Monday, 28 May 2007

An Uncommon? Conversation

Mom had her big MYC (Music for Young Children) recitals today, so that went until about nine-thirty. Meals at our house have pretty much broken down into snacks whenever you feel like them, so Brianna and I opted to run out for some fast food after the recitals were over. While Brianna was in Wendy's, I zipped over to McDonalds. Upon arriving inside, I had to wait about a minute before anyone was ready to serve me because they were busy on drive-thru. Here's an exchange of our conversation:

Me: Hi. I'd like two cheeseburgers and a small fry, please.
Clerk: Is that everything?
Me: Yes, thanks.
Clerk: To stay or to go?
Me: To go.
Clerk: That'll be four (something or other)
*** I give him the money, he gives me change***
Clerk: It'll be just a moment.
Me: OK.
*** after another minute he comes back with the food***

Do you see anything at all odd about that conversation? Anything at all? I don't. But as he was handing me the food this is what he said: "I just wanted to thank you because you've done something for me today that not many people have done. You've shown me some respect. So to thank you I bumped up your fry order."

I asked him "What? Why aren't they?", and he said he didn't know, but that not many people did today.

What?! He appeared completely sincere -I mean he certainly wasn't flirting or anything. The guy just seemed to be so glad to meet someone who treated him like a human being. Isn't that sad? I did nothing at all special. I was just normal. Is the world so far gone that common politeness goes entirely down the drain so that normal behaviour seems stellar?

Wow. I hope his day picks up for him. And don't let me ever catch any one of you being rude to someone just because they happen to be behind a counter or working somewhere. That kind of behaviour just makes me sick. If you can't treat fellow humans with common decency, then stay home. You're not wanted.

“I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me... All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.” Jackie Robinson

“Men are respectable only as they respect.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

P.S. I lost my voice for about five days, but it's coming back now. Tomorrow will be my first real day on the job at Timmy's. Brianna and Justin are back from YC. That's all.

3 comments:

Bri said...

Oh boy, that's sad. You're so cool Carla!

Janelle (ie Amy) said...

You know, sometimes my heart goes out to cashiers and people who work with the public, such as bankers as well, when they see so many people, but not many people really talk to THEM. I wonder how many people are lonely and dying inside even while surrounded by so many other human beings? It's so easy to get so caught up thinking about our own agendas and the next appointment that we're late for, and not stop to consider the needs of those around us... even being inpolite in trafic and cutting people off... I mean, trafic is people, and people are souls. Anyway, thanks Carla for that post, it got me thinking.

Art said...

I think it is very important to treat all people with respect. I must admit that sometimes I struggle with people who are completely deceitful or incompetent (such as those that you may find working for ... the City of Calgary?) But generalizations are wrong because I know of at least one person who is extremely gifted and dedicated to his job that works for the city. Another group of people that it could be easy to be rude to would be Revenue Canada Employees. After all, what they really do is just take money so the government can waste it. But no, they are doing their job for the betterment of Canada.

There are a lot of rude people out there and hopefully we can be the people who make the world a happier place to live. Maybe we can undo, to a certain extent, what the rude people do.