I have to condemn someone to EHell, but it unfortunately means also turning in a very good friend of mine as well. In her defense, she was trying to defend my honor.
Last weekend, I was out shopping with several girlfriends at a department store. Just as we got in line to check out, the registers stopped working, forcing the cashiers to start processing the debit & credit transactions manually. This slowed things down considerably. To move things along, one of the employees comes through the line asking if anyone is planning to pay in cash and can they please move to the express lane for quicker check out. (This is important for later.) Not many people move. I am the last of my friends to make my purchases, and just as I reach the head of the line, the overwhelmed cashier announces that she needs a break. After a brief discussion with another cashier, the young lady decides to close our line and have everyone move to a different register.
Now, I seem to remember learning in kindergarten about line etiquette and the importance of not “cutting” in front of another person. Apparently the women directly behind me was absent that day in class. She scurried as fast as she could to the next register and got ahead of me. Having already waited a good twenty to twenty-five minutes in line, I was pretty peeved and let out an audible sigh, hoping the woman would notice her faux pas and allow me to have my place back. She ignored me and proceeded to put her items on the counter. The more I think about it, the more I think I should have said something, but I decided to let it go and not make a fuss about it. One of my girlfriends though is not one to shy away from confrontation. She witnessed this woman’s rude behavior and spoke up. She started out nicely enough: She asked the woman if I could please go first since 1) I was already ahead of her in line to begin with, and 2) I had an entire group of people already checked-out and waiting on me. The woman refused, stating that she only had two items and it would only take her a few seconds. I myself only had two items; it would take me the same amount of time! My friend pressed the issue and said we had all been waiting quite a long time in line, but the woman countered that she had too. This is where it gets ugly. My friend calls the woman “rude” to her face and begins to mumble insults under her breath that were actually quite audible. I finally signaled to my friend to please just let it go.
When it comes time for the lady to pay, she decides to pay with cash! I didn’t know whether to be grateful (because it was quicker than debit or credit) or more infuriated (The cashiers had asked that all those paying with cash move to a different line. Had she listened, we could’ve avoided this whole ugly incident!) When she gets done and starts to leave, she approaches my friend and says, “See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?” My friend responds, “It would have been easier if you weren’t such a *****.” The lady tells my friend in so many words to kiss her behind and storms out.
I’m grateful to my friend for standing up for me, but I don’t approve of the way she did it. I’m really not sure whose behavior was worse. 0628-10
Ooo! Butting ahead of the line are some of my favorite stories and my favorite faux pas to actually speak up and say something. I’ve recounted the tale years ago of standing at the fabric cutting counter of a crafts and sewing store during lunch hour when a woman cut in front of about ten of us to get to the front of the line.
“Excuse me, the end of the line is back there,” said I as I pointed behind me.
“I only have this small amount of trim to get cut,” she replied.
“I’m so sorry but we ladies have been patiently waiting our turn and you can, too.”
“I’m on lunch break and have to hurry.”
“Our time is just as valuable as yours. Please wait your turn like we have.”
Ten pairs of scowling eyes bored into her. Even the gray haired, little old ladies were using their rheumy eyes to communicate like little lasers just how they felt about her lame excuses. The cutting counter employee said nothing so Mrs. Butt-in-sky got her way.
The hubris of thinking one’s time is infinitely more valuable than others and that one’s business is profoundly more important!