May 19, 2012

Slow Down and Pay Attention

We are leaving at o'dark-thirty to put yet another child on an airplane.  This time it is Boom, heading off on her senior trip to Florida.  I haven't mentioned tropical storm Alberto to her, but it looks like it won't affect her anyway.  I have been emailing her videos and news stories about alligator attacks and the pythons taking over the Everglades.  Just for fun.

Boom will be out of town for Mr H's birthday, so we chose to celebrate early.  Mr H wanted to go to one of his favorite comfort food restaurants, and despite an early evening arrival, we had to wait a bit.  My mom accompanied us, and she is moving slowly.  She has some stress fracture action going on in her knee and is using a walker, since crutches don't like her.  (Operator error, but we won't go there). 

My first case of the ass came to the surface when we pulled up to the front of the restaurant.  There were people well out into the street, just standing there.  I pulled as close as possible to them, thinking it would brush them back.  No luck.  I figured that they might make some room once they saw the walker coming out of the back of the vehicle.  Who the hell was I kidding?  When did the world become so f'ing inconsiderate?

Mom dodged potholes and a gravel patch, going around everyone to find a path to the sidewalk.  We settled in to wait and soon our name was called.  Did any of the fat asses move, so the lady with a walker could go directly from point A to the door when her party was called?  Hell, no.

Half my family stood in front of the door waiting for mom and the rest, while the hostess yelled directly in my face, screaming a last call for our party.  I wasn't too polite in my response to her.  Apparently I also wasn't clear in the need for her to wait, as she turned on her heel and headed to our table.  A few minutes later, the rest of us caught up, though the hostess did have the decency to look somewhat chagrined as mom toddled by with the walker.  We were seated at the table farthest away from the front door.

Now, I have done the restaurant biz, but it has been a long time.  Mr H does it everyday, and I think I am very understanding.  But when did the last shred of decent, observant customer service go by the wayside?  Number one, that damn hostess should have noticed the lady with the walker, since she was offloaded right in front of her.  Second, when the party reports to the door to be seated and explains they are waiting for the lady with the walker to catch up, the hostess should have immediately thought ahead, adjusted her seating plans, and sat us at the first available table, not given us the scenic tour to the back room seating.  Third, hang out to make sure the chairs and space are adequate to accommodate.

Nobody sees past the nose on their face anymore.  Luckily for my mom, this is a temporary situation.  I can't imagine the daily indignities suffered by those who need a little time, understanding and/or help going about their daily lives.  Someday we will all need an extra minute or an extra hand and it is time that everyone slowed down a bit and paid attention to the world around them.

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