Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Petty Little Vengeances

I don't spit in your coffee.

I can't spit in your coffee.

I can't, as a waiter I knew once bragged about to me, rub my fingers on my unmentionables and then run them along the rim of your drink. I can't drop your food on the floor, pick it up, and serve it anyway. I'm right there behind the bar, in full view of you and three to four cameras. There are a million things I can't do to get back at you when you throw cookies in my face, tell me I'm a Nazi, or tell me you wish I would kill myself (that one didn't happen to me, but I got to watch).

All I can do is give you decaf.

And I don't even do that.

There are a lot of opportunities to be angry in this job. A lot of chances hunger for revenge. And on my bad days, my really bad days, my ultimate vengeance in the end is always:

Being so good at serving you that you feel guilty about whatever it is you did.

It's hard to be a jerk to someone being nice to you. It's hard to ignore a barista when they remember your name, your usual drink, the fact you had a game the other night. And as the barista, it's gratifying on two levels when you change a person's mood:

1) You've made his day! Maybe he'll be nicer from now own, and possibly give you a tip!
2) You've made him, on some level, take note of his bitchy behavior and feel bad enough about it to change his mind!

Passive aggression. Harnessed for good.

Below, we see a lovely wall in Datong, China, as well as the first, but probably not last, incident of what you all came here to see: hardcore nudity! 

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