Stories from the W Files

Night and day women and men across the world bravely serve the general public and suffer in order to make an honest living.  They meet people from every walk of life and every interaction is a story.  Some of the stories, like the individuals they meet are sweet, others are angering and some are just plain weird.  This is one of those stories.  This is a story from the W files.

I work at a Mexican restaurant that offers a Create Your Own Combo meal.  You get to choose two, three or four items from a specific list of dishes.  I served a table today and a woman asked for the Combo Two.  She said she wanted fish tacos and a bowl of soup.  I asked her if she meant the combo three.  She got frustrated and said she wanted the Combo Two.  I said, “OK, so you want one taco and a bowl of soup?”  She snottily replied, “Yeah whatever this is and pointed to the words fish taco on the menu.”

This customer had a Midwestern American accent which implies that she is a native English speaker.  She was an adult so I assume she completed her compulsory education.  But she didn’t seem to understand that an s on the end of a noun typically makes it plural which means more than one.  If you want more than one taco plus a bowl of soup I can not charge you for two items when you at least want three items. DUUUUUH!  Elementary school grammar was confusing for this woman.  Or perhaps pre school level math was her problem.  I’m unsure but the matter was resolved through my patience, diligence and customer service skills.  I’m a soldier.

The moral of this story is that grammar matters and words have meaning.  Grammar gives sentences meaning and makes language easier to understand.  Numbers also have meaning.  You can’t just say whatever the heck you want and expect someone that doesn’t know you from a hole in the ground to understand what you mean.  And please don’t talk down to the person that you confused with your ignorance as if there is something wrong with them because they don’t understand your personal version of the English language.  Apply some thought and critical thinking skills to your words and take responsibility for your communication skills.

Furthermore, attitude matters.  Everyone that has ever worked a customer service related job has stories about irritating and confused customers.  I really don’t mind giving a customer a extra attention.  It’s my job.  Heck, sometimes I need extra attention.  If the woman was not so snotty and arrogant there would not have been a real problem.  Mean, stupid and arrogant is a bad combination.

This has been a story from the W files.




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