All Caulk And No Action

, , , , , | Right | May 28, 2019

(I’m making keys next to an old-but-wise coworker. A short, middle-aged woman approaches me right in the middle of my key-cutting.)

Customer: “Excuse me…”

Me: *still making keys, hoping she’s talking to my coworker*

Customer: “Um, excuse me…”

Me: *turns to my right to see her, and smiles a bit, and silently motions toward the key machine and my coworker*

Customer: “Could you help me?”

(I shut off my machine, silently apologizing to the people whose keys I’m making. I don’t want key slivers in anyone’s mouths.)

Me: “Hi there.”

Customer: “I’m looking for caulking.”

Me: “Ah, it’s in aisle 82 on the left.” *turns the key machine back on and keeps grinding*

Customer: “Yes, thank you. I’m looking for the caulking, and I need to know which one to use for my windows.”

Me: *pauses, looking at her, and shuts off the machine again* “Yes, um, it’s in aisle 82, in the paint department. The guy behind the paint counter desk can help you.” *turns the key machine back on*

Customer: “Maybe he would know where it is?” *motions toward my coworker, who is quite swamped at the moment*

Me: *shuts off the key machine again* “Erm, no, he’s busy. Ask the guy behind the paint counter. He can definitely help you, and is quite experienced with caulking.” *turns the key machine on again*

Customer: “So, he would know?” *motions toward the same coworker to my right*

Me: “Paint counter guy.” *key machine still on*

Customer: *points toward my coworker, confused*

Me: *points in the opposite direction, toward the paint counter* “The guy behind the counter in that direction. The paint guy.”

Customer: “Maybe he’ll know?” *still talking about my poor swamped coworker*

Me: “No, m’dear, not him. He’s not the paint guy. He’s busy at the moment. Turn around, and walk into the middle of the store, and look to your left. You’ll see a guy behind the counter making paint.” *turns back to the keys, and silently wills an invisibility shield around myself*

Customer: *walking to my coworker* “Maybe you know. Where is the caulking, please?”

Coworker: *still helping a customer, ignoring her for a bit, though he raises a “one moment” finger to her*

Customer: “Where is the caulking, please?”

Coworker: *now done* “The associate behind the paint counter will help you. It’s his area of expertise.” *helps another customer*

Customer: *turns around looking like she just passed through someone and comes back to me* “Where is the caulking?”

Me: “Aisle 82.”

Customer: “So, aisle 79?”

Me: “Aisle 82.”

Customer: “So, it’s in the caulking area?”

Me: “The caulking area is in the paint area. Follow the signs, dear.”

Customer: “Where’s the paint area?”

Me: *points*

Customer: “But maybe he knows?”

Me: “I’m confused now.”

Customer: “Me, too. Maybe he knows where it is?”

Me: “But I know where it is.”

Customer: “But maybe he knows?”

Me: “Fine with me, hon.”

Customer: *asks [Coworker] again* “Where is caulking?”

Coworker: *wondering why he’s still here* “It’s in the paint area. Ask the man behind the paint counter. He’ll be glad to help you.”

Customer: *turns to me* “Can you show me where the caulking is?”

Me: “After I’m done making keys. I have quite the line. Maybe it might take less time to wander off into the middle of the store to find it on your own. I can’t leave until I’m done.”

Customer: “But why not?”

Me: “Because I have a line.”

Customer: “Okay, goodbye. Maybe he knows?” *points to [Coworker] again*

Me: “Didn’t you just ask him?”

Customer: “But he didn’t know.”

Me: “So, why are you asking him again? The paint counter guy knows.”

Customer: “So, maybe I should just ask him, right?”

Me: “Well, I’ve told you many times, but I don’t know if it’ll help to do it again, so yes, maybe he can lead you to it.”

Customer: “But I’m here now. Can’t you lead me?”

Me: *after my line is gone and I have no more customers* “That’s what I’m supposed to do, anyway. If you want, you can walk over to the paint counter and ask him where it is, though I can tell you right now that it’s in aisle 82.”

Customer: “But I don’t know where that is!”

Me: “The paint counter or aisle 82?”

Customer: “Anything!”

Me: “Yeah, this store is a bit of a maze.” *spits out a key sliver* “Bleh. That was awful. Go into the middle of the store, and look to the left. He’s right there.”

Customer: “Where?”

Me: “The middle of the store.”

Customer: “Where’s that? Maybe you know?” *walks to my coworker*

Me: “Where the middle of the store is?”

My Current Customer: “HOLY S***, LADY, FOLLOW ME!”

(My current customer takes her by the arm, leads her to the caulking, and comes back.)

Me: “I love you forever.”

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