Sunday, June 7, 2009

Lord, What Fools We Mortals Be

We think the thoughts whether or not we see them through

I'm not one to suffer fools lightly. Among my few and delightful character flaws, this one stands out rather prominently. It often brings out more peripheral undesirable qualities, like aloofness, condescension, and uncontrollable eye-rolling.

Working at a restaurant has exposed me to a wide variety of fools, and unfortunately I've learned very few coping mechanisms. Typically if the foolishness gets to the point where I can no longer keep a corporate-mandated smile on my face, I just run away and get a manager. I've learned to be alert to the signs of an on-coming eye-roll and I believe I've managed to contain them until out of the line of sight of the people causing them. I've not learned to stop myself from sighing in frustration, though.

It's not necessarily that I think myself smarter or better than people (most of the time), it's that despite my chillaxed demeanor, I'm a stickler for rules and regulation. I was probably a bureaucrat in a past or future life. If a scoop of ice cream costs 99 cents, then it costs 99 cents for everybody, all the time. If a coupon states it cannot be used in conjunction with any other specials or discounts, then so be it. If placing a high-chair at the end of a large booth is a fire hazard (and a clumsy-server hazard), then no one is allowed to do it under any circumstances ever. If servers aren't allowed to stand around in the bar, then I will kick them out every time. If a new policy is put into place about not eating "dead" food or "stealing" smoothies, then I will abstain and refuse to be an enabler in said activities.

It kills me when my customers ask me to bend or break rules, laws, or policy for them. If I were a good corporate drone my immediate reaction would be a concerned nod, an offer to see what I could do, and at least meet the "guest" halfway. Tragically, I have a backbone that bristles uncomfortably when faced with rule breaking and I'm unprofessionally brusque with some people, if only to prove the point that what we're doing is an exception. I'll get all stony-faced and say something like "Well, technically no, because of The Rules. I'll talk to a manager to see if we can do something this one time though." I think if I could learn to say that with a smile, I'd get better tips from the cheapass tables who are swindling the system.

Although upon reflection of that last sentence, probably not.

Is it wrong to be a goody-two-shoes and potentially a tattle-tale? I just like consistency, really. I like for my world to make sense and be aligned in neat little packages that I can enforce with an iron fist.

Get off my lawn!

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