I was going to start this post by asking "what's wrong with kids today?" but I realized the inspiration for my post is not really the kids but the management of the McDonald's where I encountered these kids.
I took my boys to McDonald's for dinner. (Shhhhh, stop judging!) We were there at the peak of the "family" dinner hour and there were lots of little kids there in addition to mine. Unfortunately, there were a bunch of teenagers in there, too. One group in particular had three booths in a row and took up an entire wall of the restaurant, right next to the fountain where every customer had to go for napkins, drinks, straws, ketchup, etc.
Now I know that teenagers are a species all by themselves. I get that they are loud, and they're full of hormones, and when in groups they are flirting and playing. The volume was not what bothered me, nor did I care that they were mouthing off to each other. What bothered me was the girl who really thought she was cool, but she was actually nothing more than a bully. She yelled the F word, loudly, at least 3 times while there were small children - including mine - standing 5 feet away from her. She hit one of the boys in the face after calling him a name. She pulled one of the girls' ponytails. She sat and threw french fries across the table at one of the boys. She was mouthy and abusive to everyone. In short, she was a puke. I do not understand why the other kids were friends with her, but teenage friendships are often a mystery to me.
What I want to know is, why didn't the manager of McDonald's do something? Shouldn't the manager have said something to this girl? I'm not suggesting the girl should have been kicked out - though I probably would have applauded if that had happened - but at a minimum one would think a simple warning was in order. "This is a family restaurant so foul language and physical contact will not be tolerated." How hard would that have been? As a bonus, it might have got the other kids to calm down just a little. Really, is the loss of a teenage customer a match for the loss of families as customers?
The scary thing? These kids all had the same club/group name on their backpacks that suggested some kind of leadership program. So am I supposed to be impressed that the pukes of today are the leaders of tomorrow?
I think I want to puke.