Now, I admit – I didn’t know her from Adam’s housecat til the other day, when her vulgar, elitist jibes at a cashier for a towing company hit the Internet. She is – or by this time, maybe was a reporter for ESPN.
I don’t watch ESPN, or any sports network. Nothing against throw-and-catch games, but if I am not in danger of being eaten in the name of a sport, or injured by something of another species, it’s not really a sport that interests me. The rare exceptions are youth league and high school baseball, when the kids still have fun, and the World Series, as a matter of principle.
Ms. McHenry had the misfortune to have her car towed earlier this month; she was having dinner at a restaurant outside of Washington City, and a driver for a towing company hooked her car up and drove off. The towing company hasn’t got the brightest reputation – according to news reports from before this incident, they once lifted a car with two kids inside, and also injured another woman’s golden retriever who was asleep in the back seat.
The company apparently is one of those firms that provides contract parking enforcement for businesses. They basically cruise around looking for vehicles that are parked illegally or in violation of the owner’s rules, and snatch them away. The reasons for McHenry’s car being towed are as foggy as whether the towing company had the right to do what it did – but that’s neither here nor there.
The towing company has a video camera installed over the cashier’s desk, and that camera captured a stand-up that I am sure the lovely Ms. McHenry won’t add to her resume tape. She curses at the attendant, throws some very condescending insults at her, and generally behaves like a spoiled diva with absolutely no manners and even less class.
Obviously, Ms. McHenry had no idea she was on tape, or that it would end up all over television, the Internet, and for all I know, broadcast into outer space.
Whether or not Ms. McHenry deserves to have her car towed is beside the point; the cashier shouldn’t have been the object of her ire. Her behavior reminded me of the day one of my favorite cashiers at a small and very convenient grocery store was crying when I made my way up to the counter.
Now, I try very hard to maintain a level, objective view of most things, but I look on many of these young ladies as little sisters and nigh onto kin. If you have never worked retail, you have no idea the stuff they go through, often for minimum wage or a bit more. Some have no business being in public without a shock collar, of course, but most are happy to have a job, and are going to do their best.
It grumbled me greatly to see Little Miss Big Brown eyes (I won’t use her real name) wiping tears away, and I asked what was wrong. It seems a customer had been both rude and vulgar over something small that was the customer’s fault in the first case. The customer’s insults got personal, but Little Miss Big Brown Eyes was a professional, and didn’t retaliate.
If you want to see a Southern man call his best buddy to bring him a truck, a shovel and an alibi, make a lady cry. I dare you.
Her boss, to his credit, backed her up, but that didn’t dry tears that shouldn’t have been falling to begin with.
Every single one of us deals with folks who are working for a living every day of the week; whether they be cashiers or clerks, laborers or laundry attendants, there are a lot of folks out there working starter jobs in hopes of someday moving into something better paying. There are also a heckuva lot of folks out there who find themselves too “good” for these types of jobs, and it seems, in my experience, that these folks are as bad as the spoiled rich brats (many of whom turn into spoiled rich grownups) who’ve never had to work for a living.
Class, my Old Man taught me, is in your heart, not your pocketbook. He had true class, and tried to instill it in me. Yes, Papa never left the house without a tie on, but he was as equally welcome in the country stores and farm sheds as he was in the state and U.S. capitol buildings. He knew which fork to use when, but it didn’t get in the way of eating half a pack of crackers sincerely offered by someone whose manners and generosity were far shinier than the patches on his overalls.
Some of the nicest people I have ever known had dirt under their fingernails, or at least remembered what it was like. A goodly number of them were also successful, although you couldn’t tell it form their outward appearance and attitudes.
Then there are the others, the ones who feel the world owes them, simply because they are whomever they are. We have created and indeed encouraged these creatures, through programs about uppity youngsters who really have no talent, produce nothing, and serve no purpose except to look nice and inspire others of their age to desire everything for nothing.
To her credit, Ms. McHenry apologized – to the world via social media, but not to the parking lot attendant – for her tirade. She made the proper platitudes, Tweeted the proper mea culpas, and likely now expects everything is right and sunshiny again. To this, I say – bumf.
Let Ms. McHenry trade places with my friend of the big brown eyes for a few days. Let Ms. McHenry be the first line of defense when an angry customer who is having a bad day – or a bad life – can’t get what they want right then and there. Better still, let her have to face a pop-tart mini-diva with a few too many drinks under her belt and an attitude of entitlement because she’s pretty, popular and famous.
Let Ms. McHenry and all those digital divas and dudes work for a living for a few days—then let them apologize to the clerk who’s doing her best at a job nobody wants.