Winter weather, copy machines, rock music, add up to frustration
Some days it seems it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed. I experienced one of those days a few years ago in Idaho. It was the morning of April 7, two and a half weeks after the official first day of spring. I looked outside and the ground was white. I was instantly thrown into a cranky mood, it had been a long hard winter. My frustration was heightened when I had to scrape an inch of ice and snow off my pickup windshield, and was further heightened when I went to my desk to write a couple of checks. The top of the desk was a literal disaster area. How could I have let it become such a mess, I thought. I proceeded to remove the clutter to make room to write the checks.
I had two wastebaskets in my office; one for junk mail from which my name and any other identifying matter had been removed, and one for the shredder where the stuff I didn’t want floating around in the public domain went. While cleaning off my desktop, I inadvertently threw some papers with my name on them into the junk mail basket, which meant I had to dig through that mess to find those papers, wasting about twenty minutes of time that I really didn’t want to afford, but persistence prevailed, and I solved that problem, I finally rediscovered the top of my desk and wrote my checks. Now it’s off to the copy center to have some copies made. I’m an old fashioned guy who believes in service; so when I go into a place of business, I actually expect to be waited on and have my service performed by the business employees. That was not to be, that day. The particular copy center where I liked to do business was rapidly becoming a center equipped with new fancy so-called self-serve computerized robot machines. I must state here that my relationship with computers is tenuous at best. I and those electronic beasts just do not get along well at all.
I entered the copy center with papers in hand where a young lady graciously asked if she may help me. Thinking she was offering to do my copying for me, I said, “Yes, you may, thank you.” I told her what I wanted, and she said she would help me as soon as she finished helping the gentleman standing next to me. I said, “That’s fine.” He was there to send a fax. He handed her a stack of papers. She handed them back to him with instructions to feed them into the fax machine. He obviously was not familiar with the procedure, because he put them into the machine in the wrong order, which necessitated her having to do it for him anyway—so much for self-service.
Now it’s my turn. She asked me if I would be paying with cash, or would I be using a debit or credit card. This question struck me as rather odd, but I told her I would probably be paying with a credit card. She then asked me to follow her over to one of the copy machines, into which, she instructed me to insert my card. I did, and it ate it. Gobbled it right up. A bit startled, I told her, “This blasted machine just ate my credit card!” She assured me I would get it back . She put my papers in the machine, and proceeded on her way to another customer.
I said to her, “Wait a minute, when is this beastly machine going to give back my credit card?” She told me that after it finished making my copies and had them counted I was to push a little green button on the machine, and it would return my card. I was dubious but said, “okay.” She then left me at the mercy of this merciless machine for which I had absolutely no trust. It finished its task, I found the little green button, pushed it, and whata ya know; surprise of surprises, I did get my card back. I breathed a sigh of relief.
I went back over to where the attendant was, and asked her if I could get a receipt. She said, “Put your credit card in that machine over there.” Here we go again, I thought. “Over where?” I asked. She then came around the counter and led me to the machine. “Insert your card here,” she said. I did, and this machine also ate my card. She then told me to touch a spot on the screen where it says receipt. I did, and again to my amazement–and relief– a few seconds later, out came my card and a printed receipt. I still maintain she should have done all this for me herself in the first place , because if I ever go back in again for more copies, I won’t remember the procedure, and they’ll have to do it for me anyway. Again, so much for self-service.
Now, it’s off to the department store. I walk in and I’m immediately slapped upside the head by blaring rock type music. Oh. Lord, have mercy on my soul. Rock music affects me the same as running fingernails down a chalkboard. I just can’t stand the stuff. Still in a cranky mood from the lousy winter weather—it was April, for crying out loud—I scuttled the department store shopping, and went home. “Tomorrow will be better,” I said. “The sun will be out, and the birds will be singing. I’ll take the car out of the garage and go for a spring drive. It’ll be good day for that.”
While you’re here on my homepage, why not click on the “free download” button over at upper right and get your free copy(while they last) of the prologue and first three adventures of my book, Buddy…His Trials and Treasures. If your blood pressure is ever as high as mine was that day, I guarantee these little tales will bring it down. In the meantime, have a nice day.