Monday, May 4, 2015

Modeling Behavior

Yesterday after baseball practice, one of my girlfriends and I decided to take the kids for ice cream at the local DQ. Two women + four kids + ice cream = one excited bunch.

When we arrived, the place was full of bikers returning from Thunder Beach. We placed our order and found a corner booth. The kids were all giggles about practice, Minecraft and their summer plans. One of the employees quickly got the ice cream orders out and called me over to get them. As I was delivering said treats, I remember thinking this is an odd looking sundae but moved on to my rowdy bunch

A few minutes later, a very angry employee (who I assume was the Customer Service Manager) in a not-so-nice voice asks:

CSM: "Did you order a ? Blizzard?"
Me: "No."
CSM: "Well that's what you're eating."
Me: "I'm sorry. This is what the lady at the counter gave me."
CSM: "Does that look like a sundae? There's a picture right there."

I'm getting really irritated now.

Me: "Do you need me to pay the difference?"
CSM: "Yes, because that was for someone else."
Me: "Ok, but your employee gave me my order and this was in it."
CSM: "They're trying to get everyone's orders, not just yours." Slight pause. "Well, it's ok this time but next time... [voice trails off]"
Me: "Ok thank you." [Bitch!]

So I'm really bothered but trying to keep my cool and not perpetuate the angry black woman stereotype by adding fuel to the fire. I also want to be careful how I react since four little kids are watching this transpire and even asking what's going on. Then there's feeling guilty for not realizing it was a blizzard instead of a sundae. What do I know, this is literally my third time in a DQ ever. But the most infuriating part was that this employee did not even bother coming over to the table to scold me. Rather, she stood behind the trash counter behind us and shouted this out. I understand your store was busy, probably more than usual, but seriously lady, get over yourself!

I did what I thought was the right thing at the time and left it at that. My girlfriend commented about how unprofessional the employee was but I quickly changed the topic so the kids could get back to enjoying the time together. But inside I was fuming. So much so that I could not even finish the controversial blizzard.

As I think about it now, I'm still debating on whether or not I made the right choice. I strive to be the kind of parent who models good behavior for her children so that they will know how to react in similar situations. But it seems good behavior is rarely rewarded. Did I model being a pushover just to avoid confrontation? Should I be teaching my kids to stand up for themselves when they are wronged? Should I have gotten in her face and tell her that her customer service sucks? What that have accomplished anything?

Ultimately, what I have decided to do is write a letter to DQ's headquarters and cc it to the local owners. Hopefully there will be some accountability. And of course there's the decision not to patronize the local business again. I've decided that what I want to teach my children is how to fight with the pen and the dollar.

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