Sunday, February 5, 2012
I've mentioned this before, but I'm a fairly laid back guy. I don't get my feathers ruffled very often, and on those rare occasion I do, give me 10 minutes and I have forgotten about what ever it was. I'm sure that over time this has served me fairly well, especially in the blood pressure department.
But something happened today that really irked me. And the more I thought about it the more bothered by it I became. Mrs. LIAYF had a weekend work project to finish, so I took Lukas out for some father/son bonding time. We decided to go for a bike ride up and down a boardwalk near home. It was a great morning with lots of sunshine and spectacular views. Then when we were finished, we stopped off to lunch at our favorite fast food coffee Shop
Now, I've posted before about our affinity for this particular coffee chain, but It was at this location where the events that bothered me transpired. The line there wasn't too long, but Lukas and I waited our turn patiently. Then it was our turn to order, we made our selections. Since we were having a full lunch we had to make more of a selection than just drinks. I grabbed a fruit cup, a sandwich, a granola bar, a couple of treats, an Odwalla juice and a coffee. I think I asked Lukas once if he would rather have a cocoa than the juice. He declined. We also took a brief moment to choose a the sandwich.
All the while the cashier, a youngish guy avoided eye contact, gritted his teeth, and spoke in very short tones to me. It became more pronounced when I asked him to put money on my card, then pay for it with the newly loaded card. It was pretty obvious he was doing all he could to keep himself bottled up. But, this whole transaction didn't take more than 2 minutes, tops. Probably less. Someone in the line ahead of us had also taken a bit of time placing their order as well. I didn't care.
Oddly enough, for the first time since becoming a parent, I had the distinct feeling that I was the recipient of this guys ire because I had my kid with me. It wasn't a good feeling. Then, to top it all off, once I was done the cashier slid the next guy in line his drip coffee and loudly proclaimed "This one's on me! I insist. Thank you for your patience!"
Then I felt insulted. It would have been different if I had actually taken an extraordinary amount of time, but like I mentioned this wasn't a long transaction. Plus I had just bought $25 worth of their food. But, I decided to try to forget about it and enjoy the lunch. And Lukas and I did just that, having nice chat about our day and our bike ride.
But, as we were finishing up I noticed that that same cashier was having a problem. Apparently he had entered something incorrectly while taking an order and he couldn't get it figured out. He proceeded to call every other cashier over, including the manager while the line was held up and growing longer. A couple of minutes later (literally), it was to the door, no one was being served, and the cashier was smiling widely as he tried to assure the customers in line that they would be served soon.
Finally, they resolved the issue and began serving the other customers. That incident took at least 5 times as long as my transaction, probably more. But I didn't see any free drinks being handed out. This bothered me all over again. Thankfully, I recognized the manager. He had been transferred there from the coffee house near my work, where I was a long time customer. As we were leaving, he saw me, smiled, and asked how I was doing.
"Not bad." I replied, taking a breath "But I want to tell you about the experience I just had...."
Tell me parents. How often does this type of parent discrimination happen to you, and do you let it bother you?
Would you have said something to the manager?
Posted by James (SeattleDad) at 4:59 PM