Five Guys has these cool Coke machines. They have a touch screen. You can choose a ton of different sodas and all kinds of flavor mix ins. Matt and I are fond of peach Sprite and Vanilla Rootbeer but I am also not one to pass up a Cherry Coke.
We went there this weekend. We were sitting next to a table of boys, none older than 13 or 14, one maybe as young as 10. They had no adult with them. Only one of them had ordered food and he asked for a water cup which he promptly filled with soda. He then convinced his friends to do the same thing.
I was irked. First by the fact that these kids were pretty young to be galevanting in a resteraunt unattended, obviously they needed an adult with them still. Second, by something...unnamed. I still can't quite put my finger on it. You see, on one hand, I wanted to call the kids out on there unethical behavior. I wanted to let them know that taking something without paying is stealing, even if is just soda and you don't think you were caught. On the other hand, we live in such a culture of "mind your own business" that I felt torn. It wasn't my soda and they were not my kids.
I whispered my moral delema to Matt. He asked "what's your end game?". Good question. I didn't really want the boys to get busted, but I did want them to know that they didn't get away with there dishonesty. If they were my kids, I would want someone to call them on there unethical behavior.
About this time, the boy who had ordered food found a "hair" in his french fries. At the bottom, he had, of course, eaten the rest of the fries. He called over one of the employees and asked for a new thing of fries. That was the last straw. I leaned over and cheerily said "Or maybe you could just consider it compensation for all the soda you have been drinking!". I flashed a happy smile and winked. The boys all looked away and turned red as the employee thanked me and walked away.
It wasn't my business. I could have ignored it. I am still not sure I handled it right. But one day, when my girls have given in to peer pressure from one of there friends and done something stupid and dishonest, I hope they get called out. I hope they blush and feel embarrassed by their poor choice. So to the future suburban mom who is enjoying dinner out with her family, please, get my back and care enough to make it your business. I promise to do the same.