Thank You (Now Get Out): 6/15/10

The ddrawings of two children at the end of a very long night at work.

“Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I’ve decided that in honor of my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad shift-block on Mondays/Tuesdays (16 hours of work in 27 hours) I’m going to start a regular feature on my blog that will (theoretically) air Tuesday nights every week.  This will be about the people of the week- the best of the best and the worst of the worst.  A note on this:  the worst may not always be evil human beings.  Simply remarkable ones in a negative way.  But my father always told me I should write a book about remarkable people.  So… this is a start.

The stars of this week begin appearing on Sunday and make their way to today.  Let’s find out who they are!:

Bagel Lady.

I had a moment of extra time on Sunday before work so I decided to brave Dunkin’ Donuts.  I rarely go to Dunks in the morning, but you know, a Strawberry Coolata sounded amazing.  I walk in and the place is packed.  I’m not too, too worried.  I only work across the street and I’m running about twenty minutes before I need to be there.  I get in line and the woman in front of me is jib-jabbering away on her cell phone, like most people do these days.  That’s Negative Point Number 1.  It’s so rude to talk on a cell phone when you’re waiting for service, because you hold everyone up when you get to the front of the line.  Bagel Lady gets to the front and finally (after five minutes) gets off her phone.  She orders three dozen bagels, toasted, with three packets of cream cheese on the side for each.  She also orders six Watermelon Coolatas.  After all this is taken in, the cashier reads it back to her, exactly like she said it.  There are three people running the shop, and seeing the size of the order, they hustle and bustle to finish it to keep the line moving.  Coolatas come up.  Bagel lady throws a fit because she wanted Strawberry Coolatas (even though she very clearly stated Watermelon).  She throws this flailing, yelling fit, completely embarrassing herself in front of everyone.  After she finishes, her phone rings very loudly.  She answers it and starts all over again.  I was a little embarrassed for her sake, but more pissed off at her for treating those people so terribly.  They’re doing their best.  Even if the mistake had been the associates’ mistake, she could’ve treated them like human beings instead of pack mules.

F-The-World.

We have a regular customer at work who is very congenial at all time as long as we bow down to him and bend all the rules to suit his fashion.  We close at 6pm on Sundays, and he likes to come at 6:20pm and bang on the door and swear fervently at us as we walk to our cars, because we need to reopen the store for him.  He’s not a very good customer – maybe a dollar in copies and a ream of paper every other week.  This Sunday, he walked into the store about fifteen minutes after opening, walked over to a product, swore fervently at it for ten minutes, and walked out.  Um, sorry, did someone do something wrong?

Chinese Counterfeiter.

I feel like this one needs a cautionary note:  I’m not generalising this to say that all Chinese people are counterfeiters.  This one, however, was, and that is how I think of her.  Not everyone with the same ethnic origins- just her.  Monday evening this woman came in with a bunch of two dollar bills.  I spent about ten minutes explaining as politely as I could that I could not replicate them for her.  I told her “legally, I can’t copy money.  My hands are tied.  I’m sorry I can’t help you.”  I wanted to tell her:  “what you’re asking me to do is illegal.  Replicating money for any purpose at all constitutes a very long prison sentence, and I want nothing to do with you.”  How can you tell people, without telling them they;re stupid, that they’re breaking a very simple, logical, rational law?

Cassie and Her Sister.

At the end of Monday night, after a trying day, I had a woman come in for a couple of quick copies with her two girls.  They were probably four and eight.  The girls were excited and eager to help their mother, and their enthusiasm was noted, but not particularly helpful.  I gave both the girls a piece of blank paper and a highlighter and pen (I don’t have any crayons of anything) so they could draw a picture.  To my surprise and delight, they both gave the pictures to me.  It was totally the girls’ idea.  The four year old – I caught that her name was Cassie – drew a marker, and her older sister drew a heart.  Their lovely pictures are featured at the top of this entry.

Just Breathe.

When it gets really hectic and busy, I get to running around at work.  I’m so focused on processing the lines and getting people settled that I probably look like a race horse.  At any rate, I had a customer on Monday, and when I asked him “What can I do for you?” the first thing he said was “Take a deep breath.”  I totally appreciated that.  A lot of people get upset when I tell them to stop a minute and keep breathing- I think they feel judged or looked-down-upon.  When people say it to me, though, I know I need it, and I appreciate it.  So thanks, whoever you were.

My Photographs are Holier Than Thou.

