There are many dos and don’ts associated with behavior, and to learn them you just have to exist in a society. There is no book, no hard and fast rules to tell you what is and what isn’t acceptable on every occasion in every situation, a lot of times, it’s just a “use common sense and hope for the best” type of situation out there. However, there are occasions when there are clearly defined social norms that must be observed, indeed ignoring or not paying attention to them leads to blogs about you written by strangers who wish they had your full name so they could put your name out there for the world to know what a world class butt munch you are.
So I often ask myself, whatever happened to customer service…and recently I got a very, very clear answer to that question I send out into the cosmos…CHEAP ASSHOLES HAPPENED TO CUSTOMER SERVICE. That is where customer service went. It went away because some people out there despite getting AMAZING customer service or service of any kind feel that under tipping or tipping via In-N-Out chocolate milkshakes is okay. Here is the story of the cheap asshole I recently dealt with, judge for your self.
After a hideous children crying, little girl with light up shoes and an airplane bathroom fetish, and sitting near the toilets and getting to smell things no one wants to smell flight I ended I finally landed in San Francisco from London. On my flight I sat next to a guy named Mustafa (Balla/VIP), and yes, I wanted to quote the Lion King the entire flight because his names was WAY too close to Mufasa (Simba’s dad’s name) for me not to want to say:
Banzai: Oh, Scar, it’s just you.
Shenzi: We were afraid it was somebody important.
Banzai: Yeah, you know, like Mufasa.
Scar: I see.
Banzai: Now that’s power.
Shenzi: Tell me about it. I just hear that name and I shudder.
Shenzi: Ooooh! Do it again!
Banzai: Mufasa, Mufasa, Mufasa!
Shenzi: Ooooh! [breaks into laughter]
Shenzi: And it tingles me!
Scar: I’m *surrounded* by idiots.
Anyway, some how I contained myself and got to hear about this guy his trip to London to meet a girlie who his parents wanted him to marry, but he wasn’t interested in. I guess the first thing that clued me into his idiocy was that looks in a potential life partner is the most important attribute to him. But, hey at least the guy was honest…I couldn’t blame him. But then it was all a case of a rap song gone bad, he was talking about the crazy bar tabs him and his “boys” run up at the clubs in Vegas, how they “roll VIP”, all the chicks they hook up with. I mean it was like a Jersey Shore meets Canada meets Show Off all in one person.
Somehow, and let’s please not get into the inadvisability of my course of action, I am an idiot too, I ended up going to In-N-Out in a cab with this guy once our flight landed in San Francisco. So for those of you who don’t know In-N-Out it is a west coast, mostly California fast food place, it kinda has a cult following. The lines at In-N-Out are always long, and I mean super long. The In-N-Out closest to me had to recently redesign its entrance because the lines to get into drive-thru used to cause a traffic jam on one of the major surface streets at lunch and dinner times. So after pulling up to an In-N-Out with this “balla” in a taxi cab whose meter was already at $22+ for the ride there and taking a gander at the HORRENDOUS line the “balla” decides to run in to the store instead of doing drive-thru. Five minutes later he runs out and asks the Taxi driver if he can turn off the meter. The taxi driver of course does not want to do this but the “balla” pleads, and the Taxi driver agrees after saying “you know this is a BIG favor, right?” The “balla” agrees it is a huge favor comes back out hands the guy a chocolate milkshake runs back in emerge some 10 minutes later with his food and off we go to the airport, another $15 ride.
So pulling up to the terminal, in a Prius taxi that smelled like French fries, with two people that probably smelled gross as a result of 10+ hours of flying in a plane sitting next to the bathrooms, the “balla” hands over his credit card to pay for the ride back to the airport as well as the tip. The taxi driver asks the VIP “so how much do you want to leave for a tip?” The response…”oh it wasn’t included in what you just told me?” Taxi driver, “no, how much do you want to leave, bro?” “Balla”, “$2”. Taxi driver “come on buddy, how much do you want to leave?”. “Balla”, “yeah I think $2 is fine.
Okay…stop… right there…you see that $2 that I typed…that is where your customer service has gone. People like that have stolen it. They have left horrible $2 tips for people like this taxi driver who do them favors like turning off the meter on their cab for 15 minutes while they were in In-N-Out getting a burger and in return for this kindness left the man a $2 tip. Here I was sitting next to Mr. Balla/me an my boys roll VIP in Vegas and his cheap ass is giving this man a $2 tip?! ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?! I have never been so embarrassed at someone else’s cheapness like I was at that moment. Every single one of my embarrassment sensors if such things exist lit up like a Christmas light. Refusing to shaft another apparently kind human being so completely I opened up my own wallet and handed the taxi driver some money even though VIP next to me was supposed to have paid for the entire ride.
After we got out of the cab he made mention of his horrible tip saying “I bought him a milkshake and gave him $2, that should be enough”. I was tired, I smelled like recycled airplane air, the makeup I put on in Italy 14 hours before was gone, and my tact was at its wicks end. “NO IT WAS NOT ENOUGH”. I said emphatically, and in an irritated voice “YOU SHAFTED THAT MAN, A CHOCOLCATE MILKSHAKE AND $2 IS NOT SUFFICIENT FOR HAVING TURNED OFF THE METER FOR 15 MINUTES”. He gave me a bit of surprised look, but continued to munch on his burger. I swear I have never wanted to slap the cow outta someone’s hands like I did at that moment. He was talking about taking his food through the security line and eating it once inside. Without missing a beat I told him “I would like to see that given your ethnic background, it should be entertaining what happens when you cause a scene at security trying to take in a soda, fries, and a burger.”
Shortly after my smart-ass remarks and his cheapassedness we parted company, but the cheapness of this man still lingers in my consciousness. I can’t stop thinking about that damn $2 tip. I can’t stop thinking about the disbelief and almost dejectedness on the taxi driver’s face and in his voice when $2 was said. If there was ever a moment when I realized “where customer service went” it was at that moment. Why do something nice or above and beyond for someone, when they can’t even show proper gratitude for your kindness? His brand of cheap assholedness is like a disease, it spreads like wildfire, what are the chances that taxi driver will do something kind like that for the next rider who might actually give a decent tip at the end of it…not good. Cheapassedness…don’t be a carrier.