the sort of thing smug people assert to disavow their smugness, it’s true.  I’m simply tired of the rather large portion of people in this city who a) are entitled feckless whiners (check-out your own library books and park your own damned car and for god’s sake!), and b) who claim to want a unique urban experience as long as it looks exactly like something you can get at any chain location nationwide.

[Letter b) is another story for another night, but given the way things have been going of late I’m sure I’ll have plenty of fodder when the time rolls around.]