Getting His Just Desserts

| USA | Working | February 4, 2013

(I am on a first date with a guy I met online. We got on very well over email, but I am painfully shy around new people in person, and it’s causing some awkwardness. As we’re walking down the street, he spots an ice cream shop and offers to treat, so we go inside where a teenage employee is waiting on the only other customers: a polite elderly couple.)

Elderly Man: “Do you know what kind of sweetener is in the sugar-free vanilla? I’m on a new medication, and I’m not supposed to—”

Teenage Employee: *rolls his eyes* “No.”

Elderly Man: “Oh, dear. Well, could you possibly find out?”

Teenage Employee: “I mean, I dunno…” *deep sigh* “…like, Splenda or something.”

Elderly Woman: “Are you sure, dear? Because it could really hurt him if—”

Teenage Employee: “Listen, I told you, I DON’T KNOW! If you can’t have ice cream, then don’t get ice cream and stop wasting my time!”

Elderly Man: “Oh, I’m sorry…”

(The elderly man and his wife turned red immediately and start to back away from the counter, embarrassed. At this point, my date steps up and stops them, and then addresses the teenage employee at the counter.)

My Date: “Listen, it’s really no rush for us. If you could just find out what sweetener you use so these folks can get their ice cream, we don’t mind waiting.”

Teenage Employee: “Ohmygawd, stay out of it, sir!”

My Date: “I will not. It’s a simple question, you can certainly take the five seconds to see if someone knows. ”

Teenage Employee: “Oh my God! I already said I don’t know! ”

My Date: “Then find someone who does, or at least might. It’ll take five seconds.”

Teenage Employee: “IT WON’T TAKE FIVE SECONDS BECAUSE NOBODY KNOWS AND THESE OLD FARTS ARE JUST WASTING EVERYBODY’S TIME!” *to the couple* “WHY DON’T YOU DO THE WORLD A FAVOR AND JUST DIE ALREADY!”

My Date: *quietly livid* “Get your manager. Now.”

Teenage Employee: “GAWD, whatever!”

(He storms off into the back, and my date turns to apologize profusely to the elderly couple. A few seconds later, the owner appears and my date calmly explains what has just happened.)

Owner: “Mr. Harper, is this true?”

Elderly Man: “Afraid so, Bobby. Margaret and I were going to leave and start going somewhere else, but this young man intervened.”

Owner: “Well, I’m sure glad he did! I’ll help you find something suitable, sir, complimentary of course.” *to my date* “These two are some of my best customers! I promise you, this will be dealt with. In the meantime, let me just help the Harpers real quick, but then whatever you want is on the house as well.”

My Date: “Oh, that’s not—”

Owner: “Please, I insist.”

(My date agrees, and then turns back to join me. Again, being painfully shy, I had watched the entire exchange silently, but my shock is pretty clear. My date laughs to ease the tension.)

My Date: “I swear, I didn’t do that just for free ice cream. I just hate when people disrespect their elders.”

(I ended up marrying him.)

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