Have you ever been to the zoo? I was at the Dallas Zoo the other day, staring at the primates. Don’t worry, they were staring right back. Anyway, this big male gorilla, who had been sitting quietly with a couple of females laying around nearby, suddenly just got up and freaked out.
Now, I should emphasize, nothing caused this. Seriously. He’s a gorilla. There is nothing to piss him off. But all of a sudden, he got in a bad mood and started taking it out on all the other gorillas nearby. They are all running in fear, the people staring at them are freaking out, and I’m just thinking… you big, dumb ape.
Well, I expect that creatures who lack the ability to use a spoon might be wild and unpredictable. But you know what drives me crazy? Humans who do the same damn thing!
Lately I’ve heard a rash of stories from friends and family about situations they’ve been in at work in which customers are just complete assholes for no apparent reason. In fact, I was even at McDonalds today when this snooty woman came in carrying her child that was acting up. The extremely courteous young lady behind the counter greeted her quickly and politely, and then this dirtbag of a woman just started acting like that aforementioned gorilla.
Back in my grandfather’s day society didn’t tolerate that kind of behavior. They’d have escorted a rude customer right out of the joint, and then that woman would have been the talk of the town. I actually got so offended on behalf of the girl behind the counter that I snapped at that lady, “Hey! If you’ve got a personal problem, keep it to yourself! No need to ruin these nice people’s day, so how about NOT being an a-hole?!? It’s no wonder your kid has a bad attitude. Take a look in the mirror.”
For a second after I said that, the entire place was so quiet you could have heard a McNugget drop. The kid shut up. The lady turned and looked at me, and her mouth dropped open. And you know how sometimes you just know when someone is about to say something? Yeah, I saw it coming, so I hopped in real quick with, “You don’t want to say anything to me. I guarantee I am meaner than you ever dreamed of being in your entire life.”
It was amazing. She turned around, completed her order – clarifying that it was “to go” – and quietly walked off to the side. About that time, my food came up. I politely thanked the nice young lady behind the counter, who thanked me right back, and took my food to a table to sit and eat in peace.
Now here is the problem with all of this. What goes around, comes around. All of these jackasses are simply adding to the decay of our polite society. I bet I’m the only guy who ever reproached that lady in her life. And she goes around ruining people’s day and leaving a trail of destruction in her wake. But someone has to come in line after her. And once she ruins the attitude of the person who was helping her, service diminishes for the next person.
You see how this works? It’s a chain reaction. You ruin someone’s day, and they pass it on. But guess what! It works the other way too! I wrote about this over two years ago, so in case you missed it go find out how I Discovered the Secret to Happiness at 7-11.
PS – Thanks to Squid for the gorilla image.