B's job provides her with an important lesson regarding adulthood — that of being financially self-reliant. She's already a great kid with good manners, good looks and good grades. I'm proud of her. And protective.
So you can understand why, when she related what happened to her, that I become a little insane.
It was late afternoon on July 4, when a party of 10 people was seated. One of the women — 40 to 50 years old, with grayish blond hair, wearing a blue shirt and denim shorts — was upset about not getting the booth she wanted.
Note to this diner: If you recognize yourself in this column, give thanks to whatever god you worship that my granddaughter didn't get your name.
B took the group's drink orders, brought them to the table, and ended up forgetting a glass of water. She apologized and went to get it. When she returned, the still-angry woman pointed out that there was no lemon wedge perched on the rim.
Another apology and another glass of water. This time with lemon. That still wasn't good enough.
"Learn how to do your job," the woman sneered, throwing the glass of water all over the front of my granddaughter.
Hang on. I need a sec.
OK, where was I. Had I been Lemon Wedge's server, she and I and the restaurant would have been a 10 o'clock news item. Had I been there when she did it to my granddaughter, I'd be writing this from jail.
I've waited in roughly a million checkout lines and listened to how some customers treat salespeople and clerks, I know I could never work retail. I don't have the temperament or the impulse control to work with the self-entitled.
Oh, I know, I should consider the possibility that the woman had some mental illness issue. Eh, bull-flop. That doesn't explain how her friends just sat there and let her do it without uttering a word of concern to my granddaughter.
I'm crazier than most people and capable of walking into a restaurant under my own power and ordering a drink. It's never even occurred to me — angry, off meds or even drunk — to treat a server in such a way.
This column is for all of you who have ever worked as a food or beverage server, or even just retail in general. If you managed to do that job for two years without physically harming a customer, you should get a medal. In fact, you should have your student loans written off. Especially if you're my granddaughter.
Robert Kirby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/stillnotpatbagley.