Summary of the day’s events:
I’d been cooped up at home for a few days being sick and all, and really needed to get out of the house to get my motivation running so I could get shit done and start visualizing my future and work on all the steps toward it. My friend and I had dinner plans at Buffalo Wild Wings because her house has Vegetarian Wednesdays and she hates that and she had a letter that issued a free meal for two from a prior complaint her parents had with the food. We showed the letter to our waitress, and from the very start, she had the worst attitude and stink eye towards us. After awhile, my friend wondered aloud if perhaps she had spit in our food. At the end, I asked her for the receipt, and she all but seemed ready to bite my head off for asking… until my friend said “It’s for the tip” and she seemed startled and said “oh, ok!” and bustled off to get it.
Now, my friend and I are pretty reasonable tippers and usually give 18% for neutral to nice service. After the way she seemed to hate us, we settled on a 15% tip, which to me seemed generous considering I had an unpleasant experience because she seemed so pissed whenever we asked to order or get a take out bag. The only thing I could reason with was that she had a terrible day or yesterday. As someone who worked in retail for a few months, I understand it can be difficult, and I also know that anything regarding customer service can really suck sometimes… but we were nice customers, and she looked straight up angry and antagonistic. I want to give people the benefit of the doubt, but if that wasn’t the case, then I can assume that this attitude was her norm, or that she presumed upon receiving the letter that we wouldn’t leave her a tip. Regardless, the Principle of the Matter here would be that regardless of whether or not she knew we were going to tip her, she shouldn’t have had such a bad attitude, and being a decent friendly human being shouldn’t have been contingent on whether or not she would get paid for it.
Now, to play devil’s advocate, I’m comparing this to the countless times I’ve smiled at strangers or held the door open for them, and they don’t reciprocate or say thank you. Sometimes I have bad days but I still out of habit smile, and then I have the rare occasion day where I don’t bother to smile, but when someone I don’t know smiles at me, it instantly makes my day a bit better. That said, nobody is obligated to smile back at me, and if someone is accustomed to not smiling back, then is it safe to assume that they live in a joyless world and there is something bigger that they’re going through that makes them incapable and permanently too upset to return the favor? I’ve noticed in people’s stories, whether in reality or in shows that often when one is going through something real tough and is struggling just to be present and make it through the next day, it can definitely be hard to do something that seems so simple. Maybe you’re struggling with depression, maybe you just moved to another country as an immigrant and can’t speak the language or don’t have enough money to pay for dinner. Maybe you’re a victim of domestic abuse and distrust others so much that even a smile can seen suspicious or sinister. Maybe you just don’t feel like it. And I suppose that’s ok. But it still bums me out a little.
After BWW, I wasn’t sure if there would be close parking to the building where the Economic Costs/Physics of Star Wars lecture was being held. Apparently the actual parking lot was pretty far for me, but it would be okay to park in the temporary spots if I had my handicap sign up… no luck. Came back to find a ticket on my windshield.
The lecture was super cool, I love just learning about the new ways in research is being done and the fact that there are other worlds out there outside of our own. We also got to watch part of the most recent Star Wars.
The Principle of the Matter: my friend texted this to me when I was complaining about getting a ticket to her, and I think it makes a lot of a sense. I would compare this situation somewhat to the plot of Les Miserables. The ethics of that situation was that the main character stole bread, and technically that was a crime and he got punished harshly for it. But can you really blame him when one cannot afford food and the alternate option is to starve and let your family starve as well? I think it sheds light on a bigger, systematic problem. I would still get mad if I got robbed, but I guess if I knew it was going towards someone’s livelihood and they needed it much more than me, I might be okay with it.
Same principle: Sure technically, I shouldn’t have parked there, but the problem is the simple, basic fact that the parking lot was much tougher for me to do, and there were no handicapped spots.
This principle applies not just to disabilities or economics, but to race, sexism, everything else. If we don’t make a place for those that are different and placed at a disadvantage, then how can we penalize them for their actions?