Saturday, May 31, 2008

an open letter to pretentious people everywhere

Dear Sir/Madam:

I am contacting you today to broach a topic of great concern. It is very sensitive in nature, and I'm pretty sure you won't want to hear what I'm about to say. I hate to be the one to break it to you, and I apologize if this sounds harsh, but it must be said:

You are pretentious.

I am not the only person who thinks so - wouldn't bring it up at all if I was. This evening I waited on you and it ruined my night. When I lamented the situation to my colleagues, all of them understood and had similar stories to share. You have sat in their sections and ruined their evenings before. We have all waited on you and we all were left feeling belittled, frustrated, and irritated to have you there.

Why? Because you are pretentious. And patronizing. And rude. You have ruined the nights of several people whom I know and love, patient, hard working, accepting people. So, I think it's time that someone brought that to your attention.

So how did it get to be like this? What made you this way? Our interaction left me wondering about your upbringing, your past, and the upbringings of pretentious people everywhere. Were you born this way, impatient, full of entitlement? Or did your family and your upbringing make you so? Maybe you're a member of that elite upper class, the one that holds 1/5 of the nation's wealth. If that's the case you probably somehow literally own me, or own Toro, or own the South End or something. Perhaps sitting on a pile of money all of your life is what makes you feel better than the rest of us? It's hard not to look down on people from such great heights, bathed in the perfume of so much green paper.

Maybe you actually are better than the rest of us. Maybe you're a genius, some sort of proven and highly regarded scientist or doctor or lawyer. Maybe you're a surgeon and people literally live and die by your hand; maybe you're a judge and you literally define the laws as we know them; maybe you're an innovative scientist who is literally moments from finding a cure for cancer. If that's the case I guess I can see how you might begin to fancy yourself a God, how it might be a total drag to walk amongst us humans, and how ruining my petty little night might seem like a drop in the existential bucket.

Or maybe you're overcompensating for some horrible trauma that occurred in your young life. Maybe you were unloved as a child: your parents paid no attention and your siblings treated you like dirt and your life has been one long journey towards proving them wrong. I bet they can still get under your skin even now, still belittle your accomplishments and achievements with one strategically muttered comment. Who knows, maybe I wear my hair in the same style as your verbally abusive older sister; maybe you were hard-wired to hate me on first sight. If that's the case I find your behavior much more understandable, by the way.

I invite a psychologist to weigh in here about what makes people act patronizing and rude. Are they overcompensating? Have they an over-inflated sense of self importance? And what about people who actually are important and don't act this way? The Mathematician is a good example: he's literally a genius, with a higher IQ than most standard estimates of Einstein's. Yet he's the most humble person I know.

Anyway, back to you, pretentious Sir/Madam. I wanted to bring this issue up tonight because it occurred to me that you might have no idea how you are, how you act, and how you've made a fair number of people in the world feel. You ruined my night. You broke it. And you left me a shitty tip on top of that, which was exactly what I expected from you but nonetheless insulting. I wanted to bring it up because I just thought you should know, and it occurred to me that no one may have ever told you the truth: you're pretentious and have a talent for ruining people's nights.

If you have further questions or would like to discuss this issue at greater length, please don't hesitate to be in touch. In the meantime, I hope to never see you again in my section but have a feeling I will, probably as soon as tomorrow evening.

Until then,
Kitty, the Stupid Waitress


Unknown said...

the list of how many old customers in DC i would love to forward to would make the internet explode ;)

Aaron Weber said...

If this regular is so horrible to all the staff, maybe you could band together and pressure management to do something - tell them they're no longer welcome in the restaurant? Stage an intervention?

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine what this women did. People are disgusting, and are totally self involved. Range rover driving, non-signaling, shitty-tip-leaving, 'I'm better then you attitude' having, pushy, assholes.

I'm sorry this women wrecked your night. I'm sure you didn't deserve any of it.


Diana said...

I'm not a psychologist but I've been through enough therapy to guess that: they're actually very insecure, and overcompensating for it, by picking on/taking advantage of people whose job it is to kiss their ass. They think that by putting others down, they will feel better about themselves.


Anonymous said...

I have met pretentious people who are such amazing actors, that actually took me a couple of years and a lot of hurt to my self esteem to realise their dirty and manipulative games. Sigh. Whatever be the reason behind this, they have no right to hurt those who have done them no wrong. I regret having believed such people before, thinking them to be genuine and intelligent persons. I particularly HATE intellectuals. They are all snobs and hypocrits even if well read in theory. Sigh. Its become hard for me to trust anyone now after my extremely bitter experiences. Hope nobody has to handle such pretentious people for long.