Because I am a big advocate of respectful dialogue, I am not a huge fan of “Letters to the Editor.” But, I recently submitted one and I decided I would share it with you as my blog post today. I suppose the reason I decided to share it with you is because if I didn’t think the message was important, I would not have written it in the first place. I hope that you find it worth pondering in your own corner of the world. The text of the letter follows.
Peace, my friends.
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I live in Fairfield but I was recently in Mount Pleasant for the choir festival held at the high school. When the concert was over, my family decided to stop at the McDonald’s for an ice cream treat before heading home. After placing our order, and while waiting for our food, another customer stepped to the counter to retrieve his order. Finding his order had not been filled to his satisfaction, the customer began verbally berating the worker in front of all of us who were waiting in the lobby. It is with shame that I admit I said nothing to this customer in defense of the worker, which is why I decided it was my obligation to bring this to the attention of the wider public.
I realize this is the opinion page and so, by definition, the following is merely my opinion. I think that many people have the notion that because the food at McDonald’s is lower-priced than most other places, that gives us the right to act as if the people who work there have less value.
We (the general public) like McDonald’s for many reasons – it’s generally fast, it’s generally inexpensive, it’s generally tasty. All of these statements are gradient and subjective, but we wouldn’t patronize the establishment if it didn’t appeal to us on at least one of these fronts.
Sometimes I also think that because we are so used to the convenience of McDonald’s food, we take for granted the hard work of the employees – that they are there waiting on us, preparing and serving our food – working – as we are there relaxing. I’m not saying we should lower our expectations of people in the workplace. I am simply saying that we ought to take a moment of pause to appreciate the work that others do, and to have respect for others, whatever their line of work. And, if a word of correction becomes necessary, instead of berating them in public, speak to one another with respect to reconcile the difference.