The three women of the House of Lime are all currently employed in situations where we are required to collect money from the public for services rendered or goods purchased. As anyone who has ever worked with the public knows, there is on occasion an individual who makes the job less than pleasant. I'm not sure if it's peak asshole season or what but they seem to be out in force because in the last week the girls and I
have had the joy of dealing with gaping ones who each seem to think we are singling them out for poor service based upon some sort of racial/ethnic/cultural bias we possess.
Scene #1: Calypso was ringing up a customer who felt the need to challenge the price of each and every item and who, as Calypso got to the end of the pile of items, needed to go search for one more thing. Mind you, the line of customers was growing as he argued. He then proceeded to suggest she was artificially jacking up the price just for him. When she told him she just scanned items but didn't set prices he came around to the other side of the counter to attempt to intimidate her, at which point she told him to step back to the other side or she'd have to call security. This sent him into a rage and prompted the forelocked, tassled, and yarmulked fellow to shout, "Is this because I'm JEWISH????!!!"
I'd like to tell him, "No, it's because you're a large, belligerent male who is attempting to physically intimidate a 17 year old girl who is much smaller than you are."
Scene #2: I am at work and it's time to check-out a new patient. Standard practice in our office is for new patients to be examined thoroughly on the first visit. If they are in great pain they may be provided non-manipulative therapies to help alleviate the pain but no spinal adjustments are given until the next visit after the doctors have had a chance to review x-rays and determine the best way to adjust the patient based on findings. During a first visit there is an extensive history taken along with any pertinent x-rays. Various orthopedic and neurological methods of examination are also employed. Full charges range between $80-$250 depending upon how many x-rays are required. When it came time to check out this particular new patient (who had indicated exactly what therapies she intended to have and at what frequency and for how long...never mind the doctor having a professional opinion based on clinical findings) she had a fit about being expected to pay a very nominal copay because there had been no spinal manipulation during the visit. I explained politely that the examination still qualified as an office visit, involved x-rays, which cost money, and that she had the undivided attention of the doctor for 45 minutes while he took her history and examined her. She looked appalled and suggested I was ripping her off because she was Latina.
I wanted to say, "No, your copay is actually smaller than that of most of our patients but if there were a procedure code for dealing with demanding prima donnas I'd add it to your bill."
Scene #3: Diana is scanning the large grocery order of a customer with literally no fewer than 50 coupons, many of which have to be entered with a special over-ride code and typed in manually. Near the end of the order the customer questions the price of a sale item. It is checked and determined she has an item other than the ones on sale. The woman rants at Diana for over charging her. Diana repeats the information given by the manager. The customer demands 3 managers go with her to the freezer where she saw the sale sign and she rants loudly about how the signage is wrong. She rants all the way back to the checkout. Diana has just finished packing her order in plastic bags at which point she demands it be unpacked and repacked in her earth bags which she left in the car. Diana complies after waiting for the beleaguered husband to retrieve the bags but rolls her eyes as the customer directs exactly how each item is to be packed. The customer flies into another rage, asks to file a complaint, and shouts, "I know you're giving me poor service just because I am from NYC!"
Diana would like to say, "If I were giving you poor service it would be because you're a controlling, argumentative pain in my ass and the poor service would consist of me tying one of the rejected plastic bags over your head."
Ladies and gentlemen, there are assholes in every group on earth. I've personally known Christian (including Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, and non-denominationals), Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Unitarian, and unaffiliated agnostic assholes. My own father is an atheist and a SELF-DESCRIBED asshole. Every Sunday I sit among a Baptist congregation that has its own share of assholes. I've known African, Asian, Latino, and WASP assholes as well as assholes from among indigenous populations. I've lived among many a rural asshole and suffered the wrath of urban assholes. Suburban assholes may be more mainstream but they are assholes nonetheless. The one asshole with a redeeming quality may be the hermit asshole who opts to isolate himself from the general population thus sparing us the misery of his company. I've known assholes who lived in massive houses on golf courses and who drove luxury cars, assholes who lived off food stamps, and lots of assholes who were just basic middle class folks trying to pay the bills in a timely fashion and have a few bucks to sock away.
Assholes plague every group no matter the color, creed, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or socioeconomic status. The three less than delightful people we encountered this week were NOT being discriminated against because of some obvious association with a subgroup other than our own (a trait acquired by chance of birth) but they were defining themselves as assholes by their behavior (something entirely under their own control). If there were a Worldwide Congress of Assholes these individuals would merely be the Jewish, Latina, and Urban delegates in a very diverse and highly irascible mob.