I’m mad at Crazy Bowls And Wraps, a fast-casual restaurant chain in the St. Louis area.
I used to go in there at least once a week, usually to order a bowl full of dark meat chicken, brown rice, and garlic-ginger sauce. But when I went in yesterday, I was informed that the company no longer offers dark meat, only white.
Boo! While I have nothing against chicken breasts, I prefer the taste of the leg and thigh meat. Unhappily, I ordered something else — a wrap with white meat, spinach, brown rice, and pesto sauce. Still delicious, but not as good to my palate.
While munching on my lunch, three people sat at the table next to me. After a minute, it became apparent that their conversation included a fourth person who wasn’t there — they were talking to her via the speaker on one of their cellphones. Normally, when you’re in a restaurant (particularly one that has music pounding throughout) you don’t hear your neighbors’ conversations, because everyone talks at the appropriate volume level. But when using the speakerphone, everyone in this group felt the need to speak much louder. Not just the three at the table, but the woman at the other end, too — apparently unaware that modern technology will amplify your voice to anywhere in the world with no extra strain on your vocal chords (or the ears of anyone nearby).
Thanks to this display of rudeness, I was no longer simply sitting next to my fellow lunch diners, I was in the middle of a conference call against my will. And it wasn’t something quick like, “I’m running a few minutes late. Be right there!” No, this conversation went on during their (and my) entire meal. It was so loud that I could hear every word, and the trio was oblivious to the impact they were having on me and everyone else in the place.
It would have been nice for a CBW employee to go over and tell The Loud Family that they were disturbing other customers, but I don’t expect minimum wage clerks to engage with the clientele once they’ve left the counter to remind them to be respectful of other human beings nearby. It’s not in their job description, just as they didn’t decide to stop selling dark meat chicken.
Perhaps I should have protested in a louder voice. Over a speakerphone.