Monday, December 18, 2006

Robots Redux

A while back I wrote an entry here in which I said some less than kind things about robots. I would like to retract those statements and apologize, because I realized today that machines are friendlier than most human beings I interact with. ATM's, cash registers, gas pumps. They all say please, thank you and offer sincere apologies when they fail to provide service. Many even offer to communicate with me in my choice of languages! As compared to the alleged 'person' I dealt with today who asked if they could help me, while obviously hoping I'd say no and not being shy about expressing disappointment when I didn't. I gave my order through a speakerbox and got a reply that sounded something like "Fee-Fotey-Fee, Dry Foo" which I guess was a request for $3.43 and an invitation to 'drive through' since when I did, approximately $1.67 was what was shoved back at me after handing over a $5 bill. I said "Thank You", although I don't know why, since I wasn't really grateful for the level of hospitality I was being shown, but this person just slammed the sliding window shut without saying "you're welcome". I don't know why, exactly, but it suddenly became important to me that this person, this fellow human being, another of God's children cobbled together from the same genetic material as me, this kindred passenger on the glorious journey we call Life, take two seconds to acknowledge my thanks. So I didn't move. "I'm not moving. I'm a very polite person and you are going to be just as goddamn polite as I am in return. We can all sit here the rest of the night, I don't care. But at some point, before I move an inch, you are going to acknowledge my courtesy, you son of a bitch. You hear me? Acknowledge my fucking courtesy, you miserable mongoloid halfwit meth-addicted son-of-a-whore..." That's when the window opened and he said what sounded like "Youneesup'm?" And I said "Oh. Yeah. Do you think I could have a receipt, please?". He tore it off the register, thrust it towards me and slammed the window shut again without saying a word. I just muttered "Thank You" to nobody in particular and drove on.

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