How To Get Ahead

, , , , | Right | August 20, 2020

I’m in a very small branch of a popular UK bakery, and I do mean small; the floor is about the same size as a small bedroom. It’s about 5:00 pm on a Friday, and as it’s my birthday, I’m going out that night and staying with a friend, so I have a huge backpack stuffed full. The store is such a small size that I and three other customers — the guy in front of me at the till and the couple at the hot food counter — fill it.

When the couple turns around after getting their food, it puts them right next to the guy at the till. However, I’ve already been standing there behind him with my items in hand while he’s served. Note that I’m really tiny and not always easy to see when standing behind other people, but I am in full view of the couple. He gets his change and leaves.

Cashier: *To the couple* “Hi, what can I get you?”

Customer: “Just these, thanks.”

I am taken aback and reply admittedly slightly louder than I intended.

Me: “Oh, all right, then.”

Customer: *Giving me a dirty look* “Well, you can go ahead if you want. We were here first, though.”

I step forward without acknowledging her tone or her look, and the cashier gives me an apologetic look as she realises what’s happened. As I’m digging inside my backpack for my purse to pay, I notice that the customer leans backward to talk to her partner. I have my earphones in but my music switched off, as I always do when I’m at the till.

Customer: *Loudly, with great emphasis* “Jesus. H. Christ.”

Me: “I can hear you, y’know.”

She never said another word.

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