I had a deceptively sweet-looking old man Tuesday morning that wanted a couple of photographs enlarged.  They were both pictures of his house.  He did not, no way, uh-uh trust me.  I don’t know why.  Every time I brought the photographs to my copier behind the counter, he’d let himself in and start fiddling.  I tried to tell him politely that I needed him to 1.) Stay out; and 2.) not touch the machine, but he wasn’t keen on listening.  This was particularly bad because we were having some carpeting redone this morning, and there was paste on the floor where the carpet squares were going in, very close to my machine.

Repent, the End is Near.

I am Christian and I am not about to belittle the ideals of this woman- simply her behavior.  While I was at lunch, my co-worker had a customer come in that needed several copies of over fifty different sized documents, and since of course there was a line, she insisted on waiting for them and holding up the line.  My co-worker was able to talk her into coming back in an hour (it was a substantial amount of work, all stuff that was fragile papers and strange sizes and needed to be done by hand).  Every ten minutes or something, this woman would come back and become “politely upset” about her work not being done, as we were trying to process people in line.  My co-worker was able to finish her work before the hour was up, because she worked tirelessly on it, leaving me to the mess on customers.  When the job was finished, the woman held up my co-worker for fifteen minutes when the center was clearly busy to tell her to repent, because the end is near.  My poor co-worker, who is incredibly active in her own church, was just trying to tell the woman that she was well familiar with the Scripture being  quoted at her.  Apparently the woman didn’t believe her.

Murphy’s Victim.

There’s a new tire place going in across the street.  I had the (mis)fortune of meeting the manager today (Tuesday) morning.  He was making some copies, and although cheery, was clearly flustered.  I asked him a couple of simple questions, and learned that everything has been going wrong for him moving into the new place.  He had to start paying the lease in early January, but the landlord broke his/her word, and they weren’t able to move in until late May; things are breaking and not getting fixed, et cetera.  I felt bad for him, I understood why he was frustrated.  Boy was his luck bad in this venture.  But what could I do?  I listened.

Carpet Man.

I wasn’t pleased that my carpet was being redone this morning, especially since I found out only a few minutes before it happened.  But the guy who came in to do it was helpful and charitable.  He worked quickly and never complained about me getting in his way, although I kept leaping over the space where he was working.  I was totally in his way, but he was congenial and understood that I needed to get work done, too.  Thank you for your patience, sir.  Really… thank you.

Captain Xerox!

We have a regular repairman we see all the time, because one of our machines is awful.  He is such a nice guy, always smiling, and he fixes things as quickly as he can.  It’s a relief to see him because it means that I’m getting my machine back, yes, but for some reason his professional demeanor and his complete calm is really reassuring.  We have a couple of other repairmen, but the one who came in Tuesday morning is more than just “that guy who fixes the machine”.  He acts like a human being, and he treats us like one, too.  You rock, Captain Xerox!

The Chivalrous Knight.

Chivalrous Knights come in all shapes and sizes.  Tuesday’s was a tiny, wrinkled little old man who held the door for me at Panera.  I smiled as big as I could and said thank you.  It’s always nice to see that chivalry isn’t dead.

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Well, that’s all folks!  Come back again next week for more stories of humans in the world- the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Feel free to contribute your own remarkables in the comments section!

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2 Responses to “Thank You (Now Get Out): 6/15/10”


  1. 1 Daryl June 16, 2010 at 3:50 am

    This will be something to look forward to on Tuesdays! (But I do hope next week brings more angels than demons.)

    My own contribution would have to be the rude guy in the super-sized black pickup truck who made a left turn across three lanes of traffic from a corner gas station to sit waiting at the red light just ahead of me in the lane to my left. (I was in the far right lane, waiting to go straight through the intersection.)

    When the light turned green and traffic began moving, Mr. It’s All About Me calmly cut across my lane right in front of my bumper and made a right-hand turn — from the left lane — without so much as a turn signal, gesture, or “by your leave”! I had to slam on my brakes to avoid him, and the sound of my horn didn’t cause so much as a flicker of his brake lights.

    The only good thing I can say about some people is that the reinforce my love of dogs and cats.

    — Daryl

    • 2 slytherclawchica June 16, 2010 at 4:05 pm

      Usually there’s an equal mix. I only covered three days this time, so people will have more time to be awesome next time around. 😉

      I hate drivers like that! My dad used to go slow on purpose just to annoy those people. XD They’re worst around rotarys!


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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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