Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Mean One And The Clerk

I entered the mall, USB key in hand, and made my way to the photography store. An email received late last night, alerting me to the special for developing digital pictures at a reduced rate, meant staying up an hour late to copy over 250 pictures to my USB drive.

As I entered the store, my heart sank as I cast my eyes at the kiosks. There's people at every single one of those machines. There's only one machine that accepts USB keys, and there was a woman ahead of me, henceforth to be referred to as the Mean One. She too was waiting for the machine to be free.

Suddenly, two machines became free. One was our machine. The other was to my right, with no one in line. Seeing the Mean One take out an SD memory card, I asked her, "Excuse me, if you don't mind, I see that you have an SD card. The machine to my right takes that card, but not my USB key, which only this machine does. Can I trouble you to move to that machine please?"

Each person at a machine takes a minimum of half an hour as they browse through each of their pictures, pausing to edit color, contrast, etc. I did not want to wait needlessly.


"I am sorry?" *shock* She must not have got the memo about Canadians being polite. Besides, they are the same machine, except for one bloody memory slot.

"I was here first and I have the right to use this machine. Too bad for you."

So saying, the Mean One inserted her card into the machine.

My active imagination had by this time already designed three different ways to run her over with a monster truck, but I said nothing. She was just a rude person, that's all. At that moment the store clerk approached us.

"I am sorry, I have to boot this machine." He told the Mean One.

"What? I just uploaded my damn pictures."

"I am sorry." The clerk replied, unflustered. "This machine needs to be rebooted. You can go to the next machine."

Muttering something under her breath, the Mean One ejected her card and moved to the next machine, where she reinserted it and began to upload her pictures. I waited for the clerk to boot the machine. He turned to me.

"You know what? I don't think I need to boot this kiosk after all."

Saying this, he turned back and walked towards his post, but not before I saw a hint of a wink from him.

Well, what can I say. Sometimes good guys do finish earlier after all. I started to upload the pictures, as the Mean One continued to give me the look.

It pays to be a regular customer.



Ek Umeed said...

Oh, Mezba, what is with rude people? (To all the rude people of the world, I want to say, "Get a life.") Anyway, I am glad that you were helped by the clerk in fulfillment of your task. I am even more glad that you did not have to face the hassle that the "mean lady" would have put you through in her, well, meanness.

You know, I was surprised by the ending of your narrative. And even though I could not venture a guess as to how the story would unfold, you can bet I was hoping she was going to get her due.

You know, whenever, I encounter mean people, I imagine them pint-sized (the inventive idea courtesy of the television series "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids") and then proceed to have them fried in a frying pan containing extremely hot oil. After that bit of vivid imagery playing in my mind's eye, I cannot help but carry a silly, secretive grin on my face. And the mean people find themselves suddenly befuddled, at a loss for words, and in wonderment of my smile. I know they expect either a hostile or a neutral reaction; they are not prepared for what they surmise as a rather odd attitude. (Shakes head.) If they only knew... (Laughs.)

Shakia said...

Clerk sounds like to be a true superman...

Abu Sinan said...

That guy is a true here. I hope some random bird poops on the ladies head.

The Bengali Fob said...

Good Story Mez. I can call you Mez right? lol As fo rth eclerk, you should buy him chocolate or something. Of course, I say chocolates because girls usually like chocolates. Dunno about guys though. Maybe a "Thanks my bro" is fine.

Maliha said...

awesome post. A clerk that was actually helpful? that's it i gotta move to canada.

Rajputro said...

wow what an experience! Priceless..

Behbood said...

hey mez,
was the clerk a GORA ?


'liya said...

Wow, that was really nice of the clerk! :)

mezba said...

Ek Umeed: I was sort of hoping just as I leave her machine would crash but no such luck - rude people rarely meet their upcommence straight away, but I believe no good deed goes unrewarded and no bad deed goes unpunished. Hopefully she will mend her ways before that.

Shakia: Clerk = clerk kent - I like it!

Abu Sinan: He is a true hero. I made sure to thank him later.

Bfob: I did thank him afterwards. He said not to worry, that lady has always been rude to other people and he just wanted to help me out as I didn't make a scene.

Maliha: You have to move to Canada. It's nice up here. Lots of snow though.

Rajputro: It was. Neither did I expect not the lady to move, nor did I expect the clerk not to boot the machine.

Behbood: All parties except me was.

Liya: It was, wasn't it! Sure saved me an easy 40 minutes, taught me to copy them to the SD card next time and not to give up on humanity.

NAB said...

dude, a guy winked at you. how secure ARE you about your sexual orientation? =)

Muslim Apple said...

Simply hilarious.

Crimson Mouzi said...

What is this with Canadians being polite? There are different type of people everywhere, or maybe Canada is "small" enough to lump the all Canadians into one category. HAHAH.. just kidding.
But, I think you would get any politeness or helpfulness from anywhere in the City of New York. You would not get any smiling face in the city of Boston, but would hear things like "Good day, good night", but no smile. in Colorado, the lady would have totally move to the other Kiosk. there, we Americans have it all. The rudest to the politest. ;)

Crimson Mouzi said...

correction: I DON'T think you would get any politeness in NYC.

Aisha said...

KUDOS to the clerk who definetly now earns your regular patronage.

I can never understand people like that. Mean for no good reason.

One time I went to the movies with a friend and there was literally not a pair of seats left. There were two on either side of a lady and we asked her if she could move over one so we could watch the movie. She too said no. I can't help but wonder why she couldnt get her big butt up and move over one seat.t Why?

Your post reminds me that there is a thing as "what goes around comes around" though not all of us are as lucky as you to witness it first hand :)

Muslim Apple said...

I think New Yorkers are very nice people although I'm biased because I was born and raised there.

New Yorkers are very diverse and in my experience a lot of the rude ones and the ones complaining about this supposed rudeness are not originally from New York.