Two years ago, I used to work in a Kosher little cafe. I worked there for over a year and built myself quite a reputation as the nice girl behind the counter, who always had a smile for you and something nice to say. I met people there, got asked out more times then I care to remember (actually, that is where I met the bad boy) and created some useful connections. I should have started blogging then, when I had so much to say about the behaviors I observed in the Jewish community.
Well it is not to late to share, especially since there is a follow up to the story I am about to tell.
There used to be a woman who used to come in every so often. Every time she came, we, as in all of us behind the counter, used to roll our eyes. We weren't mean, we just knew from experience that something was about to blow up in our face. And indeed, within three minutes, she would be yelling at us for being rude and having her wait till we finish with the customer who was being helped. So by consensus, every time she came in, she was my customer. I was known to be firm but nice with customers so i could manipulate them in being happy or contempt with their experience. Till this day,she is the only customer with whom I have failed. I was always very close to asking her how she'd react if it was her daughter (who used to come in frequently as well) behind the counter being treated the way we were being treated by her.
Thank g-d I kept it to myself.
Fast forward a year and a half later... My friend and I show up to our Friday night meal by a family we enjoy eating at. There, we are introduced to a lovely family: mother, father and five children, all very polite, friendly and well adjusted to life. As the night goes on, I start feeling this increasingly annoying feeling that I know one of the girls from somewhere. And so I tell her: "you look familiar, maybe from.... (fill in coffee shop)?" As I ask her, the reality hit me. I did know her from there and I knew who she was because I could never forget the mother. For a second, I felt uncomfortable with the memories I was remembering, especially since it did not match the woman I was introduced to that night. But I went on and told her I remember she owned a red coat. Everyone at the table laughed at me for remembering such a trivial detail, but if only they knew what else I remember....
Now I wonder, was the mother going through something at the time that made her so irritable and unpleasant (scenario repeated itself over a few months) while she really is an amazing person? Or is she one of those woman who believes that if i'm behind a counter she is better then me, but if we're sharing a table we're then equal?
I'd like to judge her favorably and assume she wasn't being herself, or maybe we were irritating in her eyes and that she is different then all the other customers who seemed fine with us.
Anyways, thank g-d I kept quiet because today, she is helping me set up my older sister :)