There’s a common thinking that you shouldn’t date someone who doesn’t respect their servers at a restaurant. How people treat other people says a lot about them. If they are rude to another person because they feel that they are “better” than them just because of a job or where they live, they might not be such a good person to be friends with or date. The mom in this story had a serious problem, but I hope her son could see through her terrible parenting.
(Our shop sells a variety of desserts. The lady who owns the shop loves small kids, and insists that we add small extras for them. She often doesn’t even charge polite children. It’s a busy day when a woman and her young son approach the counter. The son can’t be older than 4. He looks terribly excited and is clutching a coin as though his life depends on it.)
Young Son: “Could I please have a…single chocolate ice cream?”
Mother: “You shouldn’t say ‘please’ to her. Only to people you know.”
Young Son: *sadly* “Oh…I’m sorry, Missus Ice Cream Lady. Am I still allowed a single chocolate ice cream?”
Mother: “No, don’t apologise, either! Just say what you want and don’t talk to her. You’ll waste good manners otherwise.”
Young Son: “Oh, okay…I would please like a single chocolate ice cream and nothing else.”
Mother: “No, you said please again! Look, it’s not that hard! Your manners are terrible!”
(As this goes on, I start making the ice cream. The boy’s eyes slowly move from his mother’s weird demands to the ice cream as I make it bigger and bigger, adding extra cream, berries, sprinkles, and anything I can think of. His face goes from confusion to a grin to a dropped jaw of awe. The final product is almost as big as his head.)
Me: “Here you go, young man! You’re the politest customer I’ve had today, and polite customers always get rewarded! If there were more customers like you, wouldn’t the world be a nicer place?”
Mother: “Stop talking to him, he’s not supposed to be polite to people on minimum wage!”
Me: (Ignoring her completely.) “Thank you, young man, for battling being kind to strangers and making the world a better place!”
(I refuse payment, because apparently the coin the boy is the boy’s ‘life savings’. The mother storms off berating him, although her son is oblivious due to his enormous ice cream. The next day, he came into the shop with his friend and their babysitter. All are super polite, so they all got extra large ones at half price.)
When reading this story, a huge part of me wished that the worker had said something to the mother…but then I realized that the girl behind the cash register knew that while she couldn’t change this nasty mother’s mind, she could change the mind of the young 4-year-old. It paid off – the kid came back the next day. It was probably for the extra ice cream, but I hope that a part of him learned that being kind is much more worth while than being rude to the people around you.
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