Two Friends on a Saturday Morning
A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.
~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The morning sky was a thick gray when I picked up my friend, Nancy, at her home. The plan was to take care of some shopping, run a few last-minute errands and share some much-needed ‘girl time.’
“Umbrellas?” Nancy asked, as she slid into the passenger side of my CRV. I smiled and pointed at the two I had tossed in the back seat. (My friend and I know each other well...we can talk in a kind of friendship steno and finish the other’s sentences.)
It was about 9:30 when we entered a Dunkin Donuts drive-thru to buy a couple of Lattes. I twice repeated the order into the speaker before driving to the pick-up window. We were surprised to see a grumpy cashier chomp on a wad of gum as I handed him a ten-dollar bill.
“Here ya go, hon." [Snap.}He frowned as he handed me the two coffees along with my change on a pressed-paper tray.
“The manager must not be here,” I whispered, and passed the tray to Nancy.
“He probably is the manager,” she replied.
I had only driven a few feet when my friend noticed that both of our coffee cups were only 3/4 full. The fellow directly behind us beeped his horn with sharp impatience. Nancy and I looked at each other and shook our heads in unison. 'So not worth it,' we thought, and left with our three-quarter Lattes.
We then headed for Nancy’s bank because she wanted to deposit a check from a customer into her business account. After I stopped the car at the drive-up window, Nancy leaned over and apologized to the teller as she had run out of deposit slips. She explained that she would be happy to fill one out, but the check to be deposited to her business account was properly deposit-endorsed. I showed the teller the check with a ‘For Deposit Only’ stamp on the back. (The stamp included the name of Nancy’s business and the checking account number to which the check was to be deposited. The check was made out to the name of her business.) The teller said she would take care of it and motioned for me to place the check in the drawer.
After glancing at the check, the teller asked if we wanted to “deposit the check into this account,” pointing to stamped deposit endorsement on the back.
I nodded, bewildered, and glanced over at my friend whose face was contorted with stifled laughter. “Putting the deposit notice aside, doesn’t she know that it’s illegal to deposit a business check like that into a personal account?”
“I don’t know, Genna,” she replied, gasping for air. “But this teller is new…I’ve never seen her before.”
I was a little embarrassed because the teller must have heard our conversation over the speaker. I had no sooner grasped the receipt from the drawer and pulled it towards me when the she yanked the receptacle back with a loud clang. Nancy spluttered her coffee as I thanked the teller while checking to make sure my fingers were still intact.
Our next stop was Walgreens. We each purchased a few small items and left the store. As if reading each other’s thoughts on Murphy’s Law, Nancy and I both paused to check our bags and make sure all purchases were accounted for. Sure enough, the book of stamps I had purchased was missing.
We went back into the store and approached the clerk who was alone at the check-out counter. I quickly explained the oversight. She rolled her eyes to the ceiling and breathed a sigh of inconvenience. “Ohhh. Yeah, I forgot.” With a sullen look, she lifted the drawer to her register, pulled out a book of stamps and handed it to me in silence. My friend gently tugged at my arm -- she knew my patience was nearing the point of no return.
“Thank you,” I remarked to the clerk, smiling. “But for future reference, the words, ‘I’m sorry,’ work wonders in these kinds of situations.”
The clerk gave me blank stare in return. “Huh?”
I could see the sparks in Nancy's eyes when she loudly cleared her throat. “Right. Okay -- we’re done here.”
As we made our way to the exit doors, I looked at my friend and said, “You know, I keep thinking we're somehow trapped in scenes from Deliverance.” We both started to laugh as we walked out of the store to the parking-lot sidewalk.
We were still laughing when we discovered that the light drizzle from only minutes before had turned into a downpour. The umbrellas, of course, were still in the car. Nancy grabbed my hand. “Ready?” I nodded and smiled. We made a dash for my car, giggling like schoolgirls as the craziness of that Saturday morning washed away in the laughter and the rain.
Friendship cannot be explained, only cherished, like reading a treasured old book over and over again; but each time, finding something new.
On a personal note: This hub is really about friendship. But I wanted to add that both Nancy and I held customer service jobs in our younger years. If we had treated customers in this way, we would have lost our jobs in a heartbeat. It seems there is a different world out there today. Simple courtesies and a smile or two appear to have been lost in the rush of progress.
Copyright © 2012 Genna East All Rights Reserved
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