As is to be expected around the 4th of July weekend, the Museum was busy. I love the family reunions, enjoy trying to identify the languages, don’t panic when I work alone at a busy Satellite store with never-ending line-ups, but the visitors last week were demanding, aggressive and downright rude they damn near wore me down.
I don’t mean the little boy of 8 who asked me, when I gave him the receipt, “What must I do with this?”
Or Arpineh, a little girl of four who told her Mom that I was a nice woman, and gave me a big hug.
Or the man in the T-shirt that read: “Real men do Laundry.”
No there was a strange energy.
On Sunday the lights in the main store went out at 3:02 pm for no particular reason, people pressed the button on the dreadful “Scream” constantly, [I wished I could’ve screamed every time!], a man came all the way back to the Museum to exchange a cheap $10 bracelet made in India, because the paint wasn’t *perfect* – I also had to give him a new bag and clean tissue paper!
On Wednesday I almost *lost* it at the Special Ex Satellite store and not from the people who insisted, even though I was working there by myself, that I show them how the clocks worked, but it was the two women buying a gold frame who almost pushed me over the edge…
I kept repeating myself like a broken record: “As you can see I’m here on my own, I can’t show you how the clock works, please go ask someone in the main store, or better yet, go to a watch repair store. Ask them how to put the battery in correctly, and how to move the hands. Be very careful to do it correctly, if you snap one off you’ve broken the clock. In that case, contact the manufacturer – the addresses are here in the box along with the guarantee… etcetera”
I patiently showed the two women every gold frame they pointed to, even though I had a line of people waiting. “I like this one, said the woman with short brown hair who did all the talking, and didn’t let the other woman dressed in black say one word, “Does it come with a box?”
I had to go around the counter, ask the people standing in line to move so I could open the drawer to look for the specific box, which are all labeled with the ISBN numbers to match the frames. Thankfully I had a box for it.
“Good,” said the bossy woman, “We’re going to go downstairs and see what they have in the other shop.”
“But I like this one,” said her friend
“No, we’re going to look downstairs.”
I put the box away not expecting them to return. “We bought a frame downstairs, but they didn’t have a box for it,” the bossy woman yelled across at me about a half hour later, “We’d like that box you showed us in this drawer!”
The frame was wrapped up in tissue paper and bubble wrap. “Don’t unwrap it.” she said.
“Okee dokee but I can tell you that it’s not going to fit in a box if its wrapped up in bubble wrap,” I said.
“Don’t unwrap it.” she said again showing me her receipt so I could see the ISBN number.
“Unfortunately I don’t have that frame over here, and I don’t have any spare boxes, as each frame comes with it’s own specially marked box,” I said, “You must go back downstairs.”
“They didn’t have a box downstairs.” she said. “I paid $100 for the frame and I want a box.” she folded her arms defiantly across her chest, “I want to speak to your supervisor, or your manager.”
“Very good Madame. If you need to speak to the manager you must go downstairs. There are at least six people in the main store who can help you. I’m on my own here, and as you can see, I have a line of people waiting for me to serve them.”
“I will not go downstairs. I will wait here.”
“Madame you bought the frame downstairs. It’s not something I carry here. I agree they are beautiful frames and will make a lovely present, but this is just a little satellite store, I don’t have spare boxes and I’m on my own here. Go downstairs and they will help you.”
“I bought a frame and I want a box and you have a box in the drawer here. You showed me.”
That’s when I remembered what my blogging buddy Barbara, had mentioned in one of her recent posts
Perhaps one of these years I will show up at your museum and ask you an annoying question just to I tease you!
I wondered could this be Barbara? I’ve never met her, or seen her photo (her gravatar is a picture of a dragonfly), but I know she comes from Connecticut, and these two women were Russian… I stared at them. No, they couldn’t be Barbara, there was no sign of a twinkle in their eyes…
I phoned the main store and the supervisor told me she’d driven them nuts looking for a box over there, but they didn’t have one for the frame she’d chosen, as unfortunately the manufacturer hadn’t sent boxes for all the frames, which more than one staff member had explained to her.
“So what must I do? I can’t get rid of her,” I hissed into the phone, “Please come upstairs and help me deal with her. I’ve got a line of people and I’m alone here,”
“OK” he said.
“Someone’s coming up,” I told her.
They stood and waited right in front of my register, and waited and waited, but no one came. “How long must we wait?” she snapped.
“I don’t know Madame. I’m just working here.” I said as sweetly as I could. When the line thinned out I phoned the main store again. “Well, are you coming?” I asked.
“I can’t leave the store,” he said, “Apologize and offer her a 10% discount.”
I did. “No!” she said, “I don’t want a discount. I want that box in that drawer over there!!!”
I gave in. I went to the drawer and took out the box. She grabbed it from me, but it was too small. [Hee hee… ] They turned and walked out without saying another word to me.
Did you know there was a solar eclipse on Friday, July 1st?
“It is very unusual to have three eclipses in a four-week period, so most people are feeling stirred up,” Susan Miller wrote in her July horoscope.
Can I blame all the weird behavior on the eclipse?
Why am I having so much trouble writing this post? Is the eclipse energy causing the sentences to highlight themselves and disappear?