Even though I've been up since 4:30 a.m., I felt compelled to write about my day because never before have I been made to feel less valued than another human being. And it turns out it's a funny story.
I spent the day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway working the MotoGP for my parents' business. For those who don't know, my family owns a special event concession company that has the contract for ice cream, lemonade and pretzels at the track and other places. I worked an ice cream cart. (It wasn't a good day for ice cream sales. Ick.)
The ice cream prices are $5 this year across the board. Yes, I know that's pretty expensive, but you're at an EVENT. People make comments from time to time, but they can wait to get to the gas station before they buy their Dove bar if they really want. No biggie.
I've worked events for years, and I've never encountered such a rude customer.
A 10- or 11-year-old boy approaches my cart alone from what I can tell at this point.
Me: "Can I help you?"
Boy: "Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's going to be a Dove bar with almonds."
Me: (Kind of confused as to what that meant, if he was consulting himself, etc.) "OK, you want the almond one?"
Boy: "Yeah, one of those, and hold on. That's what you want, too, right?" (Waving to his dad.)
Dad: "Yeah, two Dove with almonds. How much is it going to be?"
Me: "It'll be 10 dollars, please."
Dad: "10 dollars!!" (Opening his wallet to reveal a LOT of cash inside.)
Seeing how well-dressed he and his son were and how much money he had stashed away, I should have known this guy was only saying something to be a dick. Note name change from here on.
Douche: "10 dollars. Wow. You should be wearing a mask."
Me: (Still trying to be polite.) "I'm sorry, sir. I'm only staffing the cart. I don't set or have any say in the prices."
Douche: "What? I SAID you should be wearing a mask. You should have a better comeback than that. A mask. That's robbery."
At this point, I'm startled because I'm quite unaware I'm supposed to be coming up with clever retorts for customers. I gave him his change from the $20 he shoved at me, and luckily another customer approached, so I was able to focus on others.
Three more people came up to make purchases and the douche and his son were still lingering under my umbrella grousing to each other about how ludicrous the prices were as they opened the boxes to their Dove bars. After the other customers leave, it's now an obvious ploy to be able to stick around to cause more of a scene.
Douche Jr.: (Holding up his empty box.) "Do you take trash?"
Me: "No, I don't have a trash can at my stand, but there is one right over there." (Pointing to the trash can no more than six steps away.)
Douche: (Interrupting me.) "For these prices you bet you take trash."
Douche Jr.: (Handing his box to his dad.) "Yeah."
Me: "No, sir, I'm sorry. I don't have a trash can."
Douche: "I bet if we just leave them on top of your cart you take trash."
Douche Jr.: "I know."
Me: (Somehow, I am only now starting to lose my pleasant, customer-service attitude on the outside.) "Sir, that's really pretty rude."
Douche: "Rude? I am a guest of this track, and YOU are an employee. Here's your trash!" (Slamming the two boxes onto the top of the cart.)
They start to walk away, and I am completely livid and shocked at this point, so I call after him, "That's really nice for you to be so rude and arrogant and set such a great example for your son!!"
Douche turns and waves his hand backward at me while Douche Jr. rolls his eyes.
This was all before it POURED down rain and a giant tent came flying across Georgetown Road about 8 feet airborne in 60 mph wind gusts. Then it nearly flipped over the chain-link fence that encloses the track before getting stuck in electrical wires where it hung precariously until it crashed back down into the street about 20 yards from where I was standing. Fun.
Though the race ended six hours ago, my toes are just starting to de-prune.
Final note about the track: Men should never wear crocs.