Wednesday, August 29, 2012

No Country for Grumpy Customers

If you're a parent - or if you just care strongly about another person - sometimes you really want to fight their fights. And you can, actually, when the kids are little. It's a great thing.

If that kid, or person gets sick, then you can only fight by asking lots of questions, keeping up with medications, and doctor appointments, prayer - and of course trying to keep that person in good spirits.

The medical stuff will always need the parents and champions to help.

But there are other times when you can just listen to some horror story, helplessly. You want to jump up and yell at someone, especially the "someone" who caused your kid pain.
Making a Stand

And now, with the lovely vastness of the internet - I can attempt that.

Hey you. Yeah, you, the inconsiderate rude male customer of a certain ice cream stand in Dracut. I'm talking to YOU.

How dare you. How dare you put your energies into making a sweet young man, new at the job, feel like a nothing. 

How DARE you, attempt to embarrass and belittle someone just because they weren't spot on with the whole counting of the change thing. From what I understand, this young man personally did not wrong you, nor give you incorrect change. So why was it OK for you to give him a hard time about his math skills?

You should be the one to feel embarrassed, especially if you knew his story. Especially if you knew that he had to abandon his first job, being a paper carrier, because of severe illness. Especially if you know how well loved he was by all his customers.

If you knew what a bright, and extremely caring kind of person this young man is - you'd be ashamed. If you understood the depth of uncertainty and worry that has plagued him and his family for the last five years - if you had a damn CLUE - of what he's been through and fought back against, you'd feel rotten.

If you, Mr. Crappy Ice Cream Customer, had an inkling that this kid was actually admired and respected by many of his classmates, teachers, and hundreds of others that have heard him speak of behalf of the American Liver Foundation, maybe you'd ease up.

If you had any damn idea how much time out of school this guy had to endure because of illness, maybe you'd take it down a notch.

But it shouldn't matter that this worker in question has had some very rough patches, you have no flippin right to speak that way to ANYONE, no matter what their history.

But he was a teenager, an easy mark, eh?

So this message actually goes out to a few other sorry souls:

Hey you, Mr, Impatient Fast Food Manager - do you know not only do you embarrass your employees by your loud corrections, you embarrass yourself in front of your customers? It's true! There's been quite a few witnesses to your rudeness. Again, the victim was another young man, a 20something this time, but just young and insecure enough to feel the weight of your ill-timed and ill-chosen words. Easy marks, these poor kids.

We've all been on one side of that counter, sometimes on the other side - we all need to take some deep breaths and practice kindness.

Monday, August 27, 2012

How I Spent my Summer Vacation

So, this summer vacation I'm referring to was not the whole, long, drawn-out 10 week affair that Tom enjoyed. Although I definitely enjoyed time off from nagging about homework and bedtimes, I am only blogging about the last week spent at the Cape.

 This trip was not necessarily about being tourists, it was more about being together, just the four of us. But we each got to do some things that we liked.

Summer Glass
So, part of my pleasure was shopping! Here is an example of some fine "trinket's and treasures" that I scooped up. The cobalt blue bud vase is (supposedly) Egyptian recycled glass from a shop in Provincetown, MA. I bought two other small bottles with it, and was happy. The crystal candy dish was about five dollars at my local consignment shop. 

Part of what I loved about this vacation was the great visual gifts. And they were plentiful. I found some real beauty at the miniature golf place, lots in Provincetown, Boston, and Marion Harbor.

So here's the brief rundown. Monday we just hung out at the trailer and relaxed. On Tuesday, we took it slow again, but we slowly worked our way down to Provincetown. We had lunch at the Kream N Kone - great fried seafood. We played mini-golf which was fairly fun, except for the speedy family of three behind us.

It actually got to be a bit annoying, sometimes we'd still be teeing off on a hole, and these kids would pop up and start observing (and sometimes commenting) on what we were encountering. I couldn't figure out how they made it around the course so fast, until I realized that the dad was only keeping score, not playing.
Provincetown Street Scene

Finally we finished up and finished our drive to Provincetown. Lots to see and photograph, and of course, purchase. We stayed for about two hours and then drove back north. By now it was after nine o'clock, and we were hungry. So we decided to head into Hyannis and have dinner at the British Beer Company. Nice meals and tasty beverages.
Pre-Tea Party Meeting

Wednesday was our Big Day in Boston. We didn't do a real lot, but a highlight was time spent at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. Totally enjoyed it, and I'd highly, highly recommend it to anyone interested in American History - kids and adults alike.

Oh, before that we stopped by the Flour Bakery. This spot was made famous by Bobby Flay doing one of his "throw-downs" there. He challenged these bakers on their sticky buns. Don't know about Flay's work, but what we had there was pretty darn good. 

Abigail's Tearoom, Boston, MA

After we had tea and pastries (carb heavy day) in Abigail's Tearoom, spent time and $$ in the gift shop, we tried to track down one of Tom's wish items - a Bunker Hill commemorative coin. No luck. Then we spent time in Quincy Market and then Tom and Mike got lost (figuratively) in Newbury Comics. Dave and I did some chillin' and people watching outside. We also made reservations at Legal Sea Foods, some gift cards were calling out to be spent.

Funny story there - ha ha. Not so funny actually. It turns out that we actually made reservations in the LKT, the Legal Test Kitchen, right across the street from the other Legal Sea Foods at Seaport. Which is were we started, feeling like the red-headed stepchild, "no, we have no reservations for Williams for 8:30." Finally it was all sorted out, and we ate a decent meal. Our waitress was quite --  lively. She was doing a pretty smooth job, but then she just got very busy, and she didn't really adjust her patter-to-crowd ratio. Meaning she just spent too darn long at every table making small talk. Oy!

Harbor Sunset
Next day, Thurs was another chill out at the trailer day. Then later we had my brother Pat over for dinner. We celebrated his bday a little belatedly, with cake, some presents, and steak dinner. Friday we went out to eat AGAIN, this time for breakfast. Too expensive. Rest of the day was chilling and doing laundry and that evening we were invited out to sail on a friend's boat.
This is where I learned about the delicious magic of a Dark n Stormy. Very yum. (Dark rum, ginger beer and lime). We also had some nice eats and a great time with our hosts. And the boys got to learn how to tack. Very cool.