I’m first to admit that I’m a fast driver. I like to get to my target quickly. I don’t want to stroll around in my car. Move over!
On this particular day, however, I didn’t feel the usual pressure to arrive an hour before I even left.
I drove the suggested speed limit and nothing could get me upset. Oh, you’re not sure if you want the right or the left lane – that’s fine with me, just drive in the middle. You’re on the phone, applying makeup or eating a double burger and you’re oblivious to the outside world – any other day I would scream: YOU’RE DRIVING A CAR! IT ISN’T A TELEPHONE BOOTH, A BEAUTY PARLOR OR A RESTAURANT. But today I’m cool with that. I came to the stop light, only two vehicles in front of me. Life is good. The light turned green. Nobody moved. This is where I draw the line. C’mon people. IT’S GREEN! It won’t get any greener, so move on already! I have places to go, people to see.
Let me tell you about traffic lights in Europe: the yellow light turns on before green does. It tells you: hey, get ready; get off that phone; wake up ‘cause there is a mad woman behind you who’s really eager to hit the gas pedal. Gotta love it!
My temper changed on the spot. With that temper, I walked into the local Post office. The line was long. Quickly, the line behind me got just as long. This is going to be dreadful. The tiny lady in front of me was holding a package twice her size. Can’t she see the counter provided just for packages? Can’t she see that we’re all leaning on it, hunched over with invisible packages? Somewhere behind me I heared music. I turned around and decided that it must be coming from the lobby, separated by the glass French door. The music got louder and I visualized a postal worker jammin’ behind the counter. It bothered me just a little that is so loud; but not loud enough to muffle the phone conversation right behind me. The young woman was standing a head taller than me, her face features graceful, like every African woman’s and her voice loud and clear. Right in my ear. The African dialect sounded interesting for a moment, and after a series of “zinga, tanga, zinga, bunga” and an occasional “you know what I’m saying”, I didn’t and I had enough.
“Can I help you” came behind the counter and it was my turn to step up. I’m relieved. Almost done here. She disappeared behind the gray curtain for a moment. The music switched three times within 20 seconds and it seemed even closer to me. That intrigued me. It wasn’t coming from the lobby or the speakers. A middle-aged woman, hunched over the package counter was playing with her iPod. I wanted to say that I’m under no circumstances interested in her music, when I hear a phone ring and another loud voice started sharing with the whole Post office every step of her day. Literally! She was tracking her steps to figure out where she lost her credit card. “Can I help you” came from the patient Postal worker who was then given a “can’t you see I’m having an important conversation” look.
“Can I help you” she tried again.
Seriously! CAN I HELP YOU?
* photo borrowed from the Internet