A couple weeks ago a man came into the dessert shop where I work and asked for a half-pound of peanut brittle. As I reached into the jar of crunchy brittle, he curtly tells me he also would like a small caramel. While I am preparing his order, he asks how much a half-pound of brittle costs. I tell him and he nods, as if my answer is sufficient. I weigh the chocolate-coated caramel and announce the total. He spits the total back at me in disgust. "Yes, sir," I tell him, explaining the cost of the brittle, the cost of the caramel, and the sales tax. "You sure charge a lot," he says and hands me his payment. (I charge a lot? I didn't set the prices...) After I've swiped his card I begin putting the brittle into the bag; as I move the brittle off of the scale and into a bag, I drop a piece about the size of my pinky fingernail. "Whoa, whoa, whoa! I paid good money for this, let's not go spilling it." I apologize and he picks the freaking tiny piece up off of the counter and eats it. I finish wrapping his treats, give him a smile that hurts my cheeks and tell him to have a nice day. (Curious what the grand total was? Fifteen bucks.)
Yes, people have bad days, but don't be rude to the girl behind the counter over the cost of an item (something neither party can change). And certainly don't act like it matters that something costing less than a penny dropped onto the counter. If that actually bothers you, I suggest you become a hermit.
Then, yesterday, an elderly man with crinkly skin and gray eyes comes into the shop and says, "M'am, my wife and I are celebrating our forty-second anniversary this Thursday. She really loves dark chocolates. I would like to buy her forty-two pieces of dark chocolate, please." While we prepared his order, he wandered down the street and bought his wife a card. When he came back we asked him what color ribbon he would like on the box of assorted chocolates. "She loves blue," he sweetly told us, as my eyes began to brim with tears.
Sir, I know you aren't reading this, but you are blissfully romantic and you made my week. Thank you. Along with the wonderful people I work with, you are exactly what makes work so enjoyable. I hope you and your wife have many, many more years together.
Next time you all go to your favorite pizza joint or the local grocer, and a college student is serving you, please treat them with respect. You don't have to ask us how our day is going. You don't even have to smile at us. But don't be salty.
Thanks, again, to the man with the red tints in his salt-and-pepper beard, for being so full of love - not only for his wife, but for the people working behind the counter.