Mr. Grumps is the person you have to encounter on any trip you take. If you fail to spot him within the crowds, just look for the guy wearing a formal shirt and jacket at all times. If you are still in doubt, look for the guy who is wearing a tie for a day tour. Still finding it hard to pick him out? Just listen for his voice. You would usually hear his voice no matter where you are.

Mr. Grumps is the person who is screaming at the top of his lungs at the check in counter, at any airport. He will probably be screaming at the airline representative because he hates his seat, or because he believes that it is his God given right to sit by the window on any flight. Most of the time, he is shouting with good reason, but at other times he is just doing that because it makes him feel more powerful.

To solve this problem, the representative will tell him to stand aside by, but he will refuse with conviction. The representative will then confirm that he or she have every intention to solve his problem, and that they only need to let the other passengers through so that they can find time for him. It’s useless.

In such situations, Mr. Grumps will scream even more, but this time he will compare this airline with every other airline he has travelled on. He ends his little critique by confirming that this airline’s service is in fact the worst.

Remember, he is Mr. Grumps, and when you don’t give Mr. Grumps what he wants, you are in for trouble.

He will then sight some aviation law word for word, only to end his speech by threatening the poor individual listening to him with a formal complaint. If he is in a particularly bad mood, he would even call for the manager to resolve his issue. Wait in line while he finishes his little drama.

The lady or gentleman behind the counter may decide to put an end to the problem, by giving him a free upgrade. This does solves the problem, and Mr. Grumps is momentarily happy. If he meets a friend or relative in the airport or at any point on the trip for that matter, he will be sure to repeat the intimate details of this little episode.

He will highlight his heroic role in this saga, and he will tell all the people who are listening to him how he put the individual behind the counter in his or her place, and how they were forced to give him a free upgrade.

On the plane, Mr. Grumps is given a menu. The menu offers him two choices for the main course he is to have while flying. He asks for the fish, but the flight attendant politely apologizes. She tells him that his choice is not available. At that point, and no matter where you are on the plane, you can be sure to hear his voice again. This time, he will be screaming at the flight attendant. He will probably tell her that the airline service is terrible and that everyone on the cabin crew is incompetent. He will also explain to her that they should not have choices on the menu unless they are able to provide them. In such situations, the flight attendant will politely apologize again, and she might even give him an extra sandwich with his meal. After all, there is no point in fighting with a man in mid air about food. If you are his friend, brace yourself, you will hear about this conquest too.

At the hotel and upon his arrival Mr. Grumps will compare the lobby to every lobby he has ever visited. He will note all the lobby’s shortcomings. These could include lack of natural light, a shortage of seating areas, no background music, or more serious issues like a refreshment bar that is not exactly like the one he visited in some other hotel on the other side of the globe. If you are still not sure about his identity, look around. Try to spot the guy looking around too.

If he has people with him, listen to him as he tells them about some majestic lobby he has been at in some corner of the globe. Listen to him as he explains in great detail how this particular hotel lobby fails to get his seal of approval. This same process is repeated once he is shown to his room, if he uses the business center, if he decides to use the spa, the pool, or the gym at the hotel, and of course at the breakfast buffet. If Mr. Grumps has time, he will tour all the other hotels in the city just to see which is better and which is worse. Most of the time, he will confirm that his is amongst the worst.

Even if Mr. Grumps is on a business trip he will find time to do some day tours.

If you meet him on a tour, you will be sure to notice that he will arrive at least an hour earlier than the designated time. He will be holding some elaborate digital camera, a map, a book about the destination, and again he will be wearing his shirt, jacket, and tie even if he is going to the beach. Mr. Grumps studies meticulously before going on any trip. His inelegance is his weapon.

To display his refined personality, he will make an effort to interrupt the guide every minute to ask questions. He usually picks his questions with care. They are usually hard questions, trick questions, and they are positioned to confuse everyone with him on the trip. If the guide doesn’t answer each and every question asked, then Mr. Grumps will be sure to make a note of that. He will contact the guide’s superiors as soon as he arrives at the hotel to inform them of their incompetent team member.

Remember that Mr. Grumps is wearing his shirt and tie. He might get hot on the trip. If he does, be sure to hear him complain about the terrible weather in the country he is visiting. If he is out of batteries for his camera, and if he is unable to find a shop near by to get new ones, you will hear him complain about the terrible service sector in he country.

He will then feel compelled to tell everyone on the trip how all the misfortunes listed above do not happen in his home country or in many of the other countries he had already visited. He will end his little but loud speech by affirming that this trip is by far the worst he has ever been on.

If Mr. Grumps decides to have steak for dinner, he will be sure to visit at least 7 restaurants before deciding where he wants to eat. At each restaurant, he will ask the waiter to show him the menu. He will then ask for a dish not on the menu. This dish will require preparation. It is a dish he had tried 10 years ago in some restaurant in Rome, Paris, Madrid or any other grand city. If it is not available he will go to the next restaurant, and then the next until he finds it.

Once served to him, he will affirm that it is not the same dish he wanted. He will shout at the waiter, maybe even call the restaurant manager. The Manager will solve the problem by giving him a complimentary dessert, and this will be yet another conquest for him to add to his long list of achievements.

This is the general pattern repeated throughout the trip. When Mr. Grumps returns to his home country, he will tell everyone in detail about the misfortunes listed above. He will affirm that the country he visited is the worst in terms of service. He will talk about the beauty of some city he hated in the past. Complaining is in his blood. When he is at home he will complain about everything in his home country, and when he is abroad he will complain about the city he is visiting. His likes and dislikes are unpredictable. He can like one thing one day only to hate it the next. His likes and dislikes are kind of like the stock market.

Mr. Grumps may not always have time to travel. If he is busy he will send his twin sister to entertain you, Ms. Grumps (Nikdeh), look for them on your next trip. They are probably kind hearted people, but this just the way they are when traveling.

They live to be grumpy, so just enjoy it and be sure to smile when you hear them.


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