Thursday, 5 February 2015

I Was Courteous in a Queue. Shame on Me.

I went to the deli in our local supermarket on Wednesday. As I approached the counter, the staff member, standing directly in front of me on the other side of the counter yelled "Who's next?".

I glanced to my left, knowing that the woman in my peripheral vision was there when I approached. I gestured to the other customer and suggested she was next.

The other customer gracefully waved, the one that says "you go ahead, I'm already being served".

I turned back to the staff member, to see her impatiently staring at me, sighing at my disgraceful display of courtesy, tsk-tsking for holding her up. My immediate thought was to tell her to shove her shaved ham up her apron, but I just placed my small order instead, knowing she wouldn't care and I'd be hamless, so what's the point?

Bitchy deli chick than slapped my package down onto the counter and walked away. At this point, I remembered that this exact thing had happened to me about 6 months ago, at the same shop, with the same girl.

Please, friends, tell me. Am I wrong to do that? Is what I see as a common act of courtesy actually a blatant disrespect for the abilities of service industry staff?

Was inconveniencing myself by suggesting that she's about to serve the wrong customer, a big fat slap in her face?

I don't think so. I'd really appreciate some feedback here, particularly if you think she has a point. I'm generally a very open minded, two-sides-to-every-story kind of girl so I can take it if you disagree. Except on the topic of offal. There's no need for that shit.

I'm struggling with this. For starters, if she really was confident that I was next in line, why couldn't she say "Can I help you?"  rather than "Who's next?" Sure, it's a minor detail but it would suggest that she was aware of who was next. And then, if I balked, she could have followed up with "that lady's being served already."  BOOM. Maybe I should work there? But meat and I don't really get along so....maybe not.

Given her reaction to my senseless kindness, I dare say she'd be the type of person who'd spear-tackle you if you dared cut in front of her in a queue, even if you had no idea you'd done it. So surely then she should appreciate queue courtesy?

Everybody has bad days. Deli workers at the local supermarket are not the exception. I have no idea what else has happened in her day or her life, so I didn't give her a hard time or sneer at her (not while she was watching anyway). I thought, what would Tay-Tay do? And I shook it off.

This wasn't a big deal, even if it seems like I think it was because I'm now broadcasting it to anyone who'll pay attention. It just puzzled me because unlike a usual encounter with a rude or unreasonable person, this one was weird, where I, thinking I was doing the right thing, was made to feel like the bad guy. Again. By the same freaking person.

I may need therapy.

Is queue courtesy not a thing anymore? Am I just stuck in 2014?