What She Wants

How to Manage Your Anger, According to the Truly Rich Lady

No one is immune from bad customer service.

My Very Blunt Friend called me a She-Hulk yesterday. I deserved it.

She witnessed me snap at an innocent telemarketer, who had only been trying to invite me to a new property. In six seconds, I went from quiet and lovely to green and angry, unleashing a terse remark and then swiftly ending the call without a proper goodbye.

In my defense—though there really is no real defense when it comes to anger—the phone had rung way past office hours, while I was having dinner. My favorite restaurant was inexplicably busy that day, and food orders must’ve piled up or gotten lost, so I was left with nothing but a clean plate and a glass of Coke.

And then the phone rang. And my eyes clouded over in hungry anger. And I said the horrible words. And pressed the red button. And I instantly regretted everything. And my friend called me a She-Hulk. And she took a snap of my face “...for my followers! Hi hi!” And I threatened her with a bread roll. And she erased the evidence.

In hindsight, I now apologize to the young man who was just doing his job (I will visit the new apartments!) and to my friend who just wanted to have her fill of Friday carbs (my treat next time!).

I would also like to apologize to myself, Si-si, the She-Hulk, Coo, for not mastering my emotions. I know very well that, in moments of anger, the following is what I should do. 


What should you do when your food—and only your food—has not arrived?

So terrible can hunger be that it overrides all sense. Never get in the way of a lady and her first meal of the day. But also never surrender to baser instincts for you are no animal, madame. You just love animal prints!

When anger or, more appropriately, hanger kicks in, recognize it. The internal monologue, which should be executed with the most pleasant smile plastered on your face, can be: “I am getting angry! Raaaah! But I should stop and just force out this horrifying smile.”

I also like to confuse my feelings by doing mental gymnastics such as counting backwards from 100 in French. “Cent quatre-vingt-dix-neufquatre-vingt-dix-huitquatre-vingt-dix-septquatre-vingt-seize…” This calms me down and also makes me feel chic.

How many times is it okay to follow up?

It is your right as a customer to ascertain the arrival of a meal as long as you’ve given the establishment enough time and the delivery of your inquiry is courteous.

Fine establishments will take 15 to 20 minutes to push food out. After that, you may call the attention of your server and ask very gently, “Kind sir, is my food this white plate?” Okay, don’t be sarcastic.

As for the frequency, once or twice is fine—with time between inquiries. When you find the need to ask thrice, it’s time to get up and switch restaurants. I hear drive-thrus at fast food are, well, fast.

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Is it proper to hover?

I do this: I place myself in the line of sight of the person in charge of delivering what I need, so that he will never forget that I am patiently waiting. Sometimes I arrange my face into a vision of utter boredom mixed with sadness and disappointment.

On the matter of propriety, this is the lesser of evils. Sitting in silence is better than making a fuss. Maybe its time to count backward from 100 in Spanish?

This applies to other things that require waiting like appointments at your therapist, dentist, plastic surgeon, and the like. Though, if you are a Truly Rich VIP, there will never be—what do you call it again?—waiting.

What if nothing happens after all that?

Please remain calm. The last resort is to turn to a higher power, the hostess of your dinner, in this case. If she is an experienced party-thrower, then she will know right away, through your pale visage, that something is wrong.

If she has missed it, you can deliver the concern with a touch of light-heartedness. “Andrea, may I have a bite of your sprig of thyme?” With hope, she understands and follows up with the kitchen in person. This usually does the trick. We also hope that your food was worth the wait.

What happens when you get a phone call in the middle of all of this?

Pick up only if it is your Truly Rich Mother, your pastor, or your Greatest Ex. Otherwise, ignore the unidentified number. You are not in a proper state of mind to process a request at the moment.


What if the service is atrociously poor?

If you have chosen to stay (and behave), but the poor experience was not remedied, there is nothing else to do but weather the storm.

The food never arrived? Have you finished the packet of mints stashed in your vintage minaudiere? The dish was a dud? Clean it up to the last bite. Finally, say your goodbyes and remember to smile.

Later, after the fact, a powwow session with your Truly Rich BFF is a must. Vent off steam. Air your concerns. Then, pinky-swear that you will both forget about the incident. You will feel better, especially if you do it at a buffet.

Establishments will sometimes send a survey about your experience. It is an opportunity, not to get back at them, but to help them. I do a straightforward note: “Though the establishment has done its best, the service was imperfect. I would love to visit again and see improvements.”

That will be enough to make them quake in their boots.

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C.C. Coo
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