Like most people with an internet connection I have been following the much reported case of the passive aggressive note war on an airline flight. You know the one. While discussing it with a few friends I heard the comment that it was great to see someone standing up for service staff and defending them.
No one is an NPC. That’s Non Player Character for those of my readers who didn’t grow up addicted to role playing games. So here’s my challenge. Every time you have an interaction with someone, you should show them a level of respect. The same level of respect across the board.
Sure, in the final analysis, they may not be as important to your life as someone else. But that doesn’t mean you have to treat them that way. Because if you make that prioritisation and you determine that someone isn’t worth a whole lot to you as a person, you probably don’t mean anything bad by that.
However, to them, it feels like in a moment, a single moment, you have passed judgement on their entire life. Not just in relation to yours, in relation to the world around us.
I worked in McDonalds for a good 5-6 years, across two states of Australia. That’s a hard slog, I’ll tell you. Let me be clear, my experience of being a McDonalds’ employee was pretty decent. Perhaps other people have different experiences, but for me I found it to be a pretty good place to work my first job.
What made working in fast food something I hated though, was the customers. Over the course of my time at McDonalds’, I faced frequent threats of physical violence from people who felt that their burger and fries was taking too long. One man told me, very frankly, that he thought I was an ugly, useless, pimply little b**ch.
When you’re just 14 or 15, that kind of thing hurts a lot.
Maybe we should all reconsider the terms of this issue. Maybe it isn’t about someone being rude to a service staff member. Maybe it is actually about someone being rude to a person. A normal person, equal, on a level of humanity.
When it comes to offering decency, there shouldn’t be a value attached. There shouldn’t be a value attached to treating a waitress like you would a business partner. Because both should be treated as equals. As other human beings that you have happened to come across.