For two days I’ve walked past a Mexican restaurant in Montreal, and craved one of the deliciously boozy looking margaritas.
Yesterday we stopped, a little detour on our way home to a planned wine and cheese picnic in the park. We spotted a cute place on the crowded patio, and made our way over to a street-side, table-for-two.
That’s when the whining started.
I’m going to try and be crystal clear with regard to my description of the little prick who ignorantly tried to dissuade me from sitting at my preferred table.
Tisk, tisk, tisk, he said, shaking his man-bunned head back and forth and eyeing me up like I’d just dropped my drawers. “We hate it when you sit at a table that hasn’t been cleared.”
“Funny,” I said with my signature sweet-smile plastered on my face, and my eyes locked to his, “As a paying customer, I don’t mind at all.” Followed by an unsolicited, ” Dirty. Wiped with a dirty cloth,” from Mr.-Nobody-Likes-Me-Everybody-Hates-Me-I’m-Pissed-At-The-World-Because-I-Must-Be-A-Grown-Up.
First of all, to all of you bearded and non-bearded, man-bunned, hipster, fucking beatnik wanna-be twenty somethings out there who think that the world owes you something – get real darlings. That doesn’t just go out to the young folks, I’ve encountered people of all ages who adore carrying a chip on their shoulder. It’s their preferred accessory, but it ruins an entire wardrobe.
To the whiners: Upon careful consideration from eons of generations who have come before you through hardship, and 1980’s neon, you are owed sweet-screw-all.
Your condescending manner is a flashing sign advertising your lack of authenticity in a world you presume to know. Because you had to pay for your own education? Because mommy or daddy didn’t love you enough? Because no one gave you a hand-out? Well sweetie, join the club. It’s called adulthood. You know what makes it better? Margaritas. On a patio.
How you participate in the land of the real world determines the quality of your character. This little connoisseur of two-star restaurants clearly held a much higher opinion of his limited practical and spiritual experience of the world than anyone else on the planet. The same goes for his pal who served us.
After Mr. I-think-I’m-worldly-and-all-knowing tisked his opinion out loud, and I smiled a saccharine smile, he murmured an opinion to his waiter-buddy (in french no less, assuming I couldn’t grasp the not-so-subtle innuendo that I was a supreme douchebag), and then we were left to wait, and wait and wait for our order to be taken.
That’s ok though. You know why? I’ve been a server before too. I know what it’s like to work for a paltry wage, and make the rest up with tips. I know that it sucks. Been there, done that, clawed my way through school, jobs and life. What I learned very quickly was that being a miserable twatcycle didn’t make it any easier.
After two hours we had been served an appetizer and with three ignored attempts by my partner, we finally had our second round of drinks. Oh, and the taps weren’t working, which made the cerveza selection less than titillating. The food was mediocre, the margaritas however, satisfied my craving, and my choice of partner, well darlings, you know I only accept the very best.
My happy hour was not ruined, but the waiter’s attitude was. You see, it takes awhile to realize your self-worth, and these two young gentlemen had yet to discover their own. Self-worth means showing up for your job, whether it’s serving tourists margaritas, or leading a country, determined to have a positive impact. To engage with another human being is sacred work, and each of us have that opportunity every day.
When you connect, instead of whine, you offer so much more than a product or service. You offer a caring piece of yourself to another human being. To these young men, the only thing that mattered was a bizarre power-play of master and servant, and collecting a pay cheque.
I stopped for a margarita. It sated my craving. I enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere of people-watching on a street that was new to me.
I did not leave a tip. The only tip I may have considered leaving was a well-written diatribe on how not to be an asshole. Whether it would have been written in French, English, or illustrated Sesame-Street style, I doubt the message would have been understood.
A missed opportunity to connect was not on the radar of this poor-me-tag-team. No tip though, ah, there’s the rub.