There are lots of things I can’t explain: the enduring popularity of the Dave Matthews Band, for instance, or why girls go to the bathroom in groups. But here’s something else I can’t pretend to understand: why people feel the need to abuse service sector employees. Today, for instance, while waiting in line at Tim Horton’s, there was this big, bald dude in line in front of me. To make a long story short, he recognized a couple women (both in velvet pants, for the record), they congregated around the counter, they started talking…and when his coffee arrived, they didn’t move. So the girl behind the counter, quite rightly, asked them if they could step aside–a suggestion that clearly irked Woman in White (all white tracksuit, with a pantyline so blatantly visible it may as well have been pained onto the outside of her sweats), because she proceeded to ream out the counter girl. This lasted for a few embarrassing seconds before Woman in White, Big Bald Dude and Woman in Purple saw fit to step aside so that yours truly could order his large double-double and chocolate dip donut. Now…okay: is the fact that the girl was in a Tim Hortons uniform and standing behind a counter an invitation to fly off the handle? Is antisocial behaviour suddenly acceptable if there’s somebody nearby who’s a, uninvolved, and b, in uniform? I got my order and left the restaurant.
I witnessed a similar scene in February at Shopsy’s, when this Sorta Big, Brown Haired Guy snapped at a waitress because she was “slow” bringing him his bill and he had a game to get to. Which is probably true, since the Raptors were playing that afternoon and I was going, too…and seeing as it was noon and tip-off was an hour later, his sudden vicious streak was totally uncalled for. Not that it would have been called for if tip-off were in fifteen minutes, either, but you know what I mean. And again, I can’t explain. I guess some people with massive inferiority complexes simply see the service sector as a medium in which they can assert themselves and reinforce the lines that divide up some bizarre social cognitive map. Which, clearly, there’s no excuse for doing–anymore than there’s a time or a place for women to wear all-white tracksuits. But then again, who am I to judge?