This is not a particularly illuminating post but whenever I think of this tiny little event that happened years ago I always think of those three words “well, excuse me”.
When I go shopping I am a polite person. I chat to the cashier or shop assistant in a friendly way (much to the embarrassment of my son).
I am the sort who hangs up and puts away clothing after I try them on. And, I noticed the other day that my son does the same.
I never get cross at flustered shop assistants who are under the pump in the short staffed department store. Even rude shop assistants I treat with firm but polite recourse if they are pushing the “you shit me” boundaries.
I mean, really, it is not that hard to be nice to people is it? Besides, many, many years ago I worked in retail and it has always stuck in my mind how an unpleasant encounter with a rude customer can really spoil your day.
Sometimes, when I am sitting in the huge and hideous food court of Chadstone (which is apparently the Fashion Capital) there may be a moment when one of the uniformed cleaners will come over to my table and remove and rubbish. I always say thank you and I mean it. It is a thankless job and hard work.
Anyway, years ago I just happened to be sitting and having a cup of coffee in the food court. It was empty when I got there and I was enjoying the peace and quiet.
As I sat there people started to trickle in and sit at tables. I was reading a book and really did not notice much until one of the cleaner’s came up to my table and picked up my empty coffee cup and started to wipe the table. I looked up and said thank you. At the same time I suddenly noticed that the food court was extremely crowded. In the short time I had been engrossed in the book I was reading, there was a huge influx of people.
“Oh, I wonder where all these people came from,” I said out loud, half to myself but also directed rather politely to the woman cleaning the table.
She stopped what she was doing, looked down at me like I had just vomited on her shoes and said…….”How the fuck should I know.”
And then walked off.
“Well, excuse me,” I said to her back as she walked off.
Ruined my shopping day. Well, for about ten minutes anyway. I bravely consoled my offended senses with the purchase of a rather nice pair of socks.
To this day I cannot think her without smiling. She was so rude. It was great.
Some people stick in your mind for the oddest reasons.