If I wouldn't have recently seen an Oprah interview, regarding a stay at home mom, that slowly over time made her cocktail hour…earlier and earlier…..until finally, her morning coffee mug was filled with liquor, I would have most likely poured myself a cocktail, out in the car, at 11 am.
This is a season that is supposed to promote love and giving. A time where you feel compelled to hand a homeless man a sandwich, and throw your loose change into the red metal tin, where the fake Santa smiles, while ringing a charity bell. A time where you smile and say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to complete strangers. This is also a time when people are happy to have jobs, a home, and a family to go home to…….Afterall, not everyone is so fortunate.
I admit I was feeling sluggish and grouchy to start, but today I made my way out into civilization, where I was hoping to be greeted with uplifting, friendly faces…….
This didnt work out.
I started at AT&T, where I was ready to buy my daughter her first phone, and where I would be adding a new phone line. As I walked in, I was nervous as usual, because I never have any idea what I'm doing! For starters, the two ladies that worked there were sitting at a table together, with no customer. I was pleased….No line, no wait…..plus less people to hear my stupid questions!
My smile quickly melted as I watched the “college help” roll her eyes, as she slowly drug her legs, then her shoulders up, to help me. It made me more nervous, and I started sputtering my way through my needs……She just stared at me, and didnt move a muscle. No move toward a phone, no move toward a computer, no move towards helping me at all. I was left with such an uncomfortable silence, that I began asking more questions. “How much more will that be”?…. “Is there a different plan”?….”Can I wait to turn on the phone until closer to Chrismas”?
She responded with such things as “It depends on your plan”…”There is a different plan, but if you pay less, then you'll end up paying more”….and my favorite “No”.
She told me in order to tell me anything, she would have to look into my account. Wasn't that why I was there? I was more confused than when I started!
Finally, I said “So”?….. She rolled her eyes again and said “What's your name”, as she typed into her notepad, making her first move at looking ino my account. Then she told me I should just come in, at a later time, if I wanted to save money. As I slowly walked out, still finding the words “thank you”, she opened the door, smiled for the first time, and said “Come again”!
I was so irritated when I left there, but I told myself that no Scrooge was going to bring me down! Next, I headed to the CVS where I was going to try to develop a few pictures off of my phone. Again, I'm not advanced with technology, so I asked the lady at the counter to help me. She spun quickly on her heels to make a move to help, and I was feeling grateful for that, after my last experience. I said thank you when her eyes met mine. However, I noticed immediately, that she was NOT smiling, but was irritated….probably because I just interrupted her lunch hour behind the photo counter.
She pressed buttons like a pro, while she chewed what was left in her mouth. Whatever crumbs that hadn't gathered in the faint hairs around her lower lip, were now delicately falling on and around my phone, beneath her. I took a deep breath and said to myself “Its okay, she's helping me”!
She told me it would take a long time before the computer would even read my pictures and wished me luck. It actually didnt seem that long to me, so I decided to print more pictures than I had originally intended. After I finished that, the screen asked if I wanted to make some collages. It looked fun, so I started playing with it. I probably played with that printer for 45 minutes, before finally calling it quits. I had planned to get the photos in an hour and maybe hit a couple more stores, before going home…….No such luck!
When I pushed the done button, a receipt printed out, and then my pictures started printing out…right in front of me. What happened to one hour photo? Still not flustered, I thought I'd look around the store a bit, and come back to them. I got some cards, and a couple bottles of wine, and looked in every aisle. When I came back to the pictures, 22 had printed!! The lady started getting agitated that it was taking me so long, especially since I was just pacing back and forth at the front counter, smiling at her when she caught my eye. I told her that I didn't realize they printed immediately!!!!
She rolled he eyes and said “Well, yeah”!, I thought you only had 32 pictures”? I reminded her that I had 88 plus 2 collages! She was appalled!… 20 minutes later, I was still pacing, and she was tired of looking a me. She started paging Deb to the front counter for customer service, even though there were no customers. Then when Deb didnt show, she would say out loud “Where is that Deb”? Finally, when there were about 10 photos left to print, I paid for my things. She rolled her eyes again, when I said I was kind of new at this thing, and she seemed grateful that there were customers behind me.
As I waited for the last of my photos, I stared for the 27th time at the Chivas Regal liquor gift set. I didnt even know what that was, but I wanted to pour one immediately. What happened to old fashioned customer service?
I loaded the last of my pictures, and noticed that my 2 collages were on HER side of the counter! I hovered once more, and I know she could see me in her periphery! “Ma'am…I got just two more pictures back there…if you could just…”
Then over the speaker again, I hear….”DEB PLEASE COME TO THE FRONT FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE”!
……Sadly, Deb never came……