Last weekend I felt like I was in a Saturday Night Live skit. I was grocery shopping at a popular chain store – let’s call it Trader Jim’s. That’s not the real name because it’s important to protect the actual store’s identity.
The week before I had purchased a delicious cauliflower meal and wanted to buy it again. After failed attempts to find it, I asked a clerk who was stocking shelves. Without looking up, “Dick” pointed to the aisle behind where he was working. When Dick’s dismal directions led me nowhere, I let him know I still couldn’t find the cauliflower. This time, he grunted and pointed in the opposite direction. Again, the food was nowhere to be found.
Wandering aimlessly, I saw another clerk, “Jane”, who was actually helping someone. She even gave eye contact! When I presented my request, she tilted her head in a thoughtful manner and repeated the name back to me in a questioning form. “Szechwan cauliflower?” Having no idea where the product might be, she took me to the manager who said they sold no such item and suggested that I might have purchased it elsewhere. Recognizing an obvious breakdown in communication, I described the product. Once we all understood that the szechwan cauliflower was actually kung pao, Jane immediately took me to the correct location… which was next to Dick.
Thinking about Dick, he directed me to a product the store doesn’t carry, twice, without ever speaking or looking up. I thought about pointing him out to Jane but was afraid she either wouldn’t see him because he wasn’t really there or would tell me he wasn’t one of their employees. If Dick is working next week and still acting like a dick, I may risk everything and point him out to Jane.
By the way, Trader Jim’s szechwan cauliflower was delicious.
May the farce be with you!