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    Noisy Complaints Are All-Enveloping

    | Provo, UT, USA | Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid, Top

    (I am in a rather lengthy line at the post office to buy a bunch of stamps for work; it is early afternoon. An elderly customer behind me is complaining loudly to no one in particular about the wait.)

    Customer: “I can’t believe they’re making us wait like this. It’s the middle of the day; the line shouldn’t be like this! I have places to be!”

    (I glance back at her, but don’t really pay much attention.)

    Customer: “This is ridiculous! They could just open up more lines and get us all through here quickly, but they just make us all wait in line.”

    (When I get to the front of the line, the customer makes a big show of loudly counting all of the closed cashier stands and complaining. I ask the clerk for my stamps, and he goes to the back to get them, as I need more than he has at his station.)

    Customer: “Oh, now one of them is leaving? I can’t believe this!”

    (The customer suddenly walks up to the counter to stand next to me. When the clerk comes back, she speaks up.)

    Customer: “I need to buy these things, now.”

    Me: “Excuse me? He’s still helping me.”

    Customer: “Well, I just need to buy a few things.”

    Me: “So do I. It’ll just be a moment.”

    Customer: “You’re buying a ton of stamps! I just need these envelopes.”

    (I finally pay enough attention to realize what she’s holding: several flat rate envelopes.)

    Me: “Ma’am, those are free.”

    Customer: “What?”

    Me: “You can take those for free. You just have to pay the postage when you bring them back in.”

    (The customer looks at the clerk, who nods.)

    Customer: “Well, how was I supposed to know that?! Someone should have told me sooner!”

    Me: “It’s written all over the stand you grabbed them from.”

    (The customer looks back at the stand, and sees that I’m right. She then leaves in a huff, complaining about the post office wasting her time.)