LXXIX – The Right to Refuse Service?

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I will occasionally peruse the internet to find material for potential posts. It can be difficult to find something new to write about and not repeat something previously written, so a little assistance is necessary. I’ve written posts on lists from BuzzFeed or found inspiration from other writing prompt pages. Sometimes the ideas are my own inspiration.

For this week, I found a list of ideas to spark a conversation, and I’m taking one of the questions presented on that list, in addition to using my own experience on the matter.

For people that own and run a business, there is a delicate balance that must be maintained between satisfying the customers and also weeding out the undesirables without losing the loyal ones. I’ll use the example of restaurants or fast food places. These businesses do everything they possibly can to attract customers, and to maintain them as regular clientele. Occasionally free food must be offered to upset customers or apologizing for whatever mistake was made, even if the customer was clearly at fault. The mantra of the business world is that “the customer is always right”.  I think that’s clearly a crock of shit. Many times, the customer is the idiot who fucked things up. But, to avoid losing money, the employees must suck up whatever abuse they’re receiving and give 120% to make sure the precious guest is happy, even if the guest is clearly an asshole and lying through their teeth.

In addition to the free stuff, it seems that in restaurants, particularly fast food, the server or cashier must be overly-explicit and over-explain everything to the customer. You can’t assume a customer is bright enough to know when to expect something will have an upcharge (like guacamole at Taco Bell or a baked potato at Cracker Barrel). Oh, by the way, that guacamole will be 50¢ extra, is that okay? People get pissed at having to pay for anything. They expect all the extras and premium stuff be added on free. They either don’t realize or care that everything costs the business, and that cost gets passed on to the consumer. People go to Taco Bell, for example, and expect dozens of taco sauce packs for their one burrito, and that they’re entitled to everything. Um, excuse me, jackass. Those packets aren’t free, and you don’t need to stockpile them in your house. You’re not preparing for some fucking zombie apocalypse. Take only what you immediately need and fuck off.

Most people who get upset by something are usually satisfied with an exchange of food, while others receive a refund and go on their way. The vast majority are good people. There are those who must be the asshole and not be satisfied with anything. They will scream and berate everyone or they’ll resort to violence, as seen in a plethora of video footage, damaging property or physically assaulting someone. Another example of these asses is the one who, no matter how many times they go, something is wrong every time. I firmly believe that there does come a point where a business should be allowed to refuse service to someone, whether it be for an altercation (verbal or physical) or for the dickhead who is a habitual complainer. When I was a manager at a Taco Bell, there was a woman who would order a quesadilla, and every single time, something was wrong with it. Usually, she complained the cheese wasn’t melted. So, the last time I saw her, I made sure to put the quesadilla in the on-line steamer a couple of cycles, then grill it, to make absolutely certain the cheese was melted. After leaving the drive-thru, she proceeded to enter with a complaint about the quesadilla I had just made. Being as how nothing was ever right for this bitch, I politely informed her that, since we obviously were unable to satisfy her, she was invited to never return to that store and do business elsewhere. Yeah, I 86’d her. I quit that job within the following few days. I discovered later, though, that this absolute **** had the audacity to call the corporate complaint line to cry that she’d been booted from the store and told her sob story, in order to obtain more free food.

Unfortunately, there are businesses that prohibit kicking someone out, for fear of backlash. They think it’s better to let the prick have their way than to risk hurting a customer’s precious feelings. I learned that Cracker Barrel is one of these places. A manager told me that even if the customer is unruly, they can’t kick anyone out. They are only permitted to invite the person to leave. If they don’t leave, they can’t do a bloody thing. I think that is totally asinine, but what do I know? If I owned a restaurant, it wouldn’t be a very popular place, since I would tell a customer like that to pound sand and never return. Oh, you want a new sandwich because you don’t like pickles and forgot to ask for it? Tough. Pick the damn things off and eat it anyway. You want your steak beyond well done? Sorry, we cook to medium at most. Oh, your steak is underdone and want a whole new one? Fuck you. It will just be put back on the grill. You say you want your soup extra piping hot? Okay, it’s going in the microwave, and I hope you burn your goddamned mouth. Yeah, my restaurant wouldn’t be very popular.

Now, should a business refuse service based on a religious tenet? That’s a very gray area. An example of this is the bakery that got sued because they refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. This can go both ways. Does the bakery want work or not? After the couple got refused, why didn’t they just go to a different bakery? Why do they have to feel the entitlement of “you have to cater to us”? Why do people, at the very thought of being offended by something, have to become sue-happy and try to litigate their way? The whole discrimination deal and becoming offended by everything has simply gotten way out of hand, I feel. Things have gotten to a point where if a guy so much as glimpses at a girl, she could claim sexual harassment on him. A smile can be misconstrued as coming on to her. Unfortunately, this is 21st century America.

In business you don’t want to run off every customer who complains. Sometimes it’s legit and they’re not angry; it’s just wrong and needs fixed. No one is perfect, and a nice quiet resolution is what everyone wants. Sometimes, though, people just have to learn that restaurant employees aren’t second-class citizens and deserve respect. There’s only so much shit we should have to put up with. There comes a point where the customer crosses the line and needs to be removed from the premises. It’s a delicate balance, and sometimes there needs to be made a hard decision.

What do you think? Should a business reserve the right to refuse service? Or should the business turn the other cheek? Comment on my social medias (@raysrantsoftheweek on Facebook and Instagram) your opinions. It’ll be interesting to read your thoughts on this.

So far, everyone who has encountered my blog has been positive and receptive. If anyone hasn’t liked it, I’m sure they’ve just stopped reading. I do have some followers, however, and I haven’t needed to block anyone yet. Hopefully this trend continues. Thank you for reading my words this week. We’re trudging along here in 2020, and time waits for no one. I hope you come back next week for the next installment. Until then, be safe and be well.

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