[From my journals this past February.] I almost punched a man in the face today. I’ve only come close to punching someone a few times in my life as I generally don’t find violence to be a solution to problems and I lack the resume for brawling.
A guy complaining at the Subway sandwich shop at the Woodmoor Shopping Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, though, just would not shut up. I hate it when people violate my little happy zone that is meal time. Leave me alone and let me eat in peace before returning to the day's labor.
The guy got upset when his tray full of food came out to about $7.50. He thought that was way too expensive and that he should have only had to pay $5 like the commercials say … the commercials for $5 footlongs. One of the sweet ladies working behind the counter explained that the sub was $5. The chips and drink accounted for the rest.
The man got louder and uglier and nastier in the moments ahead, clearly not understanding a simple commercial that said sandwiches were $5. A total of four employees including probably the owner of that store all took turns gently fending off the man’s hostility. They explained that they have no control over the prices as they’re set by the company. The man kept on bitching. The owner gently encouraged him to use the receipt information to contact the company and share his views about prices.
The man kept on yelling, while backing up the line and irritating everyone in the place. He paid for his meal, sat down, then turned back to the staff and continued his tirade.
I was done with him and the way he was treating the nice people who work there -- three petite women and an older man.
“Sir,” I began, as every polite Southerner would, though raising my voice way beyond my normal range. “Nobody is making you eat here. You’re ruining my day. Shut the hell up or get out of here. I don’t want to hear another word.” I only weigh about 160 pounds but I can get 320 worth of mad when someone disrupts my harmony and ham consumption.
He recoiled like most bullies do when someone stands up to them.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I get your point.”
I was quite shocked that he didn’t say another word while I went back to my footlong toasted ham and cheese with bacon, lettuce, tomato, green peppers, cucumbers and banana peppers.
The man silently ate his lunch and departed. The moment he was out of sight, all the employees thanked me for silencing him. It felt like they were really thanking me for standing up for them in a way they could not. I was quite touched by their thanks.
“The food here is the best deal in town,” I said. “You can’t beat what you get for the money. You are all always so nice every time I come here. I appreciate it and I hope you have a good afternoon.”
I returned home and immediately wrote Subway HQ commending everyone on staff for how well they handled a belligerent customer.
Eat fresh, people, and go somewhere else if you don't want to pay for chips and a drink!