I try not to be a jerk to cashiers, waitresses, and clerks and the like. But I don't always succeed.
I went to Wal-Mart today, and decided to grab some lunch in the form of chicken tenders at the hot foods bar. I'm not usually a big fan of Wal-Mart's prepared food--sometimes it just seems one step about compressed chicken sweepings and corn flakes mashed into breading--but I was in the mood for it. It was a bit busy, so when I had to stand in line behind three other people I didn't mind.
Right next to the counter was a big sign that said "Meal Deal: One Entree and One Side." No price was given, however, and given the nature of the Wal-Mart selection it wasn't exactly easy to figure out what was an entree and what was a side. So when it became my turn, I needed clarification. I wanted to do it as quickly as possible, because I knew there were people behind me and I didn't want to become That Guy who asks and orders a million things.
The very unfortunate conversation went like this:
Me: "So, how much is the meal deal?" [I point to the sign, which is also visible to the clerk.]
Her: "The three-for-one deal?
Me: "No." [point to sign again, which, again, she can see.] The one entree, one side deal. How much is it?
Her: "Well, the chicken is charged per pound." [I had not mentioned chicken yet.]
Me: "Um, no. I want one entree and one side. How much is it, first?"
Her: "Each individual entree and side has a different price, so it depends on what you want."
Me: "So the Meal Deal has a different price based on what you want?"
Her: "What deal? The three for one deal?"
Me: "No, this sign says one entree, one side. This sign right here. But there's no price on it. How much is the deal?"
Her: "If you get two entrees, it's going to depend on what you get. There's no deal for two entrees."
At this point, I do the thing that people do in movies but not in real life--I whip my hands above my head, palms open, and shout, "You know what? Never mind. Just forget it." Then I make a big show of sadly shaking my head as I walk away.
I know full well I came across as a jerk. And I honestly think it wasn't either of our faults--I think it was just miscommunication. She was handling the complex orders of the people in front of me with no problem, and she was being quick about it. I had just had enough and didn't want to deal with it anymore. We were just on two different pages.
So I ended up getting a completely shitty meal at the next door McDonald's, which was one step above compressed chicken sweepings and corn flakes mashed into breading.