I know that’s comedian Rodney Dangerfield’s line. I also know it’s a double negative, but I’ve had a lousy week and I don’t care. I’ve had to deal with multiple incidents of people who were inappropriately personal and unprofessional.
After ordering a meal and a drink in a small-town diner, the waitress said, “Are you sure, Honey? That don’t sound so good together.” I offered no comment other than an icy stare and a long silence until she finally said, “OK,” in a tone that clearly implied that she thought I’d made a grievous dining error. Who asked for her opinion?
Later I stopped at a bakery and ordered cinnamon rolls. “Are these for breakfast or dessert?” the cashier asked. I simply replied,”Breakfast.” Not content, she asked, “Will you be eating any of them?” she asked.
“I may have one. Why do you want to know?” I asked frostily.
“Can you eat a whole one?” she asked. “I never could see how a woman could eat a whole one of those big rolls.”
If I weren’t on a perpetual diet, I’d eat several of them, but I didn’t see how it was any of her business. Maybe I’m just touchy because of life-long weight struggles. Just bag the donuts, Lady. I’d be more than happy to chat about the weather, the traffic, or whether I want the donuts in a box or a bag, but that’s the extent of our relationship. Politics, religion, and my eating habits are not up for debate.
On the way home I stopped at the hardware store. As I got out of the car, the man getting out of the car next to mine stared as if he knew me. I didn’t recognize him, but my memory isn’t what it used to be, so I nodded and smiled and went into the store. When I came out, I saw him place a business card on my windshield, then get into his car and leave. The card said, “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days, guaranteed. Call me and I’ll tell you how.”
Thnking it was some kind of promotion, and he’d probably put the card on all the cars in the lot, I scanned the nearby cars. Nope. Just me. Evidently, he’d looked me over and decided I was in dire need of his services. He ruined my day, and I’d been feeling pretty good about myself. For most of my adult life, I was over 100 pounds heavier than I am now. Furthermore, any weight-loss program which promises 30 pounds in 30 days is a crock of you-know-what. “Call me and I’ll tell you how,” said the card? If I call you, Mister, you won’t like what I call you. Perhaps I could help YOU lose 30 pounds. I’d start by lopping off your fat head, you moron.
But my niece, whom I’ll call Jenny, had an “inappropriate comments from a clerk” story to top mine. Jenny patronizes a dry cleaning/alterations business run by a recent immigrant. Jenny went to the business to pick up her dry cleaning and handed the clerk her ticket. After a long wait, Jenny was confronted by the irate proprietor, who said in an accusitory tone and broken English, “You suppose to pick up dress Friday! Why you not here Friday?”
“Well, um, I’m sorry, I had to work late Friday, and I didn’t get…”
“I have to look and look for dress! I put dress away! You say Friday! Why you not come Friday?”
“I said I was sorry. Do you do alterations? I have a skirt I’d like shortened six inches,” Jenny added, holding her hand at mid-thigh, showing where she wanted the hem to reach.
“Oh, no,” said the woman. “That too short for you. I do four inch only.”
“No, I’d really like it six inches shorter.”
“Too short. Show too much leg. I do four inch only.”
The entire incident would have made a better Seinfeld episode than the Soup Nazi one.