Friday, 18 June 2010
The Ways of People
Yesterday I passed through the place of my birth. I saw the shop I used to serve customers in when I first left school. I left school at the age of 15 because, in the opinion of the head teacher, further education would be a waste of my time. In his opinion I would never be more than a manual labourer. I do not know if he ever found out how wrong he was, but that is history now. Yesterday I chuckled as I remembered some of the events of those early working days.
The customers each had their own ways and pleasing them could sometimes be difficult. I remember the lady who after getting all the meat she wanted asked for a bone for making soup. I went into the back shop and brought a lovely big knuckle bone. She asked how much it would be. When I told her I would give it to her for free she refused to take it. She was sure there had to be something wrong with it. I took it back through and split it in half and told this one would cost her a small amount. She left happy.
The staff at an old people's home were puzzled when one of the residents began gargling with TCP. They asked her why but all she would say was that something had happened at the post-office. This is what actually occurred.
The old lady, who rarely ventured out, had visited the post office to post a letter.
She bought a stamp, and since there was a long queue behind her she stepped aside. She put her change in her purse, licked the stamp and put it on her letter. Despite pressing and thumping and licking it again, the stamp failed to stick.
"Excuse me, this stamp won't stick," said the old lady.
"You need to peel the paper off the back," explained the clerk.
The old lady put on her spectacles, fiddled for a few seconds to peel off the backing paper - and then licked the stamp again.
"It still won't stick," interrupted the old lady again.
"It's a self-stick stamp," said the assistant.
"Well this one isn't sticking at all - there's something wrong with it," demanded the old lady.
"Well it won't stick now because you've licked it."
"Well I'm totally confused now," said the old lady.
"Just give it here and I'll post it for you," said the cashier, and doing her best to explain continued, "These new stamps don't need licking. They are self-sticking. They save time. They are already sticky."
The old lady continued to look blankly at the assistant.
"Look," said the well-meaning but desperate post-office clerk, "Just imagine they've already been licked..."
Which sent the old lady scurrying out of the door and across the road to the chemist.
I wonder if there are things I do that make others look at me and ask why.
This blog is linked to my other.1812 Overture