Friday, February 22, 2013


Recently, someone asked if I'd ever lost my cool in public. Here is a story of the time I went off on someone:

When I was 18, I used to work at a deli. People could buy cheeses and meats, order a sandwich to go or come over to the small restaurant on the other side of the store. I was the cashier/barista on the restaurant side of the deli.

There was an older woman who was a partial amputee, that used to come into the the restaurant and drink coffee. She loved to make a scene and would dramatically slip off her prosthetic leg and start moaning. Eventually she'd leave, but it made the other patrons incredibly skeeved out. She made everyone so uncomfortable, that the customers and staff didn't know how to respond. No one ever said anything to her.

One day it was raining, and she came in and hadn't sat down for 2 minutes before she started up, getting progressively louder:






I approached her and told her that I would do one of two things: call an ambulance if she was in pain, or call her a cab if she was not - but that her theatrics were making the other diners uncomfortable and she needed to leave if she couldn't be quiet. She was so shocked that I'd addressed her directly, that she stopped mid-wail and begged me not to kick her out. She said she wasn't in any pain and 'would be good from now on'.

That's when one of my co-workers sharply called my name and said, "Come in here at once!" He hauled me off into the walk-in refrigerator and bawled me out, yelling 'how could you turn an old woman out in the rain?!'

I got right up in his face and told him that she needed to take her crazy somewhere else. If she needed medical treatment, that was one thing - but she enjoyed making a scene and making people uncomfortable. Being older or having a disability doesn't give someone the excuse to be a jerk.

The woman still came in regularly, but she acted like a civilized person after that.

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