Why you never want to be that jerk in public

Here’s a quick story and a tip – never think that you can be a “jerk” in public and not have it come back to haunt you.

That “Jerk” in Public

A friend told me a story of when she worked in a small restaurant, she had a customer, a sales representative, who ordered a drink and a refill. This restaurant made a special house version of the drink in volume that needed time to prepare and chill.

On that particular day, the restaurant got slammed with a large amount of business. They ran out of the reserve supply of this special drink before this customer got around to coming up for his refill. Instead of the house specialty, the refill was made from a commercial mix, which admittedly wasn’t as good but it was a standard restaurant offering.

The complaints

The server explained the reason for the substitution. However, this customer got angry because he felt he had not gotten what he expected. He complained, not only to the server, but to another server. Ultimately, when the owners returned to the restaurant, he ranted and raved to the owners. All of these complaints were in the busy restaurant with other customers listening.

Fast Forward

Recently, my friend and I ran into this person in another restaurant. He engaged us briefly in conversation after overhearing us talk about an upcoming trade show. He offered the information about the event times and dates as a way to start the conversation. He then shared his business card. Overall, he seemed pleasant.

Your bad behavior leaves tracks, especially if you are that jerk

Unfortunately, my friend still remembered him from the other restaurant and once I saw the business card, I remembered he was in my office selling his company services to me about a year ago.

I remembered other stories he proudly told me about selling very over-inflated services to other small businesses. As a sales representative, he put a sour taste in my mouth when he gloated about his over-priced sales.

My friend had kept her own unpleasant memory to herself until we got in the car. However, then she told me the story. People do remember. Those memories affect your relationships in the future. Potentially, it could affect your chance for a new job. When people witness you acting like that jerk in public or acting unethically, they remember.

To avoid creating negative memories, don’t be a “jerk” anywhere.



  1. Yolanda DeLoach on February 8, 2013 at 8:52 am

    So true! People just don’t get it. Sometimes I *almost* feel bad for people like that – wondering is going on in their life that makes them want to rip others apart in public like that.

    • Julie Walraven on February 10, 2013 at 9:08 am

      I have never been able to cope with people who do that. I had family members who did that in the past, not at that level, but I was SO embarrassed.

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