The woman walked up to the fuel center kiosk where I was working. She was in the midst of middle age and had long, blond hair.
I turned on the intercom as I saw her approach. Before I could say a word, she barked out, My receipt!
Excuse me? I said. I was genuinely perplexed. What about her receipt?
I need a receipt on pump one. She spoke as if I were a not very bright child who should have known what she was talking about.
Oh. OK. I said, turning to my computer screen. I didn’t mind getting a receipt for her, but she didn’t have to be rude about it. Had she never learned those magic words “please” and “thank you”? If she knew those words, she’d chosen not to use then with me.
The printer’s out of paper, she told me sharply. You need to put in more paper.
Now that she mentioned it, my computer screen had told me there was a paper jam on the pump one receipt printer. I’d meant to get to it, but instead I’d been counting the cash in the register drawer, putting out squeegees, picking up trash, opening coolers and merchandisers, taking payments, making change, completing paperwork, and helping customers. Clearing a paper jam on pump one had completely slipped my mind.
I printed the woman’s receipt, put it in the drawer for her, and wished her a nice day. I waited until she’d left before I dealt with the paper jam on pump one. I didn’t want the woman to think that when she said “jump” I asked her “how high?”