by Peary Perry
or We Got Cheddar
might recall a skit from the old Monty Python television show a few years ago.
In this one a guy walks into a specialty cheese shop and asks for a certain kind
of cheese. The clerk tells him they don’t have that kind. In the next ten minutes
or so, the customer asks about a variety of cheeses only to be told they didn’t
have any of those in stock. Finally in exasperation, the customer asks what kind
of cheese do they have, only to be told something like…. cheddar.
the two upcoming surgeries I have this month, my BB has been a little higher than
normal. I have just about run out of patience and have not been the best person
I could have been in a couple of incidents.
One example is the tires I
try to buy at a local retail store. Now if I were to tell you the name of this
store you’d recognize it in a instant, it’s been around for a long time, but I’ll
skip that part. Anyway, this store had tires on sale. I drive over, go inside,
act politely, and tell one of the attendants that I need four tires. She asks
if they are for my car and I’m tempted to say… “Nope, they’re for that red truck
out there..looks like they could use some new tires….I guess they’re inside the
mall shopping…this will be a big surprise. ...”
I bite my tongue and tell
her that yes, they are for my car. She asks what kind are they and I tell her
… “They’re black and round…” but that fails to amuse her or garner a smile, so
she grabs a pad and walks out to my car to see what size I needed. I suppose this
comment may have caused the following to occur. Once she enters the size information
into the computer she starts doing that thing you see the airline people do when
you are standing in front of them trying to check your luggage and get your boarding
We’ve all been there, you walk up to the ticket counter and hand
the airline person your itinerary and she types in some numbers and looks at her
screen, then scrunches up her face and gives out a couple of… ‘Well, well, well….what
have we here?’ type of questions. Then she makes some sort of clucking noises
and says… “ Oh, that’s not good…”. All the time you’re standing there, luggage
in hand just thinking about going to the bathroom and getting a cup of coffee
when you get to the gate. After several agonizing minutes you hear the printer
grinding out your boarding passes, she smiles sweetly, hands them to you and wishes
you a good day. You feel as though you were just released from the gulag in Siberia.
In all probability she was most likely to have been reading an e-mail from her
brother about his car wreck and nothing on her computer screen had anything to
do with you.
Well, here I am in front of Helga, the tire clerk who looks
like she could have been a tail gunner on a beer truck in Milwaukee and she starts
making the same kind of noises….. “Oh my, my, my, my……” she says.
thinking perhaps she is reading the news and we are at war with someone, anyone.
But it turns out that she is just looking at the inventory and she turns the screen
around to show me that they have no tires in stock that will fit my car. None
whatsoever, not of any brand or at any cost.
Trying once again to be nice…..I
tell her the sign in the window and the ad in the newspaper says they have tires
on sale…..isn’t this correct?
She looks at me with a vacant stare and
says … “Yes, that’s correct.”
Here I do something stupid and apply logic
to the conversation…. “Well, if you have a sale...shouldn’t you have some of the
things you are trying to sell so people can buy them?”
She quickly spins
the computer screen back around and tells me they can order these and they should
be in… in about four or five days. I tell her that my wife is outside in her car
waiting to take me home and I don’t want to leave my car here until you get the
She just looks at me and says… “Well, there isn’t anything I can
do for you” and walks off.
What happened to the old motto of the customer
is always right?
Perhaps it’s my charming personality…who knows?
Comments go to firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters From North America
- June 3, 2009 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
TE Online Magazine | Columns
by Peary Perry - Order Now