Earlier today at work (a tourist attraction that costs admission) a man comes in with his two grandchildren and his wife. I said hello to him in my perkiest customer service voice, and he responded with a mumbled “yeah yeah, where’s the bathroom?” As I pointed him in the right direction, he asked his grandkids if they wanted to wait for their grandmother, or also go to the restroom. One of them decided to stay and wait.
The grandmother walked in and we exchanged pleasantries. We didn’t really have much of an interaction, but I could just tell she was a nice human being. She walked down the hall to where the restrooms were, and awaited her husband. I could hear him yelling at her from my desk.
**The total for all 4 of them to walk through my place of employment would’ve been $20.00 total. Let me just state that MAJORITY of the people that walk in here do not complain.**
[From down the hall]
Him: THIS IS BULLSHIT! $20.00 JUST TO WALK THROUGH HERE?!
I couldn’t tell if she responded, but as they walked down the hall he turns to me.
Him: WE HAVE TO PAY TO GET IN HERE?!
Me: Yes, we’ve had admission for the past 10 years or so now.
Him: I PAY TAXES!!!! IT’S SHIT! IT’S SHIT THAT WE HAVE TO PAY FOR EVERYTHING! I HAVE TO PAY TO GO TO THE ZOO!!! I HAVE TO PAY TO GO TO THE MUSEUM!! AND NOW I HAVE TO PAY TO GO HERE!!!
Me: I understand your frustrations. Unfortunately we do have an admission now.
I honestly debated with myself on whether or not I should explain to him that we are a non-profit and rely on admission to keep us going…but I knew trying to reason with someone like that would lead to nowhere, so I opted not to.
As he yelled at me, I looked to his wife and she looked sad and embarrassed. I also looked to his grandchildren. I think they handled it better than the wife. In fact, they seemed so used to it that they didn’t seem phased at all.
After he was done ranting about things that I cannot and will never be able to change, he went into the gift shop with his family. They were in there for a few minutes, and then when he walked out, asked me how he can go to the back part of our building. I explained to him that it is fenced in and that he would have to pay to go through there. That was when he got incredibly pissed off again.
He mumbled a few expletives to himself. At this point the wife and kids have already left the building and were waiting out front for him. He pushed the automatic door button and the doors slowly began to open. I think he tried so hard to be some kind of angry, intimidating, rage machine…or he was so blinded by his pointless rage, that he ended up walking into the still opening door….which of course infuriated him further.
I watched from the windows as he screamed at his wife, like it was her fault their day was ruined. I watched as his wife tugged on his sleeve, as she pleaded with him to calm down. I watched as he screamed at her some more. I watched as the kids played away from their fighting grandparents…like this were just another day. It broke my heart.
Coming from a person that emphasizes with this family, I simply will never be able to understand this kind of anger and hatred. Why ruin the potential of a great day with your loved ones? Especially for something that no one in a situation like that can change? Why yell at your wife? Why risk the loss of respect from your grandchildren? Why instill fear?
I pity these people. I pity these people for thinking that they’re right in every situation like this. I pity them for not being able to see the misery they’re inflicting on their families. I’m simply baffled that people like this tend to think THEY are the victims when they’re unleashing hell on the people they’re supposed to love.
I just don’t understand why people simply can’t be nice. Damn my naive wishful thinking.