Friday, July 27, 2012

"You can have anything you want!"

As I open the post office door, an adorable little boy stands in front of me, sporting a Superman shirt and covered in temporary tattoos of Spiderman in various poses. I grin at him and he gazes back with wide eyes, backing toward his father. The father is wide and pale, with sticky yellow hair and a gravelly voice. “You could help me if you really wanted to,” he is telling the woman behind the desk.”
“I’m sorry, sir, but I really can’t.” The woman is petite, with short, curly, and silvering black hair. She speaks with a slight Spanish accent.
“Yes, you can.”
“Sir—you have priority mail written on the package.”
“Well, yeah, ‘cause I didn’t have tape.”
“You couldn’t buy tape?”
“I didn’t have money, but I had this tape.” The little boy is scratching at a tattoo on his neck. Spiderman’s head is nearly gone.
“But sir, if you don’t want to send it priority mail, then you shouldn’t use this priority mail tape.”
 “Why can’t you just send it?”
“Because I don’t want to be held responsible.”
“Responsible for what? Just send the package. Look, I’ll rip off the part that says ‘priority.’” He roughly rips off a bit of the tape and tosses it to the ground. His little boy kicks at it.
“I’m sorry sir, but I cannot help you unless you wish to send this priority mail. If not, you will need to repackage it. I need you to move aside so I can serve the next customer.”
“No, I won’t. You just don’t want to help me.”

After a few minutes of this, with the man growing ever ruder, the lady heaves a huge sigh and leaves to find her manager. The man looks around for his son and sees him a few feet away. “Get back here!” he yells, jerking his fist.
The boy rushes to his side. “You can do anything,” he tells his father. “You can have anything you want!”

The woman and her manager emerge from the back room. The manager begins talking to the man, while the lady calls for the next in line. Me. While I fill out the customs form for my package, I overhear the conversation next to me.
“Finally, someone who will help me. That woman just didn’t want to. I don’t know why. She was just being rude. She didn’t want to help me. She could have, but she didn’t.”
I smile sympathetically at the lady, who has remained remarkably calm, and write in the date.

The manager has helped the man repackage his envelope. “Now just take the package back up and she’ll help you get it on its way.”
“I don’t think she will,” the blond man grumbles. “She doesn’t like to help people.”
The lady hands me my receipt. “Thank you for your patience. Have a good day,” she says.
“You too!” I enthuse, trying to inject as much earnestness into the phrase as possible. She gives a tight smile as I walk out the door.
“Can I help the next person in line?”

1 comment:

  1. Your adventures are remarkable, Shreen. I loves you so much and I'm so glad we're friends and notice/do the same sorts of things. :) You are such a wonderful person, I hope you know. And an excellent writer.