I’m in my hometown, standing in line at the cable t.v. company, returning Mom’s cable modem.
There are two lines: Service or Sales. Both lines terminate at a row of glass cages. From time to time, one of the three women inside those cages summons the first person from either one of the two lines, which would seem to defy the need for two lines, but no one mentions this.
Returning a modem doesn’t strike me as either a sale or a service, but I pick a line and stick with it. Eventually, I’m summoned. As the woman in the cage handles the details, the woman two cages down hollers to the next patron in the Service line: “Sir! You, sir!”
He’s a big guy: maybe six-two, maybe two hundred and fifty pounds. He turns, looks behind himself, as though expecting her to be addressing someone else.
“Yes, you. I’m talking to you, sir. Get on up here!”
He approaches the window, looking more than a little terrified. He hands her a page of crumpled paper: a bill.
This makes Cable Woman even angrier. “You got nothing to say? You mute?”
“Payin’ this bill,” the man says.
“You quit that slouching!” Cable Woman says, pointing at the guy. “You stand up straight like a man!”
I give my own Cable Woman a look.
She rolls her eyes, leans forward, and explains:
“That’s her son.”