What would our Grandparents do?…

I’ve had some time to reflect lately about what is important and what is not. For instance, a bit of mold on a piece of cheese, eh, maybe not so big of a deal. Why throw out the whole block when there’s only a patch of mold on one end? Why throw out good clothes when someone else may be able to get some use out of them? Take them to the salavation army, a women’s shelter, or second hand store instead.

That’s what led me to say “What would our Grandparents do?” — sure it’s a play off of the oft used ‘WWJD’ bracelet from a few years ago, but it doesnt negate the message any does it?

I had this come up recently when there was an odd looking chunk on my frozen pizza. At first I did a double take. It kind of looked like sausage, but didn’t really seem to BE sausage. Hmm. So I did what any good blogger would do and took a picture for blog fodder. Then, I used a knife, pried off the ‘odd bit’ cut into it, sniffed it, still couldnt figure out what it was, and took another picture. Hey, it’s 2008. I have readers to please…anyway, I threw it out and cooked the pizza. And you know what? It didn’t hurt me one bit! My hubby had some too and neither of us keeled over, died, or suffered indigestion, amazing!

I think that this is odd behavior in today’s society. It shouldnt be, but it is… Take for example, a trip we made to visit our family in IL, we went through a ‘college town’ and stopped at a pizza place there. We ordered a HUGE pizza and some garlic cheese sticks (kind of like a thick pizza crust with cheese and garlic and some marinara to dip in)… We ate a healthy portion of the cheese sticks and had a good long talk about the future. I find that we do this most often over a meal out or a long walk. Funny, isn’t it, how you do that when you don’t have distractions like tv or blogging to get between you? Anyway, I digress. Our pizza showed up, with an older guy (not our teen server). Of course, I looked at it and saw the problem right away, but wasn’t overly concerned about it, we were supposed to have a half/half pizza and instead, the ‘goodies’ were spread across the whole pizza (I think it was ham and sausage.) Before we could even open our mouths to say thank you (as we try and do every time!) the manager said, we realized when this was already made that there was a mistake, so you have a correct pizza in the oven, and we brought this to you to snack on until it comes out. Is that alright? We were BLOWN away. We said, oh well you didnt have to do that, it’s not a big deal, but the guy was INSISTENT. Like we were going to get up and run out or like he’d had some REALLY bad reactions before as to people dealing with this situation.

So we ended up with a whole pizza plus some and a couple breadsticks left over. My family, they were thrilled, because when we showed up at snack time (between dinner and bed time) with a whole pizza? They were digging it!

We still ponder over this from time to time. What great big meanies they must have had in that restaurant (hey, I can SEE if it was green peppers and you order pepperoni or something- but it was the right ingredients, just spread over the whole pizza) to make that guy so apologetic and insistent.

What would our grandparents have done? Well, my grandparents didn’t really have pizza. Not much anyway, my parents didn’t even have it until they were either dating or married (they celebrate their 40th anniversary this year), but I imagine they would have scraped off what they didn’t like and eaten it anyway.

Yes, I DO think customer service is important, for instance I don’t want a dirty glass with another woman’s lipstick on it, but if it’s something I can work around, I don’t make a big fuss about it. I might order a sandwich plain and if it shows up with something on it, I’d probably just scrape it off and eat it anyway. I’m not talking about being a doormat here, I’m talking about being REASONABLE.

I think that’s what we’re missing a lot of today: being reasonable. Along with it’s close cousins: compassion, rationality, pitching in to help out, and manners. Seriously, folks! When is the last time you gave a great big smile to the person giving you your burger and fries through the drive up window? Or said thank you to the pierced nose and eyebrow kid making your sandwich fresh in front of you and asking ‘would you like that toasted?’ I think modeling these behaviors to the younger generation–especially if they are serving YOU, is a MUST-DO in this society. Yes, you should expect good service and politeness, but really knock these kids socks off and turn that politeness right back on them. They probably will not forget it. Remember, what would your grandparents do? Then do it, and see the way the world changes around you.


  1. Oh yeah – reasonable goes a looong way! Having been on the working end of retail and food service- it is amazing how a friendly customer can make your day, even when there are problems. I try to be a friendly reasonable customer – even when I have a problem. What’s the saying – you catch a lot more flies with honey? Even when you have an issue – there’s no excuse for losing the manners our grandparents and parents taught us! I hope I can instill these in my son: Respect for others, reasonableness, and courtesy.

  2. I’m polite and gracious every time. With every server. Be it the waiter at the fancy restaurant or the guy behind the counter at the pizza place. Sometimes I get looked at funny for it, and what really bugs me is when I don’t get that same attitude returned to me. (especially from the young kids) And I’m actually pretty terrified of sending food back so I never complain about it. Just remember, you can pick those tomatoes out, but you never know what they’re going to do to it back in the kitchen where you can see them. Ew!

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