“For the love of God give me my item”. The man in front of me in the queue at the Argos store had finally lost his patience. His number called as ready for collection long ago he had watched as his item moved from dispatch hatch to shelf and then seemingly to literal limbo.
His way of ‘losing it’ was interesting in that he suddenly raised both arms skyward with one hand still clutching his item ticket and proclaiming his ‘love of God’ utterance as if attending an evangelical religious event.
His mild outburst stopped the two customer service operatives in their tracks as they were forced finally to acknowledge both the man and the overdue item. Each fixed him with a look of annoyance and disapproval. His long arms moved down to his side and the hand clutching the item ticket pointed to the item not 4 feet from him and that he could identify as his. The man’s pointed finger almost trembled with a mixture of frustration and anticipation.
He got his item and soon it was my turn to wait puzzled that my item number had long been called but couldn’t obviously be seen in my line of sight. I drifted in and out of daydreams and numb vacant stares (a speciality of mine) before finally my item had spent enough time in limbo for an operative to call my number.
I declined a bag, clutched my item and was only slightly waylaid by a poor man who seemed to walk and sway in a stilted manner akin to a drunk robot though it soon became clear that he was not drunk or otherwise intoxicated but afflicted with this method of motion as the norm. He swayed around a tower of catalogues and special offers that he seemed unable to reach out and grasp despite repeated attempts so I offered to assist in a completely non-verbal interaction that was mutually beneficial to both parties whilst balancing my own item under one arm.
For us both the frustration was temporarily over.
Photo by cubemate under this creative commons license
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