SI TI: I was approached by an old lady with a hunched back, outside the Macdonalds restaurant at Toa Payoh Hub earlier this evening. She timidly asked if I could buy her some chicken nuggets and a hot milo drink. So I brought her into the restaurant to place an order for her food.
I was appalled when the counter staff started shouting at and mocking the old lady for not having money to pay for her own meal. The staff kept screaming and threatened to call the police to chase her away. She blatantly announced that this old lady comes to the restaurant regularly and would ask strangers to buy her a meal. The staff even told me off for wanting to pay for the meal, saying that by doing so, I was encouraging this old lady to keep returning. When I insisted, she refused to take the old lady’s orders and would proceed only when I personally made the order. This old lady was simply a nuisance to her.
Later, a male staff who I believe was the manager, helped pack our orders. But I could barely stand his sarcasm each time he spoke to the old lady. By then, I realized that perhaps, this old lady wasn’t in the right frame of mind. Hence, the habit of asking others to buy her dinner. But nevertheless, whether mentally fit or not, she does not deserve to be shouted at, ridiculed and shamed, especially in front of other diners. She was in the restaurant with me, and I was a paying customer. So why was she discriminated against? And why can’t I pay for her meal? It’s my money and I can spend it in whatever way I please. The old lady never forced me to buy her a meal. Instead she asked politely and I gladly obliged. And this meal purchase contributes to Macdonald’s daily proceeds and eventually into the bank accounts of these two seemingly heartless employees.
I understand the restaurant employees were concerned that this old lady would go around the restaurant, continuously bothering other diners with her requests for a free meal. But there are better ways to manage the situation than to scream away like they did. Clearly, they handled the situation in poor taste. Because to humiliate someone over her inability to pay for her meal is downright cruel.
My parents have long taught me to have compassion for the old and needy. I am not sure I can say the same for these two. I just hope they remember that they too, will grow old, frail and needy one fine day. And they’d better start praying that they don’t end up in the same unfortunate situation like this old lady. Because retribution is a bitch and she always bites back.
Meanwhile, if this is what your company stands for @mcdsg, then perhaps I should stop buying from you. Wouldn’t want to encourage more bullying of an unfortunate old lady, merely seeking some chicken nuggets to satisfy her hunger.