I'm waiting at the customer service desk of my favorite (not) grocery store to redeem my gift card giveaway when a woman comes up to me and asks where she can find Rolling Stone Magazine. Not sure why she's asking me as I'm dressed in sweats, standing behind a grocery cart filled with goodies and not looking at all like an employee of this or any other store.
There is a service manager behind the counter, but she is busy with a customer who is loudly proclaiming that the gallon of milk she bought doesn't taste right and she is demanding a new one. The service manager completely understands and tells the woman to go help herself to another (better tasting) gallon. Apparently the customer was expecting a fight, because she doesn't back down and instead proceeds to tell the manager exactly when she bought the milk, how horrible the milk tastes and why she thinks that it's only fare that she is entitled to another gallon. And the service manager is nodding and smiling and wholeheartedly agreeing with her, but she can't get Crazy Milk Lady to leave the counter and head over to the dairy section. And so I'm left to deal with the woman who is looking for the Rolling Stone Magazine.
"Um. Gee. I don't know, I don't think I've ever seen that magazine in this grocery store." I don't know why I just didn't leave it at, "Gee, I don't know." Period. Because then she asks, "Well, where do you think I could get one?" And like a fool, I suggest a book store. And like the crazed milk customer, the would-be Rolling Stone reader proceeds to give me waaay more information than I need, "Well, my son is in prison and he can't get the magazine in prison, but he really wants this magazine, so he asked me to get him a copy. But now you're telling me that I need to go to a bookstore, well, he may just not get the magazine after all." Alrighty then, she is clearly not interested in traipsing all over town for the magazine and I am soooo not interested in continuing this conversation.
So, now, the question is...do I respond to this lady and thereby encourage her to continue this crazy-ass conversation? Or do I glance around for the hidden camera? I decide to direct her to the magazine section and suggest that she take a second look; maybe Rolling Stone is tucked behind O Magazine (did I just give O a shout out?). But she doesn't take my bait, instead, she asks where the nearest book store is. What the?
By this time, the milk lady had stepped down off of her high horse and is making her way over to the dairy section of the store in search of some delicious, fresh milk. And so I kind of look to the manager for a little help in the ole customer service department.
Of course redeeming the gift card giveaway is never an easy task; it requires the scanning of my VIC card and my signature and so while obliging, I get to hear a little bit more about the son in the big house. Which is super. Cause he sounds like a gem. And just when I think I'm about to get my gift card, the customer service manager informs me that she also needs me to print my name next to my signature. It's quite the system they have to ensure that nobody gets more than one gift giveaway card. And from the corner of my eye I see Crazy Milk Lady making her way back to the counter with a fresh gallon of milk in hand. (And by the way, the Customer Service Manager clearly told her to get a gallon and go about her day. But I'm sure she wanted to stop back to retell her story once again. Because it truly was a fascinating story.)
But before I had to hear one more word about the spoiled milk or the son in the state penitentiary, the customer service manager hands me my card and I hightail it out of there glancing back only briefly to make sure that the Candid Camera crew is not in tow....