Bad Behavior at Big Boy
Wanna run a restaurant? Looks like fun, doesn’t it? Good food all over the place… happy customers… wait staff stuffing their pockets with tips like it’s Halloween candy. What a life!
If only. In the real world, it’s not all that and a bag of chips. There are plenty of issues keeping restaurateurs up late at night. Labor shortages, high prices, and supply chain problems are just a few of the challenges facing the food service industry.
And you can throw in one more… bad behavior of customers. It came to a head this week at the Big Boy restaurant in Marquette when one patron felt he was paying too much for a cup of coffee. Even though the price of the item is clearly presented in the restaurant’s menu, this guy ordered it anyway and then decided it was too expensive.
Rather than just pay for the coffee and at worst, register a mild complaint about the cost of his morning jolt, he decided to make a scene and put the Big Boy staff on notice… this was unacceptable!
In full view of innocent patrons, the dissatisfied diner confronted owner Steve Whelan claiming he could get a cup of joe at the Holiday Gas Station next door for half the price! A single cup of gas station coffee, quaffed while standing next to the display of window-washer fluid, with no free refill, was less expensive than a refillable cup at a popular local eatery. Who knew?
Okay… maybe the guy was having a bad day. It happens to all of us. But most of us don’t display our displeasure by throwing the item in question on the floor and yelling at the staff to clean it up! Not only is that inappropriate public behavior, but it’s a waste of that coffee he couldn’t afford.
Credit should go to Whelan, who reacted with a discretion that not all would. Rather than escalate the situation, Whelan let the guy have his moment and allowed him to leave with all limbs intact. Suffice it to say, he is not welcome back.
According to Whelan, “We’ve had bad behavior in the past. Customers complaining to their server enough to make them cry, even ones that are 15. This one tops most of my experiences though.”
The effects of the pandemic initially caused people to be a little more tolerant of the stressed-out service related industries. But, just like the glow we feel during the holidays, as time goes on, that glow turns to glower, and some retreat to the default setting of discontent.
Of course, it’s a minority of miscreants that spoil it for the rest of us. In the family-friendly Big Boy, bad behavior is rare. “More than the majority of my customers are amazing,” says Whelan.
Incidents like this are unfortunate but can also serve as a reminder. Though things might not always go your way… be kind, be considerate, be understanding, and most of all… behave. If you can’t do all that, stay home!
You may have noticed, other than a freak snowstorm that targeted the higher elevations of Marquette County, our autumn has been particularly mild. Even downright pleasant!
According to our weather authority, Matt Zika, temperatures 60 and above in November are rare, but not unheard of. “On average the last 60 degree day around Marquette occurs during the last week of October. Using records from the NWS Office in Negaunee Township, 17 of the last 62 years had a high temperature of 60 degrees occur on November 1st or later. That’s about 25% of the time.”
What about 70 degrees? We’ve hit that number a couple times this week. That’s also not unheard of. In fact, just two years ago, on November 9th, the thermometer hit 73 degrees.
Zika says that the 20-year averages show our autumns have been warmer, but our springs have been cooler. That was true this last spring, as our backyard gardeners can attest.
Except for our local snow bunnies, most of us have enjoyed the extended summer. Maybe this global warming isn’t such a bad thing after all.
But, and there’s always a but… things are gonna change. What kind of a winter is on the way? “While there are other short term drivers that can dictate how the upcoming winter will go, the general consensus would suggest a winter with temperatures around to a little below normal with precipitation/snowfall close to normal,” says Zika. “This winter will likely be much closer to what we saw last winter vs. an extreme on the warm or very cold side.”
If I recall, last winter was fairly mild. We had the usual couple of cold weeks and not too much snow. For those of us who stay around, that’s do-able.
Finally, Zika leaves us with this. “Michigan’s Winter Weather Awareness Week is coming up from November 6th-12th. It’s time to get those snow brushes ready, dig out the winter hats and gloves, put on the winter tires, and maybe most importantly, put a basic winter safety kit in your car.”
If you can’t do all that, stay home!