During this visit to Florida, I was informed that the current unemployment rate in this area hovers around 11%. It makes me almost proud to be from Michigan, you know, where the economy is stellar in comparison. With such a staggering unemployment rate, one would guess that those in the workforce would be diligently working to ensure their continued employment. At least, one would think.
Yesterday we visited a local tourist trap, one where the vacuums suck your pockets dry upon entry, and there is no shortage of garbage (both literally and figuratively) available. Call me a cynic, but I am always too irritated with succumbing to these places to enjoy the experience. At the end of the long, expensive day, we stopped by the ice cream parlor before we headed to the car. When we went to order, I noticed the elderly lady, probably in her mid-seventies, working behind the counter. Initially I assumed she was the owner, or perhaps was such a gem that she’d just worked there for ages. Imagine my surprise when she was not only borderline incompetent, but also behaved in such a way that I believe kicking her ass might have crossed my mind. When you are considering accosting a senior citizen over ice cream, you know things have reached a new low.
Apparently this lady must need employment, because she is grappling at straws with this whole ice cream gig, which is evidently not her calling. Considering the current unemployment rate and my career in the HR field, I feel compelled to offer this woman some helpful tips to help her maintain successful employment and avoid altercations with stressed parents of tired, combative, toddlers.
First tip, when the parent goes to order raspberry ice cream for their toddler, do not look confused, and ask if they’ve noticed all of the other ice cream available. Lady, I’ve ordered ice cream enough times to understand that there are different flavors in each of those little buckets there. I’m also bright enough to realize that the convenient little placards advertise all of the flavors you have available. I would have thought the whining toddler affixed to my leg, my wild-eyed look, and the urgency in which I conveyed my order would have dropped the hint that time was of the essence.
Second tip, when the parent assures you that they are satisfied with their stated choice, do not, I repeat DO NOT ask if the parent realized that they had Superman ice cream and politely ask if maybe the child would prefer that instead. See, Kate was exposed (against our will) to Superman ice cream last year and after eight months of intense brainwashing, we had slowly been making progress. Superman ice cream has been my nemesis. I’ve perfected the technique of scouting out the culprit and carefully positioning Kate in a way she can’t see it. That sort of defeats the purpose when the lady behind the corner loudly announces its existence. I'd like the 30 minutes of my life back that this argument sucked out of me.
Third, when the parent affirms that they are still satisfied with their initial choice, do not loudly ask if they are aware that it is SUGAR FREE. I am aware that times were different “back then” and you likely fed your children Superman ice cream and they did not grow an extra appendage or turn into serial killers. To each their own. Just don’t look at me like sugar free ice cream is the equivalent of crack cocaine.
I am typically forgiving, especially to the geriatric population, but this wasn’t particularly cute or grandmotherly. It is possible that you were trying to save poor Kate, save her from the injustices of her mother. Unless you plan on sticking around for the next fifteen years, I say we might as well let Kate get a good dose of reality now.