Wednesday, September 10, 2008

getting angry in public


Being the spoiled Manhattan-ite that I am, I drop off all of my regular clothes (tshirts, shorts, jeans, socks, sheets) at a small laundromat on my corner. Today, I walked in to find two people in line at the counter.

The lady at the counter was very angry and was yelling at the two ladies working there. Apparently, a pair of shorts she sent in got ripped, and those were the most important shorts in the world.

“I’m never coming to this place again! I’m going to sue this place and shut it down! HOW COULD YOU RIP MY SHORTS?!?!… “

By this point the lady behind the counter was politely telling the lady she was sorry, and started to dial a phone… I’m assuming to call a manager.


The yelling lady then looks back at me and the lady behind her and starts enlightening us.

“Never come here, this happens all the time, they are AWFUL here!”

This goes on for another 5 minutes, her yelling, the people saying sorry, calling different managers and stuff. She finally looks to me for some acknowledgement, and I just lost it.

I calmly but firmly state, “You should be nicer to them..”

This pisses her off and she snaps, “How would YOU feel if they ripped your shorts and lost half of your clothes?”

“Look lady, it happens sometimes, just be nice to them, they don’t deserve to be treated like that.”

“Oh whatever buddy, MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!”

I raise my voice.

“You MADE it my business when you turned around to get my acknowledgement! BE NICE TO THEM”

By this point I was barking.

The laundromat lady then comes back with her garment, they didn’t lose her clothes after all. She calmly pays, then walks out, right past me.

“Have a nice day” I say bluntly.


I start screaming now.



I scream across the street…
“HAVE A NICE DAY!!!!!! BE NICE TO PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I’m a little riled up at this point, go inside to drop off my clothes, and apologize to the people for yelling. They thank me heartily and I go… I don’t think any of MY clothes will be ripped when I pick them up tomorrow.

i also have a story about a retail experience, yelling and being a spoiled manhattanite, but unfortunately it's from the opposite side of the situation. this is long.

okay, so i love starbucks. i don't give a fuck, i like lots of shit that people lambast for being populist pseudo-high class consumerism, and starbucks is one of them. i go there every day. occasionally i go there twice a day. and i always get one of two versions of the same drink. the drink sounds kind of complicated, but i used to work at starbucks and if you work there, it makes sense. okay. so i am admitting that i buy a $4.50
drink at starbucks 365 times a year. fuck me. anyway, moving on.

the point i am trying to make is that i know what goes in my drink, and how much it costs. the drink is an iced grande caramel macchiato with 4 pumps of vanilla and 4 pumps of caramel. i say it this way because if i just say that i wanted my drink
with a caramel flavor shot (which is how you would say it for any other drink, for example a hot cocoa or a mocha) they think i mean that i just want extra caramel topping, which is not what i want. i want 4 pumps of the caramel syrup. okay. so the drink comes with 4 pumps of vanilla syrup. (technically 3, but NO ONE remembers that, because it's the only drink that has that ratio). on the rare occasion that i am actually charged for the extra flavor shot, it's 30 cents. fine. i would estimate that i am charged that extra amount once every... 30 or 40 times i go to starbucks. very rarely. but i have no problem when i am because they are just doing their job completely. and i would like to add that 99% of the starbucks i go to in the city are really awesome and i never have a problem with them. so now on to the story.

yesterday, i decided to stop at the newish chelsea starbucks on 7th avenue. i shouldn't've, because i like the 8th avenue one, and it was the same length of walk for me. but i decided to branch out and see if it was worth it to ever grab a table for weekend reading afternoons. i got there and started giving my drink to the woman working the cashier; she interrupts me before i am finished. fine, i just politely reinterjected and added the rest of my drink. she glares at me and goes 'you know that comes with 3 pumps of caramel, right?' (i think to myself 'no, it comes with 3 pumps of vanilla, but fine) but i say, 'okay, but i what i want is 4 pumps of vanilla and 4 pumps of caramel.' she glares at me again and then starts ringing up the drink... hitting 'flavor shot' FOR EACH PUMP. i interrupt her and say 'i'm sorry, the 30 cents are for each unit of flavor, not each pump. and she SNAPS at me, 'no it's not, it's each pump' and starts going on and on about how she knows what she's doing. finally i say, 'i used to work here, i know how the flavors work, i am not going to pay an extra $2 for the flavor.' it degenerated from there, but at some point, i ask for my card back and said the phrases: 'i don't give a shit' and 'whatever'. finally she's like 'well, i am just going to ask a manager, she'll tell you'.

she calls someone over, describing the situation and trying to make it sound like i was in the wrong; however the manager sides with me because 1) i was fucking RIGHT and 2) i am the fucking customer. even if i was wrong and being even more of a bitch than i was, don't fucking be a condescing asshole and then pursue an argument with me, i'm the customer. the manager tells her to charge me for one flavor shot; she ended up charging me for two, but i didn't fucking give a shit at that point. then she started muttering and ranting about 'them telling her different things all the time and making her look like she didn't know what was she was doing'. newsflash, you didn't know what you were doing. trust me ma'am, that shit is in the manual, because i had to take it home and read the mother fucker. the manager was really polite and nice, and made my drink herself and made it very well.

i do feel terrible that the little spat is in that woman's day now. i worked various retail jobs through HS and college and i make it a point to be incredibly polite, and often joke around with, people who are serving me in some capacity. partly i do it because i enjoy being friendly, but i mostly do it because i remember how much silly moments of positivity like that brightened my whole day. i want to be someone who spreads positive vibes and all that shit, i don't want to be making negativity multiply and spread throughout the city.

the kicker was really the woman behind me in line giving me looks for, well, being a bitch, but i prefer to think of it as self-riotiously cheap and caring too much about winning an argument. (GAH I WAS RIGHT). fuck you, lady in your yoga gear. would you pay half again as much for your soy decaf chai BLAH BLAH BLAH if your server was ringing it up wrong? you totally wouldn't. and if you would, you are an idiot and a floormat and you should stand up for yourself. don't commiserate with the cashier loudly so that i can hear. if you want to tell me i am a bitch, do it. and i will gladly return the favor.

p.s. fuck you.

man. that was one of the first times i've ever gotten actually angry (in person) at someone who wasn't a family member, person in an improv scene, person in a bit, friend or drunk bitch in a bar.


benzado said...

The barista didn't have to snap at you when you insisted she was charging too much. Assuming you are telling the story truthfully, that puts her at fault for escalating the conflict.

Of course, the whole thing could have been avoided if you didn't buy coffee from a populist pseudo-high class consumerist megaconglomerate, you poser.

Adam said...

If you're going to hotlink to my photo of the laundromat, at least give me attribution.