HOW come the cliche says ‘the customer is always right’, when, in my experience, that is rarely true (except when I am the customer, naturally)?
Before I reached the dizzy heights of the Irvine Times, I worked as a waitress while I was a student.
This weekend, the hideous memories of the awkward customer, that I thought I had expertly suppressed, came flooding back.
A friend of mine, who works in a local eaterie, shared details of a recent nightmare day which had been wholly caused by one antagonistic customer after another.
I could totally relate.
In her case she was plagued by a lady whose life was apparently in tatters because the specific tea cake she fancied had sold out.
How she managed to dust herself off and move on we will never know.
But she left safe in the knowledge that she had royally ruined everyone’s day.
For me, working in the hospitality industry managed to make me altogether inhospitable. 
Serving the general public resulted in me developing a deep-rooted disdain for my fellow human (although given some of the people I served, that term is very loosely descriptive).
Of the most annoying, to my memory, were those who, after devouring their meal at the same rate of a dog eating beans, would leave one single bit, then complain it was possibly the most disgusting meal to ever traumatise their tastebuds.
Yeah, looks that way you joker.
Equally irritating from both a waitress and a fellow diner’s point of view are those Scrooges who, insist on only paying for precisely what they ate.
Leaving you with a bill which resembles a Countdown conundrum.
Seriously! Do I look like Carol Vorderman?
I don’t care that you only had a lime and soda and your friend had Coke, a beer and one more stuffed olive than you.
Just split the bill you tight-fisted, miserable halfwit.
No one likes these people.
Not the person serving them and certainly not the person dining with them.
How have they miraculously managed to convince people to eat out with them in the first place?
In fact, how is it that they even know other human beings at all? 
And usually all of their cretinous quibbling results in a saving of £2.63. Bravo.
As a carefree 21-year-old I always found unruly children a complete nuisance.
You’re already dreading that table of 10 lunch booking.
But when they walk in and you realise that eight of them are below the age of six, you’re actually frightened.
I get it.
Children are not in possession of the world’s best dining etiquette (And in my experience, neither are a disturbing number of adults).
But now, as a 34-year-old parent myself I can absolutely guarantee that no matter how annoying the server finds them, the parents are having a far worse experience - simultaneously inhaling their food and dying inside.
So whatever side of the fence (or counter) you’re on, spare a thought for the person on the other side.
Remember that patience and a pleasant tone can go a long way.
Food for thought.