Cars, customer service and children.
In retrospect it was the best thing I ever did when I sold my car.
I have met so many interesting people at bus stops and train stations.
Not to mention a lot of overheard conversations, it also highlights the benefits of independence . If I was embroiled in a conversation with my ‘other half’ I would miss all this.
So here I am in a small village pub. The door creaks open and a gust of wind blows in a family in need of sustenance.
It is 2.45 p.m and the chef has just clocked off.
The chef appears, all in whites, complete with scattered splodges, depicting a busy lunchtime trade.
Chef: “Sorry, but we have finished serving food until 5 p.m.”
Sensing that her message had not somehow got through to the nice young couple with two small children , she went on.
“It would take at least 20 mins to get the oven up to temperature again…”
Still no real glimmer of comprehension from the young couple.
The chef shrugs and starts to walk back to the kitchen.
She glances back to see the older of the two boys, about 3 years old, start to do that bottom lip thing that children do.
Chef hurries off.
I go back to my work on my laptop.
Surely, that’s it. Kitchen closed. Bye, bye.
The young mother crouches down to eyeball her young son.
She takes both his hands in hers. (Has his favourite gerbil just died?)
she explains in hushed tones.
“We can’t eat here because that nice lady (chef to you and me) says it would take her…”
Yep, she gave him the whole spiel about reheating the ovens…
I’m not sure that is something a 3 year old can fully comprehend.
But what do I know, I don’t have kids. I don’t even have any indoor plants. Outdoor ones get watered by god or something. Sorted.
At this point the 3 yr old stamps his feet and starts to wail. Quelle surprise.
The father is doing a valiant job of trying to distract the toddler. About 18 months old, I’d guess.
Failed. He too starts to cry. At this point I can’t help but look up from my laptop.
Are you people for real? I say silently.
How to make a mountain out of a molehill…
Father is now saying. “Come on let’s just go home and get something to eat.”
I’m assuming their microwave won’t take long to heat up. ..Unnecessary sarcasm there 😉
But mother is still in stooped position trying to console her first born.
Good grief…When I was 3 or even 13 come to that, it would have been. Okay, they have finished serving. We will either a) find somewhere else or b) go home.
I was assuming this was an option in their case as the father didn’t mention going home as if it included a 300 mile trek along a motorway.
I was also assuming neither child was diabetic and about to go into a coma in the next twenty minutes.
There was shop nearby where they could buy…what…a banana or something to appease imminent starvation.
Now I’m not suggesting we go back to the ‘Because I say so’ days of my childhood , however, I don’t recall my parents ever deemed it necessary to explain any of their decisions BUT surely this modern approach merely provokes the misery that ensued.
For all I could tell the 3 year old may have thought the chef (reluctantly) walking away and this oven heating business was tantamount in his mind to, YOU WILL NEVER EAT AGAIN.!
Now you see if I still had a car I would not have been stuck in the village pub on my break and wouldn’t have witnessed this child being confused by over parenting mixed with ‘poor’ customer service.
So. What is your take on children and their need to know basis?