September 28, 2011

Basic Human Decency

Most mornings, on my way into the office, I stop at a McDonald's a few steps from the metro stop in Chinatown for a McCafe Mocha Frappe'. It's cheaper than Starbucks, and as long as I tell them to blend it a little extra, it's a fine drink. The machine doesn't blend the ice well enough on the timed setting it has for the blend cycle, so if you get one, I recommend you ask for them to blend it a little extra. This morning, as I was grabbing a straw, I noticed a customer behind me in a wheelchair (one of those automated ones that look halfway between a scooter and a wheelchair - with a motor in the back like you see in stores such as Walmart, but without the shopping cart attached to the front.) A graying middle-aged man with a beard sat in the chair, a bit overweight and with a dour expression on his face; he had placed his order just after mine. As I was extracting the straw from its paper sheath, I overheard the server apologize to him for some slight, "I'm sorry, sir." With a testy voice and a loud huff, the asshole in the wheelchair exclaimed "I'm sorry - those words mean nothing!"

A rage ignited in my heart in that instance. How dare this bastard ruin the day of that minimum wage employee! For the simple error of either forgetting to include a condiment, or perhaps the dastardly mistake of not placing the customer's order close enough on the counter for him to reach it, the spirit and soul of the server was to be crushed by harsh and blackened poisonous cynicism! What cruel and callous commentary spewed forth from the dark heart of someone who was perhaps having a black life and a bad morning, etching its venomous attitude on a potential carrier of such a bad temperament. The rider drove off into the morning, and no one, not even I, rooted by the temporary paralysis of shocking revelation, stopped him to counsel him in common courtesy or given him a lesson in basic human decency.

By the time I exited the establishment, the foul-mouthed fiend had ridden off perhaps two tenths of a mile in the direction opposite from my own destination, and I chose not to pursue. However, I know that I, and others present for his display of discontent, will have been affected today by his disgusting display of dissension. I can only hope that it did not infect the server so that it could perpetuate throughout the day and bring down the spirits of others he may run into.

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