DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I work at a popular coffee shop in central Winnipeg, it's a fast-paced environment and it's almost always busy. On a steady Saturday evening, a customer asked for a brownie, and for me to cut it up in six pieces for him. I very politely gave him his brownie and a butter knife and gave him the total of his bill, implying he could cut his desert himself so I could continue serving the other customers in line. He then shouted loudly, "I'm going to keep his knife and no tip for you!" He then stormed off in anger, taking our knife with him. When I asked my mother for advice on this she told me that I was rude and that I don't belong in the service industry. I was very kind to this gentleman and was very surprised to get this reaction. Was it wrong of me to assume he could cut his own brownie? Did I do something wrong? -- An Exhausted Barista
Dear Barista: Your mom has half a point. Instead of helping him, you just gave him the knife which means, "Do it yourself." Most servers would have done the three cuts to make six pieces, smiled and collected the tip. You could have nicely refused to cut the brownie, by asking if it'd be OK to give him a knife because you're so busy. To be fair -- on his side, it was a huge over-reaction to say he would "keep the knife," so something was wrong with him that day, or always. There comes a time when most servers get tired of serving, and get a little short. Maybe it was one day of being fed up, or maybe that time is coming for you.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I am always distracted by these two guys. One studies with me. I've caught him many times staring at me and sometimes smiling, but I never smiled back. We've never talked, but I've gotten to know a lot about him from our common friends. He seems like a very decent guy, hard to find nowadays, but I am more interested in guys a couple of years older than me, so I don't approach him. But, I can't stop thinking about him. The second guy is a family friend's son. He tried to talk to me at his sister's wedding and I saw him looking at me many times. He's very handsome and very caring towards his family. After stalking him on Facebook, I got to know he's a couple of years older than me, so I started to like him more. Now, I'm always thinking about these two and it's very distracting. Sometimes I feel I need to get into a relationship soon, to stop thinking about both of them. I don't know what to do. -- Confused Soul 21, Winnipeg
Dear Confused Soul: Have you never been in a relationship at 21? Your name has an ethnic look to it. Is arranged marriage part of your background, because that's the feeling I'm getting from your behaviour? If you and your family are still into that, you must let an adult family member know you are interested in this handsome, kind, older guy, known to your family, and let them consider arranging a courtship. If I have guessed wrongly, let me ask, why do you want an older guy? A guy who is your age might be a good fit, too, if he is mature. Older guys can sometimes think they know more than you do, and be more controlling. But, you are so guarded you won't even smile back at wither guy. Frankly, that's not very polite.At least befriend these two and make choices on getting further in based on friendship, not guesses from Facebook or what other people say.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Wpg, R2X 3B6, or email email@example.com