I'm worried about a direction we seem to be taking in our society. I've actually had this concern for most of my life, but it really seems to be coming to a boiling point these days, and it's manifestation is just downright ugly.

We're a mean society. I was going to write we're becoming a mean society, but I think we are already there.

And where can we see this meanness on display at its pinnacle? In the restaurants and stores we do our shopping in, and, of course, our relating of those experiences on the holy writ of social media.

Upset woman driver inside her car

I can speak of this situation from both sides of the story. I spent 7 years, not in my youth by the way, working at a local fast food location. So, let me start from the one side. As a customer, I have had my food order be not the items that I had asked for, or not prepared in the manner I prefer, like no pickles for example. It's frustrating. It is annoying. You're on a tight schedule for a lunch break, it's been a really crappy day, the kids are being disruptive and causing turmoil, and now to top it off, they screwed up your order. I get it, I really do. It has happened to me before, and I'm guessing it will again. Or sometimes, the food just isn't the taste or quality you were expecting, sometimes as a result of trying out a new place, or something changed at an old standby. It really is not asking too much to have the food we order, or for that matter the things we buy, delivered to us in the way we are expecting.

But then, I've seen it from the other side, too, as an observer and as a worker. I do not understand why some feel it is necessary to become absolutely UN-hinged when what you order is not up to snuff. I have seen so called “guests” totally berate and belittle the staff trying to do the best they can to get them the food or items they have asked for. I myself, have been on the receiving end of more than a few of these diatribes. It's demeaning, and the epitome of meanness all rolled together.

And then, because the whole situation must be explained to the whole world we, run to social media groups like Cedar City's All Things Food to make sure the rest of the community knows of our awful experience. I find little value in groups like this. Yes, there are some who post of the marvelous outings they have had when going to a local establishment, but more often than not it's a rehashing of the inferior service or food they had to endure.

Office rage series - businesswoman received bad news
Peter Bernik

I ask two questions to consider before you rant in this setting. Have you ever been on the other side (And yes, I know some will have been so they do have the insight)? And second, did you try talking (not yelling) directly with the people involved (or did you just run to cover on Facebook)? While it is an annoyance, really what good are we doing as a society when we put down those who are just trying to get through another day.

Everyplace I know will do whatever they can to correct the situation. Most places will re-fix the order or refund the money and sometimes both. Most places and people understand the need to provide the best experience possible so that customers will return, and, hopefully, relate a good recommendation to those in their circle.

Angry man driving a car.

I really believe we can do better as a people and a community when we interact with others. I can do better, and am making an effort to be less critical and more aware of what other people are going through (side note: you people driving 35 miles an hour in the left lane of Main Street out by the hospital will be my biggest challenge, but I am trying). I believe we can be better when these annoying situations do come in to our lives. I believe we can be human instead of inhumane.

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