Today I was enjoying a coffee in a well known Canberra Cafe. While the service was slow, it was the behaviour of the waiter that really upset me. A young lady was trying to sell “The Big Issue” magazine on the pavement in the neutral area between Gus’s and Academy, close to the pedestrian crossing. The seller was not doing anything out of the ordinary and was making many sales while chatting to passers-by.
On several occasions, the waiter from the cafe approached the seller and insisted that she ‘be quiet’ and suggested that she move on. Furthermore, this request was made with no discretion or empathy for the seller. Myself and the person I was dining were not in anyway unhappy with this sellers presence, regardless, she was on a public walkway. Similarly, none of the many customers seemed bothered by her presence, many of whole were too engrossed in conversation to realised what was going on.
I was very unsettled to see this behaviour from the cafe. The way in which the waiter dealt with the seller showed a lack of compassion and he didn’t seem afraid of making a scene. Even if one feels she should not have been there, I can’t help but think the matter could have been handled with more respect for the individual.