Most of the time, I enjoy my job in much the same way that you might enjoy a relationship with someone who enables you to live in a mansion and eat chocolate cake every day, gives you a puppy and books and sunshine, yet also hits you. Meaning: There are bad parts, but it keeps me off the highway holding a sign that says "Will work (or whatever) for food."
And most of the people are really nice.
Some of them are not nice.
Usually, I can keep these encounters in perspective. I actually find them kind of funny. Today, my encounter with two of the aforementioned not-nice people kind of made me want to grab a couple shotguns and some Duct tape, and take them both out to a quiet place in the woods where problems disappear.
A slight note so as not to compromise my complete and total objectivity, which I know I am known for: Both of these incidents occurred between five and six a.m. this morning. It doesn't excuse their behavior, but as I've noted before, that those hours of the morning can basically go fuck themselves as far as most of the world is concerned.
There are a few exceptions, mostly from the obviously-high-on-meth-and-have-been-very-very-alert-for-72-hours-straight truck drivers, but usually the exchanges go something like this early in the morning:
Me, perkily (I don't mind mornings): Hi! How are you today????
M,P: What can I get you this morning????
G: Okay, two. Coffee. Yeah. Go byebye.
M,P; Sausage Egg McMuffin with coffee to go! You got it! What size coffee?
G: (indicates, using hands, a coffee cup about the size of a bucket)
M,P: Large coffee for you! Be right back with that!
Wow, I really am annoying. But anyway. That's beside the point.
The point would be that these exchanges are not usually happy rainbow kisses exchanged by leprechauns under golden fountains while angels play harps in the background to begin with. But these two-- despite my apparently annoyingly perky manner, if the above dialogue is any indication-- were out-and-out rude.
Not Nice Person #1: Was already being a douche. As deeply unattractive as his ass was, I was looking forward to seeing it when he turned around to go. As I was getting his change, he grabbed my wrist. Not gently. The way you might grab someone if you were a cop chasing a perp and you finally caught him.
He was trying to see my tattoo. My tattoo is small, simple, and unobtrusive enough that during the normal course of things, it is rarely noticed. At McD's, thanks to the fact that we wear short sleeves and I tend to hand back change with my left hand, it's noticed at least once every hour. It's a very unique tattoo, and people ask about it all the time. Normally, I do not mind and I usually even tell them what it means, unless they're being assholes.
Some people take my arm occasionally, and I don't even mind that. As long as they're gentle and respectful, I let them take a gander.
This guy pissed me off. I yanked my arm free and glared at him. Undaunted, he said, "Whazzat mean?"
Continuing to glare, I said, "It says McDonalds. I decided to get permanently branded." This is actually my stock answer for people who are being assholes when I don't want them to know what this special phrase I had embedded in my arm means. It says "I'm not going to tell you but I'm not going to act like a complete bitch about it either." (My stock answer, not my tattoo.)
Even assholes usually get a laugh out of that, and leave it alone. This one sneered, said, "Oh SURE," and turned around and left.
Not Nice Person #2: Came within fifteen minutes of NNP#1 and I was still feeling cranky over the first incident, wishing that I'd yanked my arm back a lot harder, preferably hard enough to inadvertently hit a pan of frying oil hard enough to accidentally splash him in the face.
Normally I'm pretty assertive, even at work, and I don't mind confrontation. Sometimes I embrace it, just for funsies. So I'm totally baffled at my own lack of verbal comeback in this situation. I guess it's a good thing, because I was at work, and had I given this guy the verbal dressing-down he deserved, I might well be not going to work ever again.
He came in and I took his order, nice and friendly as usual. As I was giving him his receipt, he leaned across the counter and said, in a normal conversational volume, "You should call corporate right away! This is the first McDonald's I've ever seen that doesn't have a bunch of Mexicans working in the back!"
Instead of replying, I fixed him with a really withering stare. He muttered something feeble like, "You know, they all do," and I just continued to glare at him. I really wanted to yell at him, tell him that not only was at least half of our staff Mexican, the guy who runs the entire store-- and very well at that-- was also Mexican. I wanted to tell him to fuck off, that he was a limp-dicked racist who didn't know shit from shit, and had no clue about anything relating to the real world. I wanted to tell him to pop the bubble of bullshit that surrounded him before someone else decided to pop it for him in a much more unpleasant way. I wanted to tell him to get out and never come back.
Instead, I just stared.
I had to hand him his food a few minutes later. I didn't say a word to him as I did. That is spectacularly unusual for even the surliest of McD's employees, especially me.
I didn't even wish him a good day, and I'm glad I didn't.