Have You Ever Felt Like This?

One summer after I had graduated college, my brother and I went out for the evening. On the way home, we stopped at the Dairy Queen a couple of miles from the house for ice cream. As is usual on a summer evening, the line was snaking out the door. We didn’t mind – part of the experience.

After paying, we stepped over to wait for our order. Like every other ice cream joint in the United States, it was staffed by harried high school kids trying to do three things at once. So I was stunned..stunned..when the “lady” in front of us started yelling at a kid. He had given her an ice cream cone dipped in sprinkles. Her response:

“I said I wanted an ice cream cone with SPRINKLES ON THE SIDE!”

Let’s break this down:

  1. This was a woman at the Dairy Queen with her children. She is old enough to have been that high school server’s mother. And she was screaming at him.
  2. She was screaming in front of her children, demonstrating to them that she thinks this is an appropriate way for people to behave.
  3. Sprinkles on the side? Seriously?

She was still harassing that poor kid as we scurried out the door. The joke of this story is that whenever Scott and I see such buffoonery we can just say, “sprinkles on the side” and it diffuses some tension. But the point of the story was that we both walked out with the same feeling:

We didn’t want to patronize that Dairy Queen anymore.

How sad is that? When the clientele is so obnoxious that it drives customers away. We debated it on the way home – it wasn’t the fault of the business that this one idiot ruined our evening ice cream. We shouldn’t punish the business. And besides that, if we stay away, we have allowed the jerks to win. But we were so uncomfortable with that outburst that we really did stop going to that Dairy Queen.

I had a similar experience at Starbucks this morning. I stopped in to bring my mother an iced coffee (which is why I didn’t go to McDs in the first place). The place was practically empty. But a woman came in behind me to complain that her husband’s drink was wrong.

“I’ve had this drink all over the country and I’m telling you, it’s WRONG!”

First of all, what kind of man sends his wife back in to the Starbucks to complain about the drink? Nevermind. She was just horrible.

I am pretty well over Starbucks, anyway. But it was “sprinkles on the side” all over again. I hate people.

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