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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Check yourself, fool! (aka, Good customer, Bad customer)

Our adventures at the DMV were so much fun that I decided to keep the party going by rolling down to the Oakland Parking Citation/Permit Office. We've taken so long at the DMV that I barely make it to the office before they closed--but I get my ticket from the take-a-number machine, so I figure I'm good to go.

But wouldn't you know that they still try to kick me out when the clock hits 4:35pm! They don't care that I got my number before the cutoff--they just want to go home. I could have gotten angry, but I'm half-dead by this point so I just say, "I came in with that other lady you're helping, and all I want is a permit." No attitude, I don't whine, I just sit there and let them make up their mind. I know it's late and they aren't obligated to help me, but I don’t have the energy to offer to come back tomorrow.

The lady concedes she'll help me, but in the most cranky way possible. There she is, mumbling under her breath about how they don't pay her past 5pm, so she ain't staying. But you know what? She still helped me, angry as she was, and even with all the problems my permit brought up. (Of course there are problems!) This totally affirms my faith in grace 'cause I appreciate people doing things they don't want to or have to do on behalf of undeserving others. Plus, it affords me the opportunity to witness the greatest customer-vs.-clerk interaction ever.

The clerk next to me had an angry customer. Apparently, he had attempted to get the manager to abate his ticket, and the clerk had told him in no uncertain terms the manager would not meet with him, and that he could not appeal the ticket before he paid it. He had to pay and then challenge it in small claims court, and that's all there was to it. He had already been given this information but was coming back for Round Two under the misapprehension she could magically change the policy as stated. This led to some hilarious back and forth that made me (a) happy to be alive to witness this verbal sparring of the first order and (b) immensely glad I wasn't a clerk.

Him (while writing the check): "This is two weeks of groceries to a man like me. And you won't do anything."
Her: "Sir, I do not make the decisions here and if I did people would not talk to me the way they do day after day. I did not drive your car. I was not behind the wheel. I did not get this ticket. The manager will not come out to help you, I have already told you if you want to appeal you need to pay the ticket and take it to small claims court."

More back and forth follows while he gets his receipts and paperwork, ending with:

Him (sarcastically, self-righteously): "God bless you."
Her (after her head snapped around from this effrontery): "Yes, He will and it will have nothing to do with you and your ticket. I don't even know why you came here with that."
Him: "…"

Snap, crackle, ka-boom! She shut that shit down! The speed with which she cut him him to the quick was awesome to behold. I literally had to cover my face with my papers to keep from laughing my ass off at that fool customer. It was the greatest comeback to a nasty "God bless you" I have ever heard, and I hope some day to attain such mental agility. I have been telling everyone about it ever since, 'cause genius should be appreciated. Oh, and I sent them a very nice thank you card for helping my pathetic ass when they didn't want to and didn't have to. Cranky grace should always be acknowledged, because its so much more difficult than deserved grace.

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