By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – It’s an all-too-familiar story.

The Associated Press reports the claim of MBTA police that a Quincy woman cursed at and punched an employee of a hot dog stand at the Quincy Center T station – because she put too many pickles on the woman’s steak and cheese.

If true, this is unacceptable behavior.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

If a pickle surplus on your sandwich is cause for violence, than none of us are safe.

But without pre-judging this particular case, let me say that, while no one hates obnoxious service more, I tend to side with the retail worker in most of the employee vs. customer horror stories I hear.

The Quincy pickle affair evokes a classic of this genre, the customer who can’t really say what it is they want but hate the clerk for not giving it to them. I know about these folks from a relative who spent eight difficult months making bagel sandwiches to order for people who didn’t have all their cream cheese and lox.

But this isn’t even close to the worst type of unpleasant customer.

Surely, that category would include the cellphone addicts who see no problem with chatting away right through their transaction, communicating with the human being behind the register through disinterested miming. That’s not very polite.

Maybe better manners could be promoted by having the conductors from the Amtrak quiet cars go from market to market, scaring offenders straight.

Or the Amtrak guys could go to work on the woman who, one retail worker wrote to me recently, decided to spit in her face and threaten her family over a $1 discount the clerk forgot to apply.

She was arrested, just like Quincy woman, but there are always more where they came from.

Too many pickles, if you know what I mean.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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