Edgy People and Crufty Words

People have been so high-strung the last couple days.  It boggles me because there is absolutely nothing spectacular about the last couple days.  Well, maybe there is something spectacular because a nearby town is having fireworks, and I similarly have no clue why.

But the past two days I’ve had no less than two drivers decide that going five to ten over the speed limit and pausing briefly to make sure no traffic is coming at me before I turn is too slow, honk, and speed around me.  Cars have decided their lane is too slow, and switched 10 feet in front of my car without a signal.  Things that normally happen once a week if I’m unlucky.

I’m getting a bit high-strung myself, now.  I just yelled at a cat that stepped out in front of me, thinking it was a skunk.

At work I had in the last two days two very memorable women dashing between lines and then, finding I’m unable to take them at the present instant, accuse me of various forms of professional incompetence (one of them, simply because I tried to help someone else after finishing with the previous customer after she had ran away).

Well, I don’t actually have it that bad.  Recently one of our fashionable customers threw a shoe at my co-worker.

And one customer did have a point.  Let me explain from the beginning.  As I’m not an automaton I occasionally have to go on break (and sometimes within a narrow time window so that my fellow non-automatons can take their breaks when I get back), at which point I usually have one to ten people run up to my register and start putting all their things on the counter as I try to say

I’m sorry, ma'am, but I’d appreciate if you stepped over to another lane as I prepare to take my break…

Or whatever fluffy thing I happen to say, by the time I’m finished they have to lift everything back up and wait behind the opportunist who just ran into the next line over during that five seconds.  I decided it would be best if we could avoid all that.  So before they ever set anything down I would get my point across in the most concise way possible.  Now I can be as polite and crufty afterwards if the customer doesn’t hear me or inquired further, but before the customer ever gets situated,

I’m closed.

The very first time I tried this, the women – might I add as she quite perfectly moved from my lane that second and went into the next before anyone got in front of her – snapped across the aisle to let me know how disgustingly impolite this behavior is.

And if you’d say I wasn’t following the example of my superiors an wasn’t doing my job, you’d be right.  If 10 to 20 seconds of fluffy speaking for each customer is required to please even a tenth of the customers, then I must do it.

So to help me do it, I’m giving myself a little tool that I would hope my employers would have given me.

Concise as you need it, crufty as you want it, nice, unassuming font, gets your attention, and best of all, doesn’t look like  a damned sale sign.  Or so I hope.  And you can use it too, if you like.  Just print it out, cut the side edges, fold on the vertical lines, and tape the bottom.

[Important note: do not use this if it will get you in trouble.  You may need to ask your store manager first.]

Wait, I was talking about high strung people nearly killing me, right?  Yeah.  Well, maybe this sign will be my talisman.  Evil spirits, please use the next lane!  Thanks for your understanding.