I’ve always had a love for a line in a movie. I have a memory for such things.
The ones that resonate with me on some level through my experiences in life.
Bob Hoskins is a real favourite of mine. The letter he left his daughter before he died contains a wisdom that makes sense to me in every way.
In Maid in Manhattan he says to the gorgeous JLo who plays a maid in a hotel
“To serve people takes dignity and intelligence. But remember, they are only people with money. And although we serve them, we are not their servants.”
When I was younger I used to work with my mum at the restaurant she worked. Sunday lunches. Carrying the roast dinners upstairs and serving them and then collecting the plates and taking them back to the kitchen.
I did it from when I was 13, till I left school, during the busy periods at the restaurant.
My mum was magic. She had such a way about her in interacting with the customers and running the bar.
Many people were lovely and showed their appreciation for her conscientious and friendly service. She would often be given a generous tip which she then would share. It wasn’t why she did it. It was just a by product. She had pride in whatever she did and a naturalness in how she was with people. Basically my mum is just a really lovely person.
But every now and then you would get the arrogant arseholes who would come in like they owned the joint, flashing their cash in front of their fur coat no knickers birds that would laugh at their rudeness and insults. Their lame attempts in trying to inflate their tiny ….
I hated hearing someone talking so rudely to my mum but she never reacted. Like a true pro she would ignore their rudeness following that customer service rule of “ the customer is always right”. They may always be right but it didn’t stop them from being complete arseholes. At this stage in my life my mum was very aware of what arseholes looked like having had her fair share of them in life but with a secret hidden plan of how she was working towards more and better choices. She was nobody’s fool. She was just building for a better life and that meant putting up with what she knew she was worth more than.
I learnt very early in life that social status and money does not buy you class. The type of class that matters. That has elegance and style that goes beyond the surface of how you look, what you wear., what you have and that arrogance in who you think you are.
Real class shows itself in how you treat others. Treating others like you would wish to be treated.
Basic, simple, easy and has proper style stamped all over it.
When I was out on Wednesday living in a world that money loves I found myself observing that lack of class with a posh accent.
How difficult Please and Thankyou appears for some to grasp. Or holding a door for a person behind them. Or god forbid, letting the waiter carrying lots of plates go before you
The arrogance of thinking that receiving amazing service means that you don’t have to have any gratitude or common courtesy.
While I was sitting having a cocktail on that 32nd floor a woman next to me in head to toe designer knocked her handbag on the floor.
I picked it up for her and passed it back. She grabbed it off me Without saying a word and lobbed it across the table onto the seat opposite like a worthless piece of crap. Her Louis Vuitton bag that other young girls from a different world might save forever for and look after like a prized possession. But treated by her like some cheap throwaway that could be replaced many times over.
If she is the type that constitutes class then feel free to call me common.
The venue was an experience for my girl. The view over the city she loves so much in that chrome and glass modern look. However the only thing for me that made it feel less soulless other than the view were the people who worked there. Like the really wonderful waiter who took care of us. Full of personality and humour when I started chatting with him. Laughing about my love of that butter that came with the bread. I’m not joking, I would have been very happy having a starter, main and desert of that bread and butter (giving that French butter I heard about once, a run for its money) even though of course those two courses we had were absolutely delicious.
The waiter when we left came to see us out. Nice touch and showed his class.
My point is how often I hear people talk so rudely to people that are lovely helpful, and working hard doing their job.
No one owns someone else. When you are rude and arrogant and talk down to someone else just because you think you are paying for that privilege it actually says more about you.
It doesn’t matter how far you sit up that social ladder or how much money you might throw at it, if those basics aren’t in place then you could be dressed in head to toe diamonds and talk like the queen but still look as cheap as a bag of chips in newspaper. Although that feels like I’m doing them a disservice. I love chips in newspaper.