Maxine’s Protégé – Pip Helix (Davin’s Den)

Okay, I think I am well on my way to becoming Hallmark’s Maxine.
I was in a post office, not my usual one, to mail a package. I was the only customer, and there were two very nice clerks.  I was busy getting my package together, and heard the clerks whisper to each other about how annoying something was, and that it was every day.  Then, I noticed what was so annoying:  Some man, probably a supervisor, was talking about very personal business on his cell phone in the back.  He was so loud, and then he obviously walked over to the other side of the wall right behind the counter, and I could hear every word even more loudly.  It was annoying in the extreme, and I started to think about how that would drive me insane if I had to listen to it every day like these poor clerks obviously did.

Before I even knew what I was doing, I bellowed, “DUDE!  I CAN’T EVEN HEAR MYSELF THINK OUT HERE!”  The moment I started yelling, the female clerk looked shocked, but as soon as she realized what I was saying, she and her fellow clerk bowed their heads, looked at each other and started to snicker.   I was kind of shocked myself, and thought, Oh My God, what has possessed me?  But then I thought it was really funny when the person behind the wall paused for a moment and said, “Sorry.”  Then he was quiet for a few moments, and I imagine that he snuck over to the two-way glass they have behind the clerk area to see which nut just yelled at him.

Right afterwards, customers started coming into the lobby, and so I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to get in trouble for doing that.  I whispered to the mail clerk who was now weighing my package, and told him that I wasn’t normally that rude, but I saw the opportunity to say what they couldn’t say, and couldn’t stop myself.  He smiled and told me that it was “cool”, so I knew that at least they got a kick out of it.  Just in case, I asked him to hide my package before the supervisor got a hold of it and re-directed it to Thailand.

I find myself doing this, pointing out to supervisors in stores when they are being ridiculous and mean to employees, or searching them out to let them know when an employee does an exemplary job.  When I do the former, they usually look shocked, and are probably plotting my death as I leave, but I don’t care, because sometimes the petty pleasures supervisors take in torturing their employees just boils my blood.  When I do the latter, they look even more shocked, because kvetching is the state sport of New York, and rarely are compliments received.

It’s not like I’m trying to conduct some kind of social experiment.  I just try my best to be friendly and polite to everyone, but I will also give people a piece of my mind if I think that they are behaving in an unacceptable way.  If someone cuts in front of me on line, I first politely let them know that I was ahead of them, in case it was a mistake.  If they then pretend not to notice me or give me some attitude, they will swiftly find that underneath this suburban, middle-aged, submissive woman costume lies a maelstrom of righteous indignation waiting to be unleashed, and heaven help the unlucky bastard who chooses curtain number 666.
Also, I tend to empathize with the worker bees of the world, the people that sometimes get ignored and/or mistreated – cleaning people, waitresses, counter clerks, nannies.  Having grown up decidedly working class, and having had my share of humble jobs, I know what it is to feel ignored or snubbed by people who think that you are beneath them.  I make it my business to be polite and decent to these people, and it’s so nice to see them smile and let down their guard for a moment.  And heaven help you if you are unfairly mistreating some of these people in my presence.  Maxine will pop out of my head and spit fire balls up your ass, all while drinking some iced tea and rocking some old school shades.
I’m not sure if I’m more appalled at my occasional sudden outbursts, or more amused.  I guess the answer depends on the results.  When I can make the counter clerks laugh in the post office, I’m amused.  When I eventually get pitched out of some place by the scruff of my neck, I guess I’ll be appalled.  Until then, amused it is.

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