Your Friend Is Imaginary, Just Like Your Courtesy

, , , , , , , | Right | November 14, 2018

I work in a home decor store where all the registers are at the front, and people go to the next available register. It’s a busy Saturday, so all the registers are staffed and there’s a line. When my previous customer leaves, I look back at where the line starts. I call out that I can help the next person, but no one moves. At the front of a line is a woman with one item — a painting — who seems to be almost deliberately avoiding eye contact. I repeat that I can take the next person, thinking maybe she’s with the customer at the register closest to the line and the people behind her are next, but none of the customers move around her.

After about a minute goes by, I step out from my register so I’m more visible, and call for the next customer again, still to no avail. The customer at the front of the line is looking everywhere but at me. I finally start to walk closer to her, which gets her attention. We go to my register, where I start to ring her out.

“Sorry about that!” she says. “I must not have heard you; I was talking to my friend!”

Not only was she there alone, but she never said a word until she got to my register.

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