I've mentioned before about how Wayne's World is one of my all-time favorite movies. I'm fully aware that it really holds no artistic merit whatsoever, and despite receiving mostly positive reviews from critics, it is a satirical comedy and should always be examined within that context. I'm not going to, now, so don't worry, but I do want to highlight a particular scene because it is applicable some of my life experiences.
At the beginning of the film, after we see Wayne and Garth film an episode of their show in Wayne's parents' basement, the camera focuses on Wayne for one of the film's characteristic monologues where a character speaks directly to the audience. Wayne is describing his seemingly pathetic existence, where he is in his (presumably) mid-20s, still living with his parents, with no real direction in life. He says, "I've had plenty of Joe-jobs...Nothing I'd really call a career. Let's put it this way...I have an extensive collection of name tags and hair nets," at which point he poses in front of a bulletin board full of said name tags and hair nets.
When I was in college, it was sort of an ongoing joke between my friends and I, because I was just like Wayne. It seemed like every other month I had a different part-time job. Just a few include Allsports, Target, Lowe's, O'Charley's, Carino's, KBA, UK Intramurals, Dick's Sporting Goods, and a few other summer jobs back home. Part of my near constant job change was because of particular situations (seasonal employment, lack of business, etc), but part of it was because I would just get bored and want a change. Lexington is a regular gold-mine for low-paying, part-time work, so I could always find something to earn a little extra cash. But, the point is, virtually all of the jobs I held at that time forced me to work directly with the general public in some sort of retail or service job. And working with the general public really opens your eyes a bit.
I think a vast majority of the general public has no idea how businesses like those actually work. Or, they just hate their own lives and feel compelled to take out their frustrations when any situation arises that allows them to. In any event, if you work in that environment, you really get a good sense of just how crappy some people can be toward others. And it's sad.
A few nights ago, Adrienne and I were eating dinner at a Mexican restaurant when a family of 6 or 7 were seated at the table next to ours. The patriarch of the family was a gentleman in his mid-50's, wearing a pair of cargo shorts, a brightly colored shirt, and Crocs with socks on. He was...Very large. And not in a "Man, I bet that guy can bench press a school bus" kind of way. But a "Man, I bet that guy hasn't even looked at a gym since he last rode a school bus" kind of way. He was grossly overweight.
We couldn't help but overhear their conversation, not only because of their proximity to us, but also because he had a booming voice that reverberated off the walls so much that it almost made the ice clink in our glasses. Tact was obviously not a strong suit for him.
As the waiter came to the table to take their orders, he went around the table and each of them placed their order. Whom I assume is his wife ordered nachos or a fajita or something to which she said, "I don't want any of the onions or peppers or anything. Just meat and cheese." Fantastic.
When he got to Mr. Cholesterol, he said, "I want the super burrito, with extra beef, extra queso, and no wrap."
Just to clarify...The guy wanted a plate of double ground beef, rice, refried beans, lettuce, sour cream, and extra cheese. No tortilla. Just everything that goes into it, plus a little more.
So, the waiter left and we continued our meal. When their food arrived a few minutes later, we heard this exchange take place:
"I don't want this crap! This ain't what I ordered, and I don't want it! There's no beans and no rice, and I ain't gonna eat it!"
"I'm sorry, sir, let me correct it for you," the waiter replied, or something along those lines.
"No, I don't want nothin'! This ain't a super burrito, it's just a regular burrito. If you can't get it right, I don't want nothin'!"
The waiter and a manager exchanged a few words in Spanish, which I'm sure were extremely kind in nature, and they took the man's plate and left. I would pay money to know what they said about the guy.
After they left, he continued to bitch and complain to his family, saying, "No, this is bullsh**! It ain't that hard to put rice and beans on a damn plate." He was furious.
Now, I've been in situations like that on both sides of the coin, as a waiter and as a customer. And even before I ever had an experience like that with a customer, I always tried to be nice to anyone that screwed up my order. In all reality, it likely wasn't their fault, and even if it were, I'm sure it was an honest mistake. He acted as if the waiter had robbed him or something, and what's worse...Made a complete fool of himself in front of his young kids. Great example-setting, guy.
In angered Adrienne and I to the point that we talked about it for the next hour or more. We wanted to go back and tell that guy exactly what we thought of him. We thought about what we'd say if we were his waiter, as if we didn't care if we got fired.
"Oh, I'm sorry sir...I just noticed how fat you are and thought the last thing you need are extra calories from rice and beans. I thought I was doing you a favor. You need to lose a few...Check that...A whole bunch of pounds. Figured I'd help you along a bit."
We both got the impression that he never would have treated the waiter that way had they been white. He never said anything racist, but there were undertones pointing toward the waiter's intelligence, and it just made the whole situation worse. Regardless, he made an awful spectacle and we felt terrible for the waiter, whom had given us excellent service.
I bet the guy hit up a McDonald's drive thru on the way home. Just what he needs.