“Are you working today or have you got the day off?”
“Both, neither, whatever.”
When I have a moment to prepare myself I am usually able to string enough words together to create a confusing escape from conversation.
Sometimes I am able to be very direct- like recently when I demanded my money back and gave a woman a lecture about food hygiene after watching her prepare a drink in a cafe. A few days prior to that I had bought a dress because I thought it was on sale and it wasn’t but I was too awkward to say that I no longer wanted it.
I reached brick-wall status some time in the last couple of weeks when I was waiting in the self-serve line at the supermarket. An employee approached our line and told myself and several others that another checkout was open if we wanted to go there. Most of us didn’t and I was glad I wasn’t alone in my avoidance of small talk with cashiers. I shook my head to indicate that I was happy waiting where I was. I don’t know where my voice was that day but I couldn’t get any words out and when that same employee came back a minute later with the same offer of the other checkout, I looked straight ahead and ignored her because I had already indicated that I wasn’t interested. The people around me did the same, I guess. No one said anything, we just stood there waiting for our own checkouts where we could buy our groceries without judgement. The employee got frustrated with us and yelled out to her coworkers that it was “like talking to a brick-wall.”
I wish I could have said something because she had no right to be so rude in front of us. We were under no obligation to do anything other than pay for the groceries we wanted. We were waiting neatly and calmly so it wasn’t like we were disrupting the store.
I felt like crap after that experience and I started to wonder if that is what I am like with most of my interactions. I know sometimes there is a wall around me but am I the wall too? When I am too anxious to be in a room with people or when I slip away from conversations is it frustrating because people can’t get whatever they are wanting to get through to me?
We all had our reasons for our preferred checkouts. No one was complaining. She could have just let it be and laughed at our stupidity on her next break.