This Is Not A Bus Stop

Teenagers are very confused people, so confused in fact that they often mistake our takeaway for a bus stop. At times I feel quite sorry for them because it normally takes them up to 15 minutes to realise that that room with the chairs they’re been waiting in all this time isn’t actually a bus shelter and that a bus hasn’t stopped outside once to take them home.

Like most places my takeaway quite conveniently has a bus stop outside, something of a lifesaver during my schooldays when I had to take the bus to work after school. However there is case of it being a bad thing in that people begin to treat the waiting area in the takeaway as an unofficial bus shelter, and the people who quite often abuse this “privilege” are large groups of teenagers.

They’ll come in here, check themselves out in the mirror making sure that the fake tan is in tact and that they remembered to put enough hairspray in that valley of dead ends caused by more than regular use of a hair straightener, are their trousers low enough. They’ll come and grab a menu and say “oh I haven’t decided what I want yet” and sit down and “read” the menu whilst their cohort of friends (I believe nowadays you’re meant to call it a “mandem”, the word in itself makes me laugh because I immediately think of tandem, and if you don’t know what that is).

(Seriously, I wanted an excuse to just put that video in a post).

Teenagers are funny creatures, we were all teenagers once of course, but as you get older you look at them making fools of themselves, thinking that they own the world and that they’ve somehow outsmarted you. It’s like how I sometimes laugh at “gap yah” kids despite the fact that at one time I went on a similar gap yah-esque type trip and was probably a bit like them.

But anyway back to the takeaway.

At this point I’m sneering at contempt at these teenagers thinking they’re clever and that I don’t know. I got out and ask them “are you going to order anything?”, at which point they go “I haven’t decided what I want yet” pffft.

Of course I know you’re not going to order anything. I’ve seen teenagers like you around. You always come in here at 10pm at night with that swagger of a rebel, grab a menu and gaze mindlessly at the contents pretending to decide what you want, oblivious to the fact that I’ve seen many people like you, I know that all you’re doing is waiting for a bus.

You look a bit lost love, you’re not going to get home waiting in here. If you go out and turn left around the corner, there’s the bus stop, can’t miss it because there is a big shelter and a sign that says “bus stop”. That will get you home, sitting here pretending to order something is not going to get you home, you might even miss the last bus if you hang around long enough.

Now under exceptional circumstances i.e. if it’s raining heavily, then that’s a fair enough reason to double up as a makeshift bus shelter. But what often really irks me is the amount of disrespect that they often show to the owners of the shop and the property.

They just sit there, sometimes they scare other customers from coming in or they make customers feel uncomfortable because there are so many of them, they block the door, they litter the area, they move the chairs around, they argue, they don’t close the door when they leave and then they continue to hang around outside the shop for a considerable amount of time and don’t leave for another 10 minutes.

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Customer Encounters #13 – LOL! I’m so funny because I’m wasting the takeaway person’s time

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?

Me: Seriously?

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.