The other night a group of about four teenage boys (I’d say 14-ish) came in and one of them who was a bit on the tubby side with a blue coat, a cap and ratty looking ginger-ish hair and freckles (without meaning to cause offence to gingers) and had that self-proclaimed “swagger” about him that read “look at me, I’m cool, important and worth listening to”.
Anyway this Michael McIntyre wannabe decided it would be funny to waste my time.
Boy: Hi, do you have any chicken tikka masala?
Boy: Oh, you don’t have it? How about chicken korma?
Me: *leaves the counter*
Under these normal circumstances it is quite normal to think certain thoughts to yourself along the lines of “things I really wish I said”, but you know that as someone working behind the counter under no circumstances can you lose your cool. That would be entirely unprofessional.
So what I normally do is instead when they leave, think of as many creative comebacks I could have used. That evening they included:
Seriously? Is that the best you can do? I’ve heard better jokes from five-year olds.
Wow, you’ve got a long way to go until you become the next Frankie Boyle because that joke was s***.
No we don’t have chicken masala but I can serve you a portion of f*** off.
I clearly couldn’t think of anymore imaginative insults as I tend not to be that kind of person, I don’t stay angry for very long, it normally lasts for about a minute before I just move on with my work because I had other customers to serve. In this instance I walked away because I was already serving two other people.
The problem with these situations where you are behind the counter you want to be able talk back and defend yourself, in this case and you do feel somewhat powerless that you can’t do that. But that is the reality.
So Mr Ginger-Funnyman, you think you are all that important? Why am I such an easy target? Because work in a takeaway? Because I work in a job that is so beneath you that you think I’m worthy of belittling? Because you know that no matter how many casually racist jokes you make you know I’m not going to fight back? Well then, I wish you the best of luck with the rest of your life if that is how you treat everyone else who works behind a shop counter.