The blameless, considerate,
frustrated customers - Johnny Jackson

I know I have a few tales about the frustrating things I have witnessed in line at one place or another.

The frustrations typically start at the grocery store. But they don't end there. You have them at restaurants, at the movies, at concerts, or wherever there is a lack of good manners and consideration for other people.

There are so many people, either on the express way or in the store, who seem not to get that there are other people around them.

I recall being at a sandwich shop one day, ready to order my usual cold cuts and ready to wait in line for the person ahead of me.

The person ahead of me, though, was a child - and not a teenaged child. The child must have been seven or eight years old, with no idea how to order food, much less what he wanted to order.

I stood there with failing confidence that I would eventually be able to order as the child went through this series of simple questions, asking the server/preparer if he served something completely left field of what the shop served at all.

It felt like a comedy sketch on Saturday Night Live: "Can you make my mom's blueberry muffins" or something.

Well, this sort of joyful, aggravating banter went on for about 10 minutes. And I, seeing the server/preparer grow as frustrated as I, was motivated by the shared frustration to stay a while longer - acting out of courtesly to the child.

Then, the child's parent showed up ... finally to take the reins, I hoped. The parent, however, only asked the child to hurry up, because of something else she had to do. Never mind what I or everyone else behind me had to do. She apparently wanted her child to complete the impossible order without knowing exactly how to do it.

Long story short, she left the child to order, and so did I. Fifteen minutes wasted, and I still do not know whether the child ever ordered for himself, or if the server/preparer still has all his hair.

This is just one example of how, I think, people can be inconsiderate and oblivious to the world around them.

Of course, I am sure I have been on the other side of such frustration at some point or another, justified or not.

Once, I was treated rudely by a customer at a store in the next line for something that really was none of the customer's business. This, I am guessing was a similar frustration as I had with the child, except we dealt with the issues very differently.

This customer told me - out loud - that I was taking too long and that I should hurry up with a problem at the register, a problem (mind you) that had to do with the store's computer system and not my lack of consideration for other customers.

Ironically, as the customer barked at length for the inconvenience "my problem" had made for the other people in my line, who said nothing, the ranting customer in the next line had apparently held up the line behind him.

I know this because I ended up leaving before he left.

I suppose, I said all that to say this. The inconsiderate should consider, and the frustrated should not waste their time.

Johnny Jackson is the education reporter for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached at jjackson@henryherald.com or at (770) 957-9161.