Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Did you ever notice?

As Canadians we're a very polite people. So polite, in fact, that we'll be cordial even when the situation perfectly justifies us to be fuming. Case in point:

I'm at the pharmacy and notice a harried cashier trying her best to keep the line moving. Unfortunately there's a line of about 10 people waiting for service. A woman who clearly has no concept of patience, kindness or empathy (see what I teach here to the kids? Do unto others...? She needs a quick lesson) goes straight up to the cashier, interrupting her while she's running customers through.

Clueless Customer: Can you tell me where I can find the batteries?
Crazed Cashier: Aisle 4 ma'am.
Cust: Are those the store brand or the name brands? Because the name brands last longer.
Cash: They're both in aisle 4, ma'am
Cust: How much do they cost?
Cash: I can't help you right now, ma'am. Could you please find someone on the floor to give you a hand?
Cust: Can you call someone to help me?
Cash: Aisle 4 is just over there ma'am.

It wasn't just me... her "ma'am" was starting to sound like "effing idiot bitch"? But on the surface it was a perfectly polite exchange between service personnel and consumer. Everyone in the line got her inferral (except the clueless customer, worse luck) and were looking at each other in fear and apprehension. When it got to our turn we were like the soup Nazi's customers, goose-stepping up to the cash, grabbing our purchases and beating feet out of the store.

Isn't it funny how in a polite society you can still have a freakout fit but still maintain your decorum?


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