By Rattus Scribus@ 11 January 2010
All the years that my wife was pursuing her college degree and teaching license, she worked part time at a food market for well-to-do Minnesotans. Now many of you have heard me say that Anita is one of the kindest, most humane and sensitive persons I have known.
It therefore angered me when a customer treated her like something on the bottom of their shoe. We've all heard the common store motto that "the customer is always right." But in my experience, the customer is not only frequently wrong, but quite nasty about it too.
I could tell you countless stories of abusive customers, but I will tell you only one here, and hope to draw a common sense lesson from it.
Anita was working at the deli section of the market, when a man quite rotund in circumference came up and asked her for an order of Asian food that included rice and a mound of battered fried spicy chicken. Now, leaving aside for the moment the irony of my wife, healthy eater extraordinaire, working at a job that caters to "upscale" Americans who eat more meat than a velociraptor, the man took one look at the pyramid of fried flesh and fumed:
"You're not doing it right! The small section is for the rice and the large section is for the meat!"
Background. The oval plate has two small sections for rice and another side dish, and the large center section for the main -- always some kind of meat -- entrée.
My wife's unpardonable sin? She had put the rice in part of the large (meat) section, and put the meat on the rest of the plate, the difference to the portions of which was nothing.
But he insisted: "Do it right!"
My wife then plowed what she already considered dinner for two onto a fresh plate with the rice and the meat in their proper sections.
End of story? Of course not. For he was now forced to ask what he really wanted but was too prideful or malevolent to ask kindly.
"I want more meat!" came the hiss between pursed and bloodless lips. And she gave it to him, lest the matter go all the way to the Supreme Court.
That day, in a lovely fashionable Minnesota market, some nasty cuss had two entrées: one was Asian spicy chicken; the other was a human being. To him they were both just meat.
I was determined after this incident that I would try to the best of my ability never to be the customer from the infernal regions.
There is something horribly wrong when the most trivial of things is all that is needed for one person to treat another in so shabby a fashion.
We are none of us perfect. But surely we can agree that a human being is worth a little more than an extra helping of Kung Pao?
Human meat: http://www.liberacionanimal.org