Recently, my dad had to visit the office of our local cable provider. (Note: My family has rather complicated dynamics. This the my Dad, River-Rafter-and-Recent-Triathlete, not my Dad, Wii-Bowler-and-He-Who-Names-Networks-After-Ethnic-Groups. Keep it straight.)
So anyway, cable provider office. Dealing with a cable provider isn't quite root canal bad, but it's certainly not pleasant. It's a little like getting a grisly chunk in a bite of grilled chicken- you sort of cringe and immediately search for a napkin. A little like that.
So ANYWAY, he got to the office, and found himself completely alone with the exception of several customer service employees waiting at their customer service windows. He stood a little uncertainly in the middle of the empty room, waiting for one of the aforementioned customer service employees to acknowledge him. You know, because he is a customer. Waiting for service. The only customer, in fact.
After a bit of awkward silence, a customer service employee looked up from his engrossing game of spider solitaire (perhaps I'm taking a bit of artistic license, but you get the idea), pushed his glasses up his nose, and announced in his most official voice, " Sir, I'll need to you to take a number, please."
My dad stared back at him, and raised his eyebrows a bit as if to ask if he was kidding. You know, because he was the only customer.
That's when the cricket sounds chirped, but Mr. Customer Service Employee missed it. He was busy with spider solitaire.
Anyway, my dad shuffled his 6' 4" frame over to the number generating machine, and obediently grabbed a ticket. Number 90. And then he stood there, in the middle of the deserted room, with those crickets still chirping away. (Artistic license, you know.)
Mr. Customer Service Employee played out another hand or two of solitaire, then pushed his glasses up his nose again. Chin elevated, eyes scanning the room, he cleared his throat and loudly called out to the emptiness, "Number 90? I can help number 90 at window number 1."
Several days later, my dad had to return to the office. This time, the room was buzzing with customers waiting for service. Having received such clear instructions the first time, he knew just what to do. He marched immediately to the number generator to grab his ticket.
And guess what?