Is your hour worth the same as an hour to someone else? Most would argue that it would depend on what the time is being spent on.
Would you not agree that an hour to a person rushing home to a wife who is giving birth would be far more crucial than an hour to someone who is also rushing home for dinner with his family? Unfortunately, most people are too immersed in their own goals, to consider the possibility that someone else’s priorities should take precedence. As a young man filled with confidence and a wife to share his life with, the younger waiter in the cafe believed that his time was worth more than the old man who had no one to come home to. Familiar with loneliness, the older waiter’s compassion resulted in his defending of the old man from his colleague. Unwilling to set aside his self-centered reasoning, the young waiter was unable to share the compassion the older waiter had for the old man..
With selfish certainty that he had better things to do, the young waiter believed his time was worth more than the old man. The younger waiter knew that the old man recently tried to commit suicide, yet he showed no remorse for the man. “You should have killed yourself last week.” (169). Without thought, he spoke such harsh words to the old man. Although the old man was deaf, he could have very well been able to read lips. Though he believed his words could cause no harm, he failed to realize how heartless and careless his words were towards the lonely customer. Filled with animosity, he looked upon the old man with disdain because he found no reason for the old man’s misery.
“He was in despair (about) nothing… he has plenty of money.” His indifference towards the old man went beyond his words and showed through his actions; he rushed the old man out of the cafe and refused to serve him any further while there was still an hour before closing time. The young waiter not only disregarded the old man’s situation for his own benefit, he also failed to acknowledge the unnecessary harshness of his behavior.
The older waiter on the other hand, related to the old man; his agenda was opposite that of the younger waiter. He did not judge the old man, or curse him for being the last customer; in fact, he defended him from his inconsiderate colleague. “This old man is clean.
He drinks without spilling. Even now, drunk. Look at him.” (170).
The older waiter pointed out the man’s impressive composure despite his high level of inebriation, in attempt to prove to his colleague that there was more to the old man than just a typical drunk. He acknowledged that the old man was respectable and deserved to be treated with dignity, even in the state he was in. Furthermore, he disputes the younger waiter’s claim that an hour is more to him than the old man. The older waiter states that an hour is the same regardless of who it pertains to..Puzzled by his colleague’s explanation.