>I’m a smartass. But I’m also extraordinarily polite. I think with being gay, and a bit shy, comes lovely manners. Now that doesn’t mean the straight folks aren’t polite, but, for me, being gay, and shy, instilled in me some lovely manners.
I’m a Please and Thank you guy. I say My pleasure when someone thanks me for something. I hold doors open. I let people go into buildings ahead of me. I’m nice.
Once, years back, I was picking out a birthday cake for a friend, and I was asking the Counter Girl some questions. I kept saying Please and Thanks as we talked and then she disappeared into the back to finish icing my cake. Suddenly she reappeared and asked if she could tell me something.
She said, You’re just about the most polite person I’ve ever met.
I said, Thanks. But could you just shut up and ice my damn cake.
Like I said, I’m a smartass, and nice. To a point.
Okay, so here we go: yesterday was Carlos’ 67th birthday–he’ll kill me for that because he’s a couple of decades shy of that number, but that’s what I always tell him–and as I am a procrastinator of epic proportions–though not as epic as Carlos who took three-plus years to paint the kitchen ceiling, but I digress–I went out shopping for some birthday trinkets yesterday.
The day before his Big Day. Pro.Crasti.Nation.
Now, to be fair, I had ordered him a new briefcase since his last one is falling apart at the seams, but it won’t be here for a week or so. Don’t worry, I already told him, because i was worried he’d find one on his own and then we’d have two, and that would just be odd. But again I digress.
So, I’m out at The Stores, doing some shopping, which I hate because I’m a get-in-get-what-you-want-and-get-out type of guy, but I was stuck perusing the shelves at every kind of store imaginable. And finally, at one store, I found something–I’ll keep it a secret because he gets the gift today which is his actual birthday–he would like.
I took it to Cashier–like Karen Walker, I call people by what they do…Counter Girl, Cashier, Hustler–and Salesperson asked if I wanted to sign up for a store credit card and receive ten-percent off. I said, No, because I was paying cash and I don’t like having store credit cards with their 87% interest rate. But she persisted.
You can save an additional ten-percent off every you purchase today.
Oh, thanks, but that’s okay. I’m getting just this, and then I’m done. But thanks.
Well, that put a sour look on her face, and she proceeded to ring me up, collect my cash, give me my change, bag the gift and rip off, and hand me, the receipt without so much as a smile or a pleasant word; hell, without so much as a word.
I took my purchase and headed for the door, and I almost made it….I turned around and went back to Cashier.
You know, I said, I’m sorry I didn’t want the store credit card. I’m sorry I didn’t care about an additional ten-percent off. But what I’m most sorry about is that the mere idea that I didn’t want the card has ruined your day.
And I left.
Second store. Same deal. Save ten-percent and get a credit card. I declined. I got the sour apple face.
Again, I said, I apologize, but do you get some sort of commission for getting people to sign up for these cards, because you seem truly pissed off that I don’t want one.
See, I said, I think that next time someone declines your lovely offer, you should just smile and say, Thanks. It’s called customer service for a reason. Don’t take it personally.
And I turned. Then turned back.
And thanks for your help, I appreciate it.
No wonder I hate to shop.