Thursday, June 28, 2012

Twelve Inches

Some things aren't supposed to come out of our mouths. Sometimes we can't help it.

Anger is useful.  I was raised by people who blamed me if I got angry.  I was supposed to be a sweet little compliant girl.  Well, shit!  How did that work out? 

The other day, we stopped for lunch at the Subway on Redmond Way near Whole Foods.  The people working there were crabby.  They had no patience with children who didn't speak quickly enough. This one guy, the crabbiest one, was incredibly short.

What is it about short guys being angry?

So, this seriously short guy started bullying my boys, if you can call it that behind the row of condiments and sandwich fixings. 

"I'll have an Italian BMT," Nick said.

"What size?" Shorty said.  "What size?"

"Twelve inches," Nick said.  Shorty turned his back on him to take someone else's sandwich out of the toaster.

"What do you want?" Shorty said as he glared at Nick.  His message was that Nick was responsible for the long line and not the fact that it was noon and people were actually spending money at his store.

"I'll have an Italian BMT," Nick said.

"Bread?" Shorty shouted.

"Italian," Nick shouted.  He was getting the hang of this.  Shorty was not amused. 

"What size?" Shorty shouted, a little louder.  Nick patiently answered this guy's questions.  Then, this half-man glared at me.  I hopped to.  That's what I do to begin with.  When it came to the cheese, however, I started to get angry.  How is it that he expected me to pay extra for my cheese when he only put a teaspoon of shredded cheese on my salad?  If I had ordered a sandwich, I'd have been given more than twice as much.  I argued with Shorty. 

"Extra cheese," he shouted.

"No.  I want a normal amount of cheese. This is not a normal amount," I said, my voice rising so that the other customers could hear me.  That is sometimes a powerful tool. 

Once, I cried in the showroom of a car dealer when they scratched my brand new car before they even handed it over to me.  They'd also put an aftermarket tire carrier on it that I couldn't open by myself and they expected me to go home smiling.  Crying in the showroom is a very powerful tool.  They kept trying to push me into one of those negotiating rooms.  Finally, I spun around and yelled for them to stop touching me and fell into hysterical sobs.  Other customers were coming over to console me.  I was not manipulating them.  I really was upset.  I was just a little louder than usual.

I was not the youngest child in my family for nothing.  I knew how to get the sympathy votes from my parents and from other nice people on the showroom floor.  So these guys from the car dealer, they fixed everything.  They weren't happy about it, but they fixed everything. 

Shorty, on the other hand, was not as accommodating.  I should have walked out right then.  I hadn't paid for the food.  I owed them nothing, as far as I could see.  I really hate when I think of the perfect solution to the problem two days after the problem occurs. 

I did contact the company though.  I wrote that we usually love Subway.  We do.  We've been to Subway shops all across the country.  I can get my salad and the guys get sandwiches with real vegetables on them.  The food is usually fresh.  The people behind the counter are usually friendly.

Shorty was not that man.  He was one angry half-man.  I can imagine how it made him feel when my eleven-year-old boy, who was already quite a few inches taller than he was, actually looked him in the eye and said, "Twelve inches," with a straight face. 

Thank you for listening, jules

No comments:

Post a Comment