I feel as if I’ve known you for such a long time. Maybe that’s because I was in line behind you for approximately 12 minutes today, Keisha. It was there that I learned your name, because it was emblazoned across the vanity tag of your brand-new, shiny black Ford Expedition with the gold frame around the license tag. You probably don’t remember me. I was the person behind you in the drive-up lane at the power company, the lane marked, “Do not use this lane if you do not have your bill with you.” Well, Keisha, I did have my bill. And my check. They were in the little envelope that the power company sends with the bill each month. Do you know why they send that little envelope, Keisha? So you can write your check before you leave home, put the check and the little payment slip in the envelope, and go drop the envelope in the box at the lane for people who have their bill with them. If you haven’t written your check yet, Keisha, you can either a) pull into a parking space and fill out your check and get back in line once you’re prepared, or b) go inside and write your check at the little desk they have in there for that purpose. They have those cool pens on chains and everything in there, Keisha.
It was a real joy, Keisha, watching you pull up to the payment box, put your car in park, reach over to the passenger’s side to get your pocketbook, look around in there for your bill, then for a pen or pencil to fill out the payment slip on your bill, then fumble some more for the cash with which to pay your bill. It was an equal joy to wait for you to receive your change, then to wait the inexplicable 5 minutes it took you to get your car from “Park” to “Drive.”
You know, Keisha, there were four other cars in line behind you. I suppose some of those people could have parked their cars and gone inside, even though they had their bills and payments ready (that’s why they were in that line, Keisha). But perhaps one of those people behind you (and of course I am speaking completely hypothetically) may have had, say, a five-year-old strapped in a car seat whom he (hypothetically) did not want to have to unbuckle and walk into the building just to drop off an envelope, a child who may (hypothetically) have left-side hemiplegia and who may have been on her way to, oh, I don’t know, let’s say, a physical therapy appointment. And then let’s imagine that this same driver behind you also had to pick up his other children from school after he dropped the aforementioned child off at her appointment.
You see, Keisha, such a person would have had his transaction ready because such a person actually had somewhere to be. I would suggest, Keisha, that you take that into consideration next time, but I know it won’t do any good. How do I know this, Keisha? Because I’m convinced I’ve run into you before. I think I’ve been behind you in line at the drive-through window at the pharmacy, the window that has the little sign that says, “If you are waiting on a prescription and there are others in line behind you, please pull around and go to the back of the line so others may drop off their prescriptions.” I’ve sat there behind you, Keisha, with a child who had the flu, waiting to drop off her Tamiflu prescription (at which time I would go home, leave the sick child there with my wife, and go back to pick up her medicine), while you, Keisha, dropped off your prescription and proceeded to stay at the window the entire 15 minutes it took them to fill your prescription.
I’ve also been behind you at the grocery store, Keisha. You were the one in the 12-item line, with the two full carts of groceries. You were also ahead of me in line at the mall last Christmas, Keisha. I was in the “cash only” line. When you got up to the front, you insisted that they allow you to write a check.
I know that these little signs they put up in stores are not the law, Keisha. I know that you can’t be arrested or fined for ignoring them. And I also know, Keisha, that the store employees are not ever going to call you on any of this because “the customer is always right.” The problem is, Keisha, that you know this too. But you see, Keisha, those little signs were put up there by people who assumed that you would think of someone other than yourself every once in a while.
Have a blest day, Keisha.