Among the worst things in life is when people treat others badly, and I get even more upset when they do so simply because of prejudice against someone else. That includes treating someone badly just because of their difficult economic situation. This said, I got terribly annoyed at the woman in this story when I began to read it, but happily smiled once I got to the end. I have no way to know if this story in fact happened or not, but what’s for sure is that this girl can really stand her own, and what she said is an important reminder that we should never, ever judge our fellow human beings.
I work at a restaurant in a very upscale area of my town. One day, I’m visiting a very high-end hair salon near the restaurant where I work. I see one of my regular customers from the restaurant sitting in a chair.
Me: “Hello, Mrs. Clark, how nice to see you here.”
Mrs. Clark: “But what… Aren’t you my waitress from the restaurant around the corner?”
Me: “Yes, that’s right. How are you today?”
Mrs. Clark: “I didn’t know that they let people like you in here.”
Me: “Excuse me?”
Meanwhile, my hairdresser showed me to my seat.
Mrs. Clark, to my hairdresser: “Honey, did you know that this girl is a waitress? Are you really sure that she can afford to pay for her styling? You might want to check this before you start.”
Hairdresser: “Ma’am, this girl has been my client for two years and is very reliable.”
Mrs. Clark: “Oh my God, what a waste of money. Poor girls like you should not waste their money on such places. Don’t you have children to care for, or the like?”
Now everyone was listening and an awkward silence fell onto the room.
Me: “I’m sorry Mrs. Clark, but I only actually work at the restaurant because I don’t like to be unproductive. You see, I’m studying at the country’s best university. I’m studying biomedical engineering, which leads the second best paid profession one can have right now. And since it seems so important to you, I’m also doing pretty OK financially! And even if I was a poor waitress, as you so kindly suggested, I think people are free to do what they want with the money they work so hard to earn. Your husband visits the restaurant twice a week, drinks coffee, and complains about you. So frankly, ma’am, I feel really sorry for you.
I agree with this girl on so many levels. The arrogant woman hopefully learned an important lesson. Please share if you agree!
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