Saturday, June 01, 2013

Joe Renews His Aquaintence With Fair Stella

(Before starting, I have been determined to be a 'cool cat' and I answered a few questions which are posted today over at With a Little Moxie and you may want to pop by to visit. I'd never been considered 'cool' before so I was well pleased. Now ... on to today's blog ...)

It's summer. There are patios. Make space for us. Yep, we had our first patio lunch of the summer. Just last week, we'd have needed to have our parkas on and poor old Stella would have frozen after a few seconds of sitting on the table. But summer is, almost aggressively, here. We had some stuff to do a few blocks from here so went to do it, we stopped an got a few groceries - any sharp eye'd readers from the UK might notice the Tescos bag sitting beside Joe. We were the first to arrive and the tables were being set up when we pulled in. The waitress took our orders, apologised for her rush because she was too busy, and then hurried away.

I had a lovely cup of tea and Joe and Stella got reacquainted. I still love telling the story of us being in Liverpool and getting right squiffy and by the time we left the pub, which was about a half hour walk from the hotel, we caught a cab, I poured Joe in, and off we went home. When we got up in the morning, Joe was regretting his latest affair with Stella, and he said to me, "I'm glad we walked home last night, I think the fresh air helped." I said, "Um, dear, we took a cab." We still find that funny. And we found it funny again on the patio.

Once the place was set up the waitress came back and asked us where we were on holiday from, we would discover that that's her opening line with all the customers who come in that aren't regulars. We told her we lived a few blocks away. Then she noticed a man coming down the street, maybe in his early twenties, who was walking holding a plastic plate and a chop stick. He was slowly banging the plate with his chop stick as he walked along. He wandered from one side of the street to the others and asked the occasional passerby, politely, for money.

She stood there, and thinking she'd entertain us, began making fun of him. "He really does march to a different drummer, doesn't he." "We get all kinds of real weirdos in this neighbourhood.' I stopped her saying, 'Please don't make fun of him.' She, of course, it can be predicted, got angry. I explained, 'I'm just sitting here imagining what you'd be saying about me as I come down the street.'He seems, to me, like a nice gentle soul causing no harm or bother to anyone, can't he be left in peace.'

Well, that ended our 'relationship' with the waitress. Who served us brusquely, which was fine. I'd ordered something that was very easy to check to see if spit had been applied as a condiment - it hadn't. And Joe and I had a nice lunch. Joe's not one who likes my constant attempts at public education. But this time he said, 'Thanks for saying what I was thinking.'

Our bill came and on it was a note: What I did was wrong. I am sorry. Please don't think poorly of me.

I don't know why our opinion of her had become important to her but it obviously was something she was concerned about. There was no room left on the bill to write so Joe left a note on a napkin and slipped it inside with the money. "It takes someone with a good soul to apologise, we will be back."

And, we will.


Anonymous said...

That is a great reaction. I like this kind of communication at the end very much.


Mark Pathak said...

Nice one Joe

n. said...

My cynical side says she apologized so as not to lose the tip. not sure if it's the same in uk/europe.... do they get zero salary just live from tips?
on the other hand I hope my cynical side was wrong.

theknapper said...

I dont think this was for a tip....could be naive.....but think as she thought about it she realized what she said was wrong.....nice that you guys can start Joe's response

Danni said...

In the UK they must be paid at least minimum wage, and tipping is a lot less frequent. It's rare in pubs, and even in restaurants we tip a lot less.

I'm glad she thought about it and apologised. Maybe she learnt something that day.

Belinda said...

I heard in a CBC interview this week that there are three things people do when it's pointed out they've done something wrong:
1) Get defensive
2) Admit/acknowledge that they did something wrong
3) Apologize

The person said we often forget to expect defensiveness, but it's what humans do. Most of us get defensive first; I have to admit I do. But it's helpful to expect it and realize that all hope is not lost when you meet up with it.

Anonymous said...

People surprise you!
First that she would express something like that and secondly that she would apologies for her error!

I always like to think the best of people so I don't think her apology was motivated by the tip!

I love your reply Joe!


Love Linda ( LInMac in Dublin)

clairesmum said...

i'm gonna be an optimist here and believe that what she wrote was true, and that kindness from you and Joe in the note will help her maintain her new awareness AND translate into changed behavior....

and a great photo of Joe and Stella!

Anonymous said...

Hurrah for Dave for the thankless task of educating kindly but firmly. And hurrah for Joe and his kind response to her apology (which I think she truly meant).

And clairesmum is right--that is a lovely photo of Joe and Stella! :^)


Anonymous said...

nice how that worked out. just reading the blog now, and coincidentally wrote about the benefits to drumming...thought you might be interested.

Moose said...

I echo what Belinda said.

We often have bad knee-jerk reactions when told, "You have done something wrong/offensive."

It takes maturity and strength to apologize for making a mistake. That's something to be respected.

p.s. To me, the first comment about "marching to a different drummer" isn't so awful on its own. I probably would have said the same thing, simply based on the fact that it wasn't what most people think of as "drum", and the phrase then being a pun. But that doesn't excuse calling the man a 'weirdo'.