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Ignorance Can Be Bliss

April 27, 2008

Every one working service has irritating customers.  Usually, it’s this or that regular who; for whatever reason, feels entitled to a greater degree of friendship than they are genuinely entitled to.  Often, they’re simply a socially challenged lonely heart, completely harmless and good at heart, and nice enough to talk to for all that they’re rather awkward.  For instance, the Lonely Diners, or other such folk.

I don’t like ’em, but I put up with them.  They’re nice enough.  However, there’s one foible of such folk that inevitably cracks me the hell up.  Every now and again a situation comes up where they feel entitled to give you the grin, the snicker, the “wow, that one was a total nutjob, eh?” – without ever realizing that all the new people say the same about them.  The irony, the amusement, is inescapable.

We had one such incident a little while ago, at Cafe KW, when a man came in absolutely tanked and was being a nuisance before the owner threw him out.  A man who’d been sitting at the bar, frantically trying to start a conversation with the owner while said owner studiously avoided the attentions, sat there and sort of watched while attempting to imply that he would get involved if necessary, without ever actually lending a hand.

After our inebriated nuisance took off, we were all sort of snickering about the situation, and the gent at the bar made some comment to the effect of “What’s really funny is that he probably didn’t realize that how much of an idiot he was being…” or something to that effect.  I nearly choked on my Perrier, and
I think the guy I was working with had a similar response, though to his credit; the owner barely batted an eye.

It stuck in my mind as not only deliciously ironic, but additionally … charming, in that his own ignorance shielded him, in effect, from many of the negative effects of his own social dysfunction.  Human nature seems to be, in some ways, self correcting.

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