November 18th, 2008

Barth Gimble facepalms

buncha savages in this town

Miss C. and I often get our weekday lunch at a Fort Point bakery called Flour, which is one of those slightly-upscale-twee places with cute little slogans like "Life is short - Eat dessert first!" written in happy childlike letters on the chalkboard and stuff. And even if you don't like twee, the bakery's image does not take away from the fact that they have very tasty fresh baked cookies, scones, sticky buns, and a whole buncha lunch and dinner items, including an interesting variety of soups, some of which (like the orange root vegetable/coconut milk/curry) I have enjoyed time and time again. The place is staffed by artsy twenty-somethings with piercings and tats and stylish glasses, and the vibes are generally positive and happy over there.

And then there was this morning. We arrived just in time to watch an older businessman in a Severe Suit and Power Haircut loudly arguing with one of the guys behind the counter. Judging from the conversation, we quickly divined the order of events which had led to the present outburst:
  1. The businessman approached the counter while on his cellphone, even though there are multiple signs around the place that politely request that you not use your cellphone when you're at the counter placing your order.
  2. The fellow behind the counter informed the businessman that he'd be happy to take the man's order once he was done on his phone.
  3. The businessman exploded in a fit of extreme self-importance and began to holler.
During this most impressive tantrum, the businessman made the following points:
  1. He wasn't talking on his cellphone, he was merely listening to his voicemail.
  2. He is a very busy and very important businessman who takes many important phone calls during the course of the day and naturally he needs to be on his phone at all times in case he misses a very important phone call.
  3. He did not want to finish his call before giving his order because, being a very busy and important businessman, he knew how to multitask (he actually said this) and that if the young man behind the counter couldn't multitask, that wasn't his fault.
  4. The young man behind the counter was impertinent, rude, and completely out of line for chastising his superior, this paying customer, this man whose purchase of a $3.50 coffee drink would undoubtedly make or break the company.
  5. (And this is the best one) He saw the signs, he knew the rules, but he wanted to be on his cellphone anyway.
Eventually the businessman made his Summon Manager roll and up came the manager on duty, a fellow who, like the rest of us in line, could not believe that this fine example of humanity was behaving like this. The manager, then, made the following statements while listening to the businessman reiterate his previous points:
  1. Uh huh.
  2. Yes sir.
  3. Yes sir.
  4. Uh huh.
  5. You know, I don't have time for this.
And off the manager went, leaving the businessman with a cup of coffee drink in one hand and his cellphone in the other. There should have been a round of applause at this point, but I believe we as an audience were too speechless, marvelling as we were at the fact that never before had we seen someone be so completely, utterly, and unequivocably wrong yet still insist he was the aggrieved party.

The guy ended up paying for his drink and stomping out. Everybody looked around, shrugged, and life went on as usual in the bakery. Still, I was trying to find a moral to this tale of people who can't get over themselves, but all I could come up with is "This is what gentrification brings, kiddies! Enjoy!"

Oh, and my lunch was very delicious indeed thank you for asking.