This Christmas, Go For The Whole Package

, , , , , , | Right | December 23, 2018

(The scene: a desperately understaffed postal outlet, two cashiers, mountain of Christmas shipping boxes behind them, line of customers stretching out behind us. I am next in line while two men in front of me do business with the two clerks. The customer on the left is mature, annoyed, and arguing very slowly with the woman trying to help him.)

Customer: “But this says that the driver couldn’t deliver the package and that I could pick it up here.”

Clerk: “Yes, sir, but the driver has not yet returned from his rounds, so the package isn’t here to pick up yet.”

Customer: “Can you just check and see if it’s here?”

Clerk: “I’ve already explained to you, sir, that the driver has not yet returned for the day…”

(This continues for minutes while the line behind us steadily grows longer. The clerk is clearly pained, but her professionalism is astounding.)

Clerk: “Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to come back tomorrow and check for your package; there are a lot of customers waiting in line.”

Customer: “Well, you don’t care that I made a special trip in here in my truck to pick this up! Nobody cares about me. I might just go get into my truck and drive over someone on the way home—“

(This is too much, and the customer beside him and I both interrupt him simultaneously.)

Me: “Hey! Don’t be talking like that. That’s not cool; you don’t threaten to run someone over just because you didn’t get your package…”

(Voices from the lineup behind us join in in support. The customer whirls in surprise, and notices that he is holding up about twenty people, that we’ve all been listening, and that we are all calling him on his bad behaviour. He leaves the store without a word. The clerk thanks us, the other customer and I fist bump, and we finish our business. Next time I am in, I get the same clerk, who says…)

Clerk: “You remember that guy? He came back the next day, then complained that his package was too heavy for him to carry, and now he’d wasted two trips for nothing and we should just send it back. Then, about an hour later he came back in and picked it up after all.”

(Their receipt has one of those “How did we do?” surveys on it. I made sure to fill it out positively, mentioning her by name.)

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