What if people were judged not on their actions, but reactions. If everyone knew each persons reasons before they acted so that judgement wouldn’t exist, only understanding. If someone saw me at work, and realised I was for some reason more upset than usual by the fact someone threw out my flowers, or that they didn’t stock the fridges properly. That they threw out my beloved fairy lights. They might think I was being irrational, and difficult to work with. If they knew that the flowers were given to me from friends and family as their symbolism of condolence for my dads death, maybe they would get it. Maybe if they knew the fairy lights were a gift from my mum, that every time I switched them on and each glint of sparkling light that reflected off the drinks that I would place down beside them made me happy and brought me comfort, they would understand why its now absence upsets me.
Maybe if they remembered that right now I’m currently going through a loss, an absence in my life that causes so much pain, they would realise their little acts of creating more emptiness in my life isn’t helping. Maybe when they see I get confused and a times slightly exasperated at work, it’s not because I’m not good at what I do or I’m not trying to do my best at work, its because I am trying to do my best at work and I don’t know if its the best for me.
I have so much going on right now, I meet new people and they think I’m antisocial and rude. This isn’t me usually, if they knew me before everything happened they would see I’m actually quite a happy-go-lucky kind of person. I just don’t have much to be happy about any more, and my luck seems to of run away temporarily. I let some people know straight up, my dad recently passed away. They assume I’m saying this for sympathy, which is never the case. I tell them this to let them know that I’m currently not myself, I’m not talkative not because I don’t want to talk to them. Because I don’t want to talk much in general.
This happened to one person who I told straight up, sorry about my lack of conversation, its not you its just I’m not myself lately, to which they replied “Don’t worry, I can take a hint.” … can you!? Or can you create one? People only listen to what they want to hear. Which makes it hard when no one wants to hear about why I do the things I do, my reasons behind my reactions. Judging is far easier. Requires no need for empathy or sympathy, no need for further thought or need to reconsider their views. No need to understand, just label.
So working in hospitality, one of the biggest thing that makes us such a tight knit bunch of people is our united hatred for customers. Once a human becomes a paying customer, a switch is flicked and 2/5 times they automatically consider you to be below them. They see you as a servant, and its something us hospo peeps just have to deal with. Society is flawed and frustrating. I would never go into a doctors office or a hairdressers and think that I know better than them, or expect them to treat me like I’m their superior. This isn’t the case when I make people drinks. It’s a shame but it’s true. The best customers are always the ones that have been on the other side.
So standing on that side of the bar, you make a lot of observations. You judge people – it’s your job. You’re told to judge people for intoxication, to judge people for what they order to consider making any up sells or recommending them other drinks. To see if anyone is going to be a potential trouble maker, to note whether someone needs more attention because its their belief they require it. So here’s one of those stories, observations if you will:
One day I was working at my old bar in a casino. You get a lot of odd characters, some who haven’t quite made it home and decided that as all their friends have left that they were going to drink by them self bar to bar, their only company being the hesitant bartender on the other side. Some stay because they’ve lost too much money and scared to go home, scared to go to sleep because once you wake up and sobriety hits you like a truck – their mistakes are cemented and the heaviness of being paralyzed by poor decisions the night before can be something best avoided by another pint of beer. Diluted into something less acidic and painful, with the help of nothing but fermented hops and barley.
On one certain occasion, it was just after noon around 2-3pm. The people that drink at this time usually are everyday gamblers, hotel guests on holiday, people celebrating a special occasion or someone seeking dilution. It happened to be the later case, but the drink order didn’t match the diagnosis, only his attitude.
“Can I please have a glass of iced water with a twist of lemon.”
…not a usual order, so when something out of the ordinary is heard over the loud demanding decibels of ‘atmospheric’ casino music, you double check the order.
“Sorry, what were you after?” I said with a smile, then the response…
“Are you fucking deaf or don’t you speak English?? I said I wanted a glass of water. With a twist. Of – lemon. Understood?”
Irrational. Yes. Rude. Absolutely.Was I shocked and upset? A little bit. But you get used to these displays of absolute disrespect.
I made his drink, and he walked off. I have to admit, this was probably one of the more harsh episodes of Customers Gone Wild. I judged him as rude, irrational, cold hearted and labeled him indefinitely as a terrible human being. But then something happened, something which is uncommon and changing. He came back up to the bar 5 minutes later, I was a little scared however his words were not as expected. They were short, straight to the point, and showed traces of embarrassment, hurt and were apologetic.
“I’m sorry for being so short. You see… my mum just passed away. I didn’t mean to burst out at you. I’m sorry.” Before I could say anything, he walked off.
From then on, I didn’t see him as the terrible and rude person I had previously labeled him as. But someone hurt, confused and upset who needed to talk. Needed to be heard. Who was by himself. Diluting himself with water. Who was being judged and not understood. I got the chance to understand him though, if only everyone got the chance.
All I ask is that next time you judge some one, label them for what you think they portray. Don’t lock it in. Don’t assume. Consider why, pretend to understand even if you don’t have facts. Have faith and optimism that people do things for a reason, and even if their actions aren’t right, pain is usually a response to pain felt. I’m the last person to be positive or optimistic at the moment, but I still have faith in humanity even if it’s not as bright and cheery as usual. If you do judge someone, make sure its because of their actions and not reactions. I know there are exceptions, but even with these, life is too short to hate so why not understand instead? If an eye for an eye makes the world blind, what would trading in an eye for insight do? Why take away sight when you can make it better?
I hope this wasn’t too confusing, I feel like it was jumbled, I feel jumbled right now and I know that translates in my writing.
Til next time x