(subtitled: This is Customer Service?)
(sub-subtitled: Awkward Check-out Moment #329)
My brother-in-law’s text message was simple: “You always have the BEST awkward moments.”
Gee, thanks. That’s not exactly what I was aspiring to be known for but, hey. . . I guess it’s better than nothing. His message was in response to a text I’d sent, Friday, to practically everyone I know. I could NOT believe what had just happened.
Let me back-up.
First of all, I have put in my time at a register, working both retail and fast food as a high school kid. I remember the long hours, too few breaks, and the wear and tear on my body. So, when I am in a store or restaurant, I try to be sympathetic. I get it — it’s hard work. What I do NOT get is the belief that your customer should endure these hardships with you. As my Grandma would say, “It’s just plain TACKY!”
“Tacky” was what my daughter and I saw on Friday. The Little Lady and I were at a local clothing store — a store that always has a ton of Halloween costumes. While it is a bit early to be costume shopping, I wanted to see just how cute my daughter could be this year.
(Although, we set such a high bar last year, I don’t know if Halloween can get any cuter. Seriously, how in the world can it get any cuter than last year’s Bald Ballerina look?)
Unfortunately, I wasn’t impressed by this year’s selection; it was a disappointing collection of Strawberries, Ducks, Penguins, and Red Peppers. The same costumes as last year. I wanted something unique! I don’t want the Little Lady to be Strawberry number 4, walking through our neighborhood. I was so upset at the sad results of our quest that I decided to buy a new purse. Every girl knows that a new purse is the answer to any bad momet. Even now, thinking about that new purse makes me smile!
It was with a smile on my pale, freckled face that I made my way to one of the registers. The sales lady, a tall woman who seemed to enjoy wearing tight white pants, and whose name-tag proudly declared her to be “Maggie,” was not smiling. Her face was distorted — twisting and grimacing in pain. At first, I was concerned for her. Was she ok? What was so wrong that it was visible on her poor face? Was her face always like that? I soon discovered the answer to my questions.
“Janet?” My sales lady spoke loudly, with a strong Texas drawl, to the young woman working the register behind her.
“Uh.” Janet grunted and didnâ€™t look up from the security sensors she was removing from a pile of clothing.
“Has Miguel not come back offa his break yet?”
“Nope,” Janet replied.
“Awwwww, Man!” Maggieâ€™s voice rose to a near screech. “I gotta GO!”
Goodness, I thought — is she late for a doctor or legal appointment?
“Just go,” Janet casually prompted, “When you gotta go, you gotta go.”
Maggie’s body started to tighten and her face became tenser. “OOOOOOOooooo,” she squealed, as she began to clamp her thighs together and twist back and forth.
Her dilemma was perfectly clear: Maggie had to go to the bathroom.
Tense and stiff, she started bouncing a little, yelling to Janet, “Well, he better git back soon or I’m gonna go right here and now!”
Please, don’t be serious! Please, don’t be serious! I began chanting in my head. Please, oh, please, oh, please, oh please, don’t be serious!
With customers gaping in her line, Maggie’s “pee-pee shuffle” became frantic — looking like a stressed three year old. Just like a little girl, Maggie was oblivious to how she appeared to anyone else. All she could focus on was the overwhelming pressure on her bladder.
Thankfully, for Maggie’s sake, the sake of her too tight pants, and the sake of all waiting in line, Miguel finally showed up. His Big Gulp in hand, he sauntered to the register. It was quite apparent that HE wasn’t in any hurry.
Maggie was. “GOL! It’s about time, boy!” She gave one more quick, twisting shuffle and stepped back from her register. “Take over — I’m about to pee my pants!”
Violently pushing past Miguel and his Big Gulp, Maggie left and, I assume (as I didn’t hear any “Clean up” announcements over the speakers), that she made it to the restroom in time.
But, then I didn’t really stay to make sure. I was in too much of a hurry to get out of there. I had to send out a text message: “OMG! You are NOT going to believe what just happened!“