Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just be Nice (at least until they go home)

Well, I'm here in the land of flowers, fruit, and nuts (California) for several days. Personally, I like the free spirit that seems to be in the air. Not often back home does some one ride by dressed in a pink fairy outfit on a purple bicycle with a bubble machine streaming bubbles in her wake. And, although it brought smiles to faces, no one thought anything of it. If you can push the envelope socially, they are going to do it here in spades.

So what. Other than the fact, I feel like a Victorian school marm as I walk around, it's their state. However, I don't appreciate an arrogant concierge. Since it is his job to assist the hotel guests, I politely asked him for suggestions for dinner. "What type of food are you interested in? We have Italian, Mexican, French, Korean, Chinese, Thia, Japanese, Sushi, American Bistro, Upscale American Beef . . ." He left it there in desparation, like I had given him an impossible task. If so, he must find his job most taxing. "Perhaps a good steak place, would be good." "Do want upscale or medium budget?" "Probably medium." "And, how many will be dining?" "One."

That was obviously not the correct answer. He spent a minute or two working on his key board. How difficult can this be. We are in downtown San Francsisco, and I have asked him for a recomendation for a steak house. Finally, after some research, he looked up from his computer and said, "Two places come to mind." And he gave me their names and directions on a map. I thanked him for his assistance, even though he made me feel like I had no business dining out.

As I walked back to my room, I did a quick inventory of my clothes. As best I could tell, they were clean and presentable. I spoke in complete sentences and did not sound like I crawled out from under a log somewhere in the backwoods of Kentucky. The more I thought about it, the more irritated I got. What made him think he was so special? Not that I really cared.

All I want is a good meal, a good night's sleep, and a good attitude. I don't ask for much. When I tell someone "Thank you and I hope you have a good day." I really mean it. Back home, we may think someone is arrogant or an SOB, but we will kill them with kindness. The fun doesn't start until they leave. Then we can talk about 'em. It ain't proper to do that when they're still in town. After all, you don't want to hurt someone's feelings. (They can't help it if they're stupid - or a Yankee.)

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