I used to work in food service, a couple of takeaway’s and a cinema concession stand.
It’s where you go if you really want to learn to properly despise all of humanity. It makes you petty, it forces you to be petty, as you have petty thrust upon you daily. If you are lucky and have never been subjected to the daily humiliation and deprivation that is food service, a place where every tiny mistake is called out, every perceived slight or attitude is worthy of being called into the office. You have a different boss every minute and none of them have any regard for immediately before or after their interaction with you, but you must comply fully with them, however stupid they may be (and a lot of them are at the very least, wilfully ignorant), or face the wrath of the actual boss.
It’s not hard to see where the attitude comes from, where the pettiness originates. I thought it might be “chicken or egg”, “attitude or degrading job”, but, turns out, it’s the job. The stupid pointless job. It’s just popcorn, it’s not important, you are going to see a film, graze for a bit, get bored and throw it at the person sitting in front of you, then I have to go clean it up after you.
Ok, I’m not a people person. I’m so not a people person that on at least one occasion, a customer told me I wasn’t a people person, and asked me why I was working there. Seriously? Why does anyone work there? It’s not for self fulfilment, it’s for money, and not much of it.
And this, this is why I hate this man.
I warn you now, it’s petty. Really petty. I am clearly scarred from the job, but it’s been years since I worked in service, and over a year since this was on, and this man still makes me angry. This man, and the hundreds or so of him that you deal with daily, have the potential to really ruin your day.
As this advert was on TV over a year ago (I warned you, it lingers, in my heart and in my drafts folder) it’ll probably help to watch the advert again.
Stupid haircut aside, this man has that slightly passive agressive attitude that is instantly infuriating. The scene, he’s in a sandwich shop. He’s ordering a sandwich. It’s clearly the girls first day as she is cheery and helpful.
She then clearly offends him. She offers him jalepenos on his sandwich. Jalepenos, can you believe the gall of this?
This man clearly can’t. Because his reaction, is subtle, but instantly annoying. He crumples up his face, puts on a look of disgust, and yes, disappointment. “errrr, no”.
I told you it was petty.
But it’s the condescention in his voice, the fact that he can’t believe that she doesn’t know he doesn’t like jalepenos. How does she not know that as a child he once mistook a jalepeneo for a green bean and bit into it, in all his innocence and wide eyed youth. He bit into a jalepeneo and from that moment was scarred for life. “Mum mum” he cries “my mouth is on fire, it hurts!”. And his mum, who never paid proper attention in chemistry gave him some water, which, as we all know is pH 7, or neutral. If she had listened in chemistry when she was 14, instead of writing Bob Dylan lyrics on her copybook, she would have given the child some milk instead, which has a high pH and would have helped balance the low pH of the acidic jelepeneo pepper. So his mouth continued to burn and he continued to cry, and even his favourite teddy bear couldn’t make it better, and how could this young girl working in his favourite sandwich shop not know this most pertinent of facts about him. You do not offer him jalepenos.
It’s such a slap in the face to him, he can’t even hide his contempt. He can’t just say “no thanks” like a normal civilised human. He has to pull faces and be a dick about it. If someone came up to him and asked him how his sandwhich was he would say that “the experience was ruined by jalepeneo-gate” because he is the sort of bastard that appends “gate” onto any sort of incident
Look at his face, pure contempt.
I’m really glad he gets accosted by a green pepper.
The Chinese have got it right. You order by giving a list of numbers. End of story. No fuss, no misunderstanding. It’s a good system, maybe we should try it more.
This blog has not been bought to you by Subway, although they are rather tasty.