Friday, July 8, 2011

Moody People

Yumm!  Could this possibly
make one unhappy?
 I think not!
There certainly are a lot of moody people about these days.  Just yesterday, an old man growled at me.  I mean, he really growled!

Unfortunately, I probably gave him a reason.  You see, quite by accident, I unloaded my large basketful of groceries onto the belt in the express lane.  It wasn't completely my fault.  The new signs they use to identify these special lanes are small, and look just like the signs for the "Family Friendly" and "Express Lane, 15 Items and a Check" and "Express Lane, 8 1/2 Items and Cash Only".  Really, it's getting awfully confusing.

If you add in the four children and a baby trailing along asking to buy everything from Tic Tacs to a first aid kit to a large bottle of Gatorade - "It's only a $1!!!!" - well, have some compassion.

This wasn't the worst of it.  Just last week I was at Baskin Robbins, a place I can't imagine not being happy in, to buy a couple of scoops of our favorite Peanut Butter Chocolate ice cream.  Delicious stuff...  Especially with lots of peanut butter and...  Sorry, I'm getting away from myself...

I was in line behind a rather short, rather mannish woman who clearly had an attitude.  Although professionally dressed and not someone you would assume would be a problem, this "lady" obviously had serious issues with the ice cream server (Creamarista?).  After being given her four scoop serving she picked up the cup purposefully, looked deeply within and slowly raised her head to meet the eyes of the unsuspecting girl. 

"You certainly don't give very large scoops, do you?"

"Oh!  I'm sorry!  You see, we are supposed to give the same sized scoops each time.  I am sure that I gave you the regular size, but if you'd like me to weigh them next time you are in, I'd be happy to."

Please understand that this server was alone with no backup and was as friendly and accommodating as can be.  There was no sarcasm in her voice, not even a trace of annoyance.  Remarkable.

"Hmmm.  Well... How much is four scoops supposed to weigh?"

"Sixteen ounces, ma'am."

"And one scoop?  How much is that supposed to weigh?"  (Obviously not a math whiz, this one.)

"Four ounces."

(Heavily pregnant pause punctuated by a deep in the eyes stare from our lady of perpetual complaints...)

"Weigh it."

Our friendly Creamarista happily complied, setting the jolly, spotted ice cream dish on the scale.

15.95 ounces...

"Would you like me to put in a little more?" asked the server cheerfully.


Exit Mrs. Ice Cream.

I felt compelled to chime in as loudly as possible, "Well, your scoops always seem perfect to me!"

I got an extra chunk of peanut butter that night.

And, finally, another grocery store encounter...

Imagine an exceptionally thin, exceedingly pale, mousy woman with limp, brown hair (if it were a hair color, it would be called "Blah"), slightly stooped, undoubtedly from a dearth of healthy foods such as Oreo's and Pinwheels.  As slow as possible in all her movements, entirely unaware of the growing line behind her and the fact that people actually hoped to get out of the store before midnight (it was about 4 pm).

After using her multitude of coupons, she wanted to make sure that she got the 15 cents off of her bulk oat bran, or some such product, that had been rung in sometime at the beginning of her marathon check out session. 

Patiently, the checker looked through the as yet unprinted receipt, using the screen as his guide, until he found the item, coupon used and all.

After continuing in this way with other products - organic bean sprouts, Ezekiel bread, etc., she was finally ready to finish her transaction.  As she walked away, she suddenly stopped, stood erect and asked, "What about my bag discount!  Did you get my bag discount?!"

Again, the receipt is consulted.  NO BAG CREDIT!

"How many bags did you have, ma'am?"


"Two?  That's ten cents...  do you want me to get that for you?"

"Uh huh."

Five minutes of voiding, manager-overriding and key tapping later, our organic friend had her dime.

After my three items were totalled and I paid, we followed her back to the parking lot and noticed her large, shining black, late model SUV.  Obviously, that ten cents was imperative to her continuing lifestyle.

All I can really say is that people need to lighten up a little.  Next time you come across a person who's made a mistake or who's had to deal with an ungrateful customer, take an extra moment to say thanks and make a little pleasant conversation.  Let them know that their work is appreciated.  And, best of all, leave a big tip!