Economy of Effort

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Standoff At The Japanese Take Out Place

A few days ago, I witnessed one of those interesting sequences of events that seem completely puzzling due to the fact that you came into the sequence halfway. Here’s what happened:

As I walked into this Japanese food take-out place, I stood in a short line, waiting to place my order. A man walked from the seating area of the place towards the counter. As he got close, the two girls behind the counter that he walked towards waved their hands at him in a way that you do to tell a person, “no, you misunderstand, you don’t have to do that”… not in a panicked or fearful sense, but just in a customer service sense. He got to the counter, and he slammed down his receipt and a single dime. He looked at them, and said in a slow, drawn-out firm tone: “I will never come in here again.” The girls looked stunned as he turned around and walked back to his seat. I overheard him mutter to someone something about how “she screwed up”, and he took his seat and began eating again.

That’s it, and I have not been able to mentally construct a sequence of events that lead up to that exchange. The dime is an interesting clue. Were they harassing him over ten cents? It sure didn’t seem like they cared about the dime. Perhaps it’s a red herring, and it was just some change he had in his hand and he dropped it as he slammed down the receipt. I would guess that perhaps he was given the wrong order, but he sat back down afterwards and chowed down his food.

Some people have very short fuses when it comes to the people that serve them food. I know Stacey has a bit of a short fuse, a lot shorter than is comfortable for me. But nothing that would end in something like this. Maybe this guy just had a REALLY short fuse about any error in his order or service.

I don’t know. I have no clue really. It’s one of those things that might not be very interesting if given all the details, but in lieu of that, it’s quite puzzling.