I’ve always tried to be nice to people. When I was a kid, my sisters and I would stand outside of church and open the doors for congregants as they came in. Or we would shovel the driveway for our retired neighbor. I believe that if you treat people kindly and respectfully things will go smoothly for you. Also the individuals that you speak with and make contact with tend to be more considerate that way. This is not always the case.  

As I mentioned in my last post I have one of those faces. You know, the kinds that people say “I think I know you”. It can be a lot of fun, you have the opportunity to strike up a conversation with a stranger. Or you will wish you just stayed at home that day. Well, it happened again. Yup. However this time it wasn’t as nice as the last time.

My retail job allows for a 30 minute break if I choose and one day I just really needed to get out into the fresh air and answer my serious craving for some McDonalds fries. I opted to take my break and the very short, two-mintue drive to the restaurant. Because it was a beautiful afternoon, I decided to go inside rather than going through the drive-thru. 

That was my first mistake.

I was waiting patiently in line, not really doing much of anything. After all, what can you do while waiting in line for anything? A senior gentleman in front of me happened to turn around, taking in his surroundings. He looked at me a bit, I smiled politely in his direction before he turned forward agin. After a few moments he whirled around back to me and declared “you sold me a broken laptop!”

I certainly wouldn’t have expected this. I would have thought that a civil person would have asked if I worked someplace or asked if I had a certain profession. Not this guy.

“Excuse me?” I asked him looking around, “Are you talking to me?” This is news to me. Mostly because I don’t sell laptops, and certainly not broken ones. If I did I probably wouldn’t be in business for very long.

“Yes!” and as I stood there in stunned silence, he proceeded to tell me agin that I sold him a laptop that worked for a few days and then it just stopped. Of course, people around us started looking our way.

“Sir, I don’t sell laptops for a living. Where did you buy your laptop from?” I figured that I may not have sold the computer to him, but I could try to help him I was sure. 

This, ladies and gents, was my second mistake.

“You now where you work!” He was getting a delightful shade of pink on his cheeks. I smiled and told him that I certainly know where I worked, but that clearly he didn’t. Okay, so that probably wasn’t the right response, but could you blame me? He answered that I worked over at —— store and that I had sold him a piece of junk. I answered with a silent stare and pointed to my work attire, which very clearly was NOT the previously mentioned store. That delightful shade of pink on his face was turning red very quickly.  

Now by this point most people would admit their mistake, apologize, and then move along. Nope. Not this guy. This guy proceeded to tell me, again, that I had sold him something that worked for three days and then stopped. Just stopped. It wouldn’t even power up. I sold him junk.

Being that I am from a generation that have worked on or with computers nearly every day, and knowing that the tech knowledge that most people of his generation have is fairly limited, I still thought I could provide some help. Why I did this, I still don’t know.

“Well, I don’t work for —- but from the sound of what you told me, The battery must have run down. Have you plugged it in and charged the battery?”  

This was my third mistake. Big, huge, mistake.

The man’s face proceeded to develop a shade of purple that I can only describe as “royally pissed”. “WHADJA MEAN CHARGE THE BATTERY IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO GO ANYWHERE ANYTIME I NEED IT TO!!!! Well, if people weren’t looking yet, they were now.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Looking back I probably should have simply told the man that he was mistaken. I could have told him I didn’t live in the area, or heck, feigned a British accent. I don’t know. But no, I had to try to be helpful. Stupid me.

At this point I reminded him that while I didn’t work for the previously named company, if the device worked for three days and then suddenly died, the battery likely needed to be charged or he should probably take it back. And then I let him know that it was his turn to order. Mr. Royally Pissed turned around muttering something under his breath about returning the laptop to an uncomfortable area of my anatomy. Charming.

When I got up to the counter for my turn I actually apologized before placing my order. The annoyingly perfectly-clear faced teenager behind the counter told me not to worry about it. 

So is this the worst thing that can come from a face that is so interchangeable? Not at all. But I can tell you one thing that it did teach me. From now on, it’s the drive through for me.

One thought on “People Watching – Drive Thru or Walk In

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