The Hits Just Keep on Coming / by Courtney Mehlhaff

This post is in lieu of an open letter to young men working in service industries country-wide. Gentlemen, I would implore you to refrain from commenting on a female customer's age, unless you're smart enough to make it flattering. 

I went out for dinner a couple months ago and was being served by a very clueless waiter who admitted he was new to the job. Naturally, I decided to cut him some slack, even after the following exchange:

Me: "What's 'chicken of the woods'?"

Him: "Um, I don't know. I think it's just chicken that's been raised in the woods."

Me: "But it's listed as a vegan dish."

Him: "Um ... I'll get back to you."

First, he never did. Second, I googled it and it's a mushroom. Third, if you don't know, you don't know. But don't just make something up!

That conversation aside, what bothered me was how he responded when I ordered a beer. 

Him: "I'll need to see an ID, even though it's obvious. (checks ID) And you're old enough ... surprise, surprise!"

I wanted to bash him on the snout with a rolled-up magazine. Stop it. You're not being cute. You're being a little rude. This is not the way to increase your tip. 

Just last week, another young man was helping me at the Target checkout. He commented on what I was buying, which can be a risky little game, but in this case was floor mats. When I responded nicely, this happened:

Him: "You got dimples. They make me want to ask you to dinner."

Me (in my head): Awww, that's sweet. I still got it! 

Him: "But you're a little older than me, so that's a no-go. I'm only a freshman in college."

Again, I thought about grabbing an Us Weekly out of the stand and smacking him repeatedly. No! No! Bad choice! And yes, if I'd gotten cracking back in my senior year, I could be your mother! So I'm proud of you for not getting involved in an inappropriate relationship! But I'm still a little hurt! Yes, I'd like a bag! Thank you! Stay in school!