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Mistakes Are An Accident But Condescension Is A Choice

, , , | Right | November 15, 2022

I am working at [Fast Food Chain] to pay for college. It is the summer before my sophomore year studying education, and I spend the time I’m not at the restaurant tutoring students. I have been on shift since 4:00 am, and it is nearly 11:00 am, when I will clock out. I am beyond tired.

A well-to-do-looking woman comes up to my register and orders a meal. I ring her up and accept her cash. In our system, you type in the amount of cash given, and then it tells you the change. I must have looked at the wrong box because I give the wrong amount of change. I give back the correct number of bills, but I give the total in coins back instead of what I owe. It is a simple mistake, and I immediately realize I’ve done it after I hand her the coins.

Customer: “You gave me the wrong change!”

Me: “Yes, I just realized that I—”

She speaks in a super-condescending tone, about half the speed of a normal conversation:

Customer: “Okay, sweetie, I know math is hard, so I’m going to count it out with you.”

Me: *Stunned silence*

It is a slow point in the day and my manager notices the transaction taking longer than normal, so she comes to see what is going on. She hears the woman talking to me like a five-year-old. It is a good thing she is there, or I probably would get rude.

Manager: “Look, she just made a simple mistake. There’s no need to talk to her like that.”

Me: “Here’s the correct change, ma’am.”

Customer: “All you workers are so incompetent! You can’t even do basic math.” *To me, still speaking at the speed of a snail* “Get a job, sweetie.”

Me: “…but I have two?”

At that, she takes her food and leaves, surely feeling entitled and victorious.

Me: *To the manager* “Can I go home now?”

Manager: “Yeah, just go clock out.”

That was one of the rudest customers I have ever had, but sadly not the worst. Good thing I finished my degree and will hopefully never work in fast food again!

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