Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Over the Conveyor Belt and Through the Scanner . . .

During my high school years, I worked at a photo lab where we had fairly regular customers. One of them was a man who was all business. No greeting, no pleasantries . . . he would complete his transaction with minimal syllables, and beat a business-like retreat.

I decided I wanted to see him smile, so when he would come into the store, I would smile at him and throw out a few of my own pleasantries. He was not impressed. I persisted for several weeks, but had no success.

And then one day, he stooped down by the display, picked up a picture frame, and asked me the price as he handed it to me. I answered his question, and as I handed the frame back, I said, "Wow, that's really dusty."

And Mr. Serious BUSTED A GUT!

I was utterly bewildered and totally proud of myself.

So I thought of that guy when I was in the grocery store last week, waiting in line for my turn with the cranky express lane clerk. Cranky people scare me, by the way. But I figured I was up for the challenge . . . I was going to get Cranky Clerk to smile.

When I saw her name tag, "Grandma Joan*" (*name has been changed, because I am also scared of Cranky Clerks who Google), I figured it was a done deal. She looked surprisingly young to be a Grandma, but she was obviously proud of it. So I opened with, "You're not seriously a Grandma, are you?"

Without breaking her scanning stride, she came back with a monotone-yet-irritable, "YesIAmSeriouslyAGrandma. $12.45."

I looked around frantically for a dusty picture frame, but since there were none to be found, I responded with a feeble, "You look too young to be a Grandma!"

To which she said NOTHING.

So I scooped up my 10 items or less, and skedaddled out of the store.

And that's how I was SHUT DOWN by a Grandma in the grocery express lane.


Mom said...

Maybe she wasn't as happy about being a grandma as most of us are!