rudeness, criticism, meekness, do they belong in the cafe?

crit·i·cism

–noun

1.

the act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything.
2.

the act of passing severe judgment; censure; faultfinding.
3.

the act or art of analyzing and evaluating or judging the quality of a literary or artistic work, musical performance, art exhibit, dramatic production, etc.

rude

–adjective, rud·er, rud·est.

1.

discourteous or impolite, especially in a deliberate way: a rude reply.
2.

without culture, learning, or refinement: rude, illiterate peasants.
3.

rough in manners or behavior; unmannerly; uncouth.
What do you do when someone offers severe criticism of you without being asked for it? What do you do when the very acts that you performed which brought on this criticism are the same you do day in and day out? What do you do when the criticism invades your personal space, when it becomes so personal and righteous that you begin to question if perhaps they were correct in their unwanted, unsolicited opinions? What do you do when the act of them opening their mouth is at this moment of what is your normal routine and severely attacking you personally for something that is completely normal to you?
Yesterday this happened to me. It was a slow, quiet day in the cafe. We close at 3pm. It was after 2pm when this man and his two children and wife came in. My husband had brought me a lot of produce from the garden and I had been processing that as well as getting some baking and prep work done for next week, while the cafe was so quiet. When this man and family entered I was rinsing the VERY FIRST tomatoes from the garden and thinking, “I wonder if they’ll order a garden salad and I can “brag” up these tomatoes.” I finish rinsing and then dry my hands and they ask, “Do we sit anywhere?” I said “Yes, there are menus on the tables.” Then after they sit, the lady turns in her booth to ask me what the soup is. No one had ordered it all day, so I had a brief brain “fart”, but recovered quickly (I thought) and responded it was chicken and rice. Then the man pipes up from the booth, “Do we order from you??” I respond, “Yes, I’ll be right there, I was giving you a minute to look at the menu.” As I turned to get their silverware from the drawer and grabbed my order pad they got up and were right in front of me. He says, “I just want you to know that we are leaving based solely on your incredible rudeness. My wife and I thought that was extremely rude, my son thinks you are rude. I can not believe you work here and are this rude. You are the rudest person I have ever met.” I was speechless. I found my voice and apologized. He said, “Its okay. I just cannot believe how rude you are.” Then they started to leave and apparently he felt so strongly and so righteous he came back in to again tell me that I was rude and I should have said “Hello” to him when he walked in, I had ignored them and that I was very, very, rude.
I was breathless. I was shocked. As they entered I had thought they looked like a nice family. I was completely and utterly blown away. Then I broke down. Then I cried. He was so righteous, so strong and forceful in opinion, in front of his family, he was behind my counter, he came back in to reinforce his damage/opinion/righteousness.
What would you do?
What did I do? I tried to call my boss. She was not in. I went out to the guest registry to find their names, they did not sign in. I called my friend and museum  director. I believe while I was telling the head volunteer the story of what happened, through my tears, that the man had just finished telling him how rude I was.  I was shaking, crying, mad, hurt…..was it true? Was I rude? on and on in my head the replay goes over and over. I ended up talking with the big boss and he said I should have thrown the man and family out, don’t let it get to me, etc…..
So, why does it affect me like this? Why does some stranger’s opinion matter? Because it was “out of the blue” because it was something I’ve done a million times and he was so strong and forceful so righteous, he was also very calm, he had direct eye contact with me the whole time. My “rudeness” is so ingrained in me that I kept quiet and respectful the whole time of his tirade.  My thoughts were stuck in unbelief, but the second time he came in to cement his daggers into my self worth my thoughts had begun to rage. He had no idea what kind of day I had, he doesn’t even know if I work there regularly or was a “fill-in” for the day, he doesn’t know if it was my first day, he doesn’t know if maybe I had a phone call that my mom was in the hospital, if I had a teething baby awake all night etc. My point is, based on my quietness being perceived as rudeness, he knew NOTHING about me.  He had NO reason to assume I was rude based on me being quiet.
“On the lips of the discerning, wisdom is found, But a rod is for the back of him who lacks understanding. Wise men store up knowledge, But with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand.” Prov. 10: 13,14
“He is on the path of life who heeds instruction, But he who ignores reproof goes astray.” Prov. 10:17
I do not believe this man who gave his unsolicited opinion is wise. I think he thinks he is. I do believe he is a fool, because he opened his mouth and ruined my day, as the proverb above states.
I will not go astray, because I definitely did not ignore his reproof, regardless if it was deserved or not. It has me seriously thinking about myself, my job, my personal self worth etc. It has me thinking about others and how I respond, how I “get along” in the world.
I do wonder about that man’s family. The wife stayed silent and when he turned to her for acknowledgment of his opinion, she did sort of smile and nod her head yes in agreement.
I pray for that man and his family, that if he knows Christ, he will guard his tongue, if he doesn’t know Christ that he will be led to. I pray that their family life is good and solid and calm. I pray that if I am in the wrong that the Lord will forgive my actions and that I will learn and not repeat them. I pray that the only opinion that shall matter to me is my Father in heaven’s. That if I have done my best throughout each day to live His Word and be His daughter, then matters like these will not penetrate my heart, for it is guarded by the Creator of the Universe!
Can I accept criticism and learn from it or benefit from it? Should I let this matter have any residence in my emotional well-being?? Sigh.
Apparently I am emotionally delicate. I am 37 years old and this is the first time I have experienced such a personal attack. I have been told I was naive. I am a quiet person, could it be my quietness is rudeness? Nope.

meek

1.

humbly patient or docile, as under provocation from others.
2.

overly submissive or compliant; spiritless; tame.
3.

Obsolete . gentle; kind.
World English Dictionary
meek  (miːk) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]
adj
1. patient, long-suffering, or submissive in disposition or nature; humble
2. spineless or spiritless; compliant
3. an obsolete word for gentle
Word Origin & History

meek

c.1200, “gentle, courteous, kind,” from O.N. mjukr  “soft, pliant, gentle,” from P.Gmc. *meukaz  (cf. Goth. muka-modei  “humility,” Du. muik  “soft”), of uncertain origin. Use to translate L. mansuetus  from Vulgate (see mansuetude). Sense of “submissive” is from mid-14c.
Bible Dictionary

Meekness definition

a calm temper of mind, not easily provoked (James 3:13). Peculiar promises are made to the meek (Matt. 5:5; Isa. 66:2). The cultivation of this spirit is enjoined (Col. 3:12; 1 Tim. 6:11; Zeph. 2:3), and is exemplified in Christ (Matt. 11:29), Abraham (Gen. 13; 16:5, 6) Moses (Num. 12:3), David (Zech. 12:8; 2 Sam. 16:10, 12), and Paul (1 Cor. 9:19).

I will leave you with this:

The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility.
~Vaclav Havel
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About wannebechef

I am a mom of 3 home schooled kids, wife of 19 years, head chef/manager of cafe and a personal chef and event planner.
This entry was posted in cafe rudeness, critcism, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to rudeness, criticism, meekness, do they belong in the cafe?

  1. janeymarie says:

    I’m totally the same way, I would have snappy responses occur to me for days. But in the moment I freeze. What a rotten experience. I pray he has heaps “of coals on his head” of regret for his words. That was certainly a very rude man, how very ironic. A gentle person would never dress down another person.

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