Mask of pa­tience makes me too po­lite for cour­tesy cru­sade

Geelong Advertiser - - TAKE TWO - JULIE HOBBS

I’M think­ing of sign­ing up to fel­low Take Two colum­nist An­drea Ham­blin’s cour­tesy cru­saders.

They are the cus­tomers not afraid to get an­gry and spread cour­tesy through our re­tail world.

The thought struck me as I was send­ing psy­chic dag­gers into the back of an old lady’s head in a Gee­long chain store the other day.

It might have been more use­ful to po­litely say: ‘‘Ex­cuse me, I think I was wait­ing first.’’

There was, how­ever, a grey area in­volved (not just hair).

It was pos­si­ble the old lady was served ini­tially, then left to help her­self and re­turned with an ex­changed item.

So tech­ni­cally, she may have been still ahead in the queue. You see, a co­nun­drum. But it was the way she made a mad lurch at the counter, arm out­stretched in front of me while in­ten­tion­ally not meet­ing my eye, that caused the open guppy-mouth gasp from the young staffer.

Her eyes met mine in silent plea to keep quiet. So I did.

And I pa­tiently waited un­til it was my turn to ask for as­sis­tance. I just sent the silent dag­gers. Old queue- jumper re­fused to look my way. She knew. Oh, yes, she did. The point was, all this angst would prob­a­bly not hap­pen if there were enough store staff.

Here, you have to line up just to ask a ques­tion.

When it was fi­nally my turn, the as­sis­tant couldn’t help me.

So I had to wait for some­one else to come along who could while the line up grew be­hind me.

The sec­ond as­sis­tant couldn’t re­ally help ei­ther.

So I left empty- handed, and re­alised I prob­a­bly can’t join the cru­saders.

There’s no su­per­hero with the word ‘‘rea­son­able’’ or ‘‘pa­tient’’ in their ti­tle.

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