Jennifer did a lot of research before my birthday to find free or cheap things for us to do. She found a $5.00 off birthday deal for Jason’s Deli. Yesterday we decided to go and use the coupon.
Sunday afternoon at Jason’s Deli, Springfield, MO, is a very busy place. Not that we knew this before going there. The staff and management were friendly enough. But one of the first things I noticed was that the place smelled of mildew. As with most Jason’s Deli restaurants, this place was cramped up with many small, two person tables. That caused us a lot of stress. We like our privacy and our personal space. So that was the first problem, but we figured we could put up with it.
Once seated, however, people kept bumping into my chair as they walked by. Not because they were seated beside us. Not because we were next to the salad bar. Not because we were near the cash register, nor the drink machine. The problem was that instead of walking around the main aisles, people were cutting through by our table to get to the ice cream machine. That was the second problem.
I maneuvered some tables and chairs around to keep that from happening. It worked, for the most part. Still, one guy walked up and scooted a chair out of the way to keep from walking around it. Oh, and he hit my chair. This was to avoid walking a whole 10 feet out of his way – to reach an ice cream machine.
Watching the people hitting the ice cream machine was pretty entertaining, or it would have been if they wouldn’t have kept bumping into me, my chair, and our table. You see, the line at the ice cream machine would back up at times. Some people think it is cool to let their kids get their own ice cream. Newsflash, some people may think it is cool, but the majority of the people in the line behind them do not think it is cool. I for one did not think it was cool for strangers to have their butts in my face while waiting in line. I guess it could have been worse. Nobody farted, at least not audibly or olfactorily (is that a word?). And everyone was clothed sufficiently. Also, there were none of those nude stretch pants that I have seen in those People of Walmart videos.
But none of these problems caused me as much distress as what I saw at the drink machine.
Unlike our previous experiences at Jason’s Delis across the Southeast US, this Jason’s had Styrofoam and paper cups instead of the usual red or clear hard plastic cups. When asked, they responded that they ran out of cups (whatever that meant) and were waiting for the supply truck. I’m not sure if they have switched to paper cups since the last time I visited. If they have, then my story isn’t as impressive as I hoped it would be. If they haven’t switched to using paper cups exclusively, then why were they waiting on a truck for more cups?
Anyway, the most distressing part of our Jason’s Deli experience is what happened at that drink machine. I saw a woman, who was old enough to be my mother (or at least my aunt), as she approached the place where the cup dispensers were located. She pulled off a stack of small paper Jason’s Deli branded cups. They were coffee sized cups.
After pulling the cups out of the dispenser, the woman did something that I never expected. It was certainly something that I hoped never happened in polite company. What I saw the woman do was the stuff of bad dreams. I’m not sure if anyone else has ever even thought of this scenario. Well, actually, I do know at least one other person that is horrified at the prospect of someone doing exactly what I saw this woman doing.
The woman pulled the stack apart and then did the unthinkable. Well, unthinkable to anyone other than me and one other person in the world. But she did it anyway.
The woman actually ran her hand inside one of the cups! And I don’t mean that she ran her hand around the rim of the cup. This woman, for whatever reason, felt the need to put her hand all the way inside the cup and rotate the cup. Her fingers had to be at the bottom of the cup. What on Earth was she getting out of this? Her behavior wouldn’t have been that bad, if this were going to be the cup she used for her own drink. But it wasn’t the cup that she ended up using for her own drink. To make matters worse, the woman separated more of the cups and then ran her hand inside of another cup! I was so upset at this point that I became a little vocal about it. I don’t think she heard me, but I told Jennifer what was going on as it was happening.
The woman then finally selected a cup for her own use. It wasn’t one of the cups she ran her hand inside of, as far as I could tell.
If anything that had transpired so far was unthinkable or even mildly distressing, the thing that happened next ruined our dining experience. The woman actually put the cups that she had felt up back into the cup dispenser. Remember, she felt up the inside of numerous cups, and then she put the cups back into the dispenser.
What kind of person does this? Why would a person feel that it is ok to stick his or her bare hand into a cup, and then put it back into the dispenser? A person with a problem? I don’t know. I’ve watched a lot of people. It’s what I get paid to do. I have seen people do things that you wouldn’t believe. Ok, maybe you would. I’ve seen people pee themselves when caught stealing – puking isn’t uncommon either. Praying to their god of choice isn’t uncommon either (too bad they didn’t pray before they were caught). I’ve seen people steal using their kid’s stroller to hide the stuff. I’ve seen people use their kids to steal stuff so that the parent doesn’t have to suffer the consequences if caught. I have never seen anything like this, but I haven’t worked in the food industry either. I have seen people lick things that other people are going to touch, but not in something destined for the mouth.
Anyway, the woman and her male partner sat down near us. We thought it was funny that they prayed before eating. We didn’t think it was funny that they were praying in general. We found it funny because she had just exposed others to whatever contaminants may have been on her hands, but yet she was also praying (assumingly) to give thanks for the food she was about to consume. I hope that she was praying that the people who ended up drinking out of the cups that she may have contaminated did not suffer any ill effects. Hell, for all I know, she was praying that others may get infected with whatever she might have had on her hands.
This would have never happened on the homestead. On The Gray Homestead, one does not double dip in food destined for the consumption of others, and they sure don’t put body parts into cups from which others will be drinking.
I don’t have a very high opinion of the human race in general, and this incident didn’t make me rethink that opinion.
Here are some totally unrelated Jason’s Deli pics that I found. One announces a soon to be Jason’s Deli drive through. The other is a driver who just couldn’t wait for said drive through to be built. The third picture is an unrelated and completely gratuitous pic of Jennifer in all of her currently pregnant glory.
So, there we go – cups and prayer at Jason’s Deli on a Sunday afternoon.