Printed from WriteWords -

Can I help you?

by  Jubbly

Posted: Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Word Count: 500
Summary: My odd attempt at week 324 challenge.

The day began as normal, Lulu went shopping in her lunch hour as she liked to do- gliding through the busy store as though she was in another dimension. All the time she spoke, droning on and on to her invisible friend; oblivious to all around her. Occasionally she’d side step other shoppers or when she missed and bumped into them, she’d tut mid word and move away, never acknowledging or apologising.
‘No way, tell him he cannot do that, do you hear, no way! She murmured into her hands free mobile receiver. From a distance she looked like well groomed mental health sufferer, just another day talking to yourself whilst out in public maybe she was a busy Buddhist, chanting while shopping.
Where shall we go? way, what about Wagamma? Really? Did he?
She edged her way through the crowd and joined the snaking queue.
Heather heard her before she saw her....the constant chatter interrupting the monotony of the in store radio music. Heather was used to the customers ignoring her; entering into and finishing entire transactions with not so much as the briefest of eye contact. But Heather wasn’t in the mood today, she’d had a row with her mother and a headache was looming. The chatty woman plonked her desired wares, a handbag and lingerie on the counter whilst simultaneously organising her weekend social life. Not once did she look at Heather, she didn’t smile or say thank you or even ask her how she was?
Heather scanned her goods whilst maintaining a scornful look and as a gesture of impishness placed the scant lingerie inside the handbag, she then put the bag into a plastic shop carrier.
What? can do...she did what? I don’t believe it!
The woman handed over her credit card taking no notice of the price and carried on conversing. She simply took the brand new handbag out of the carrier, dropped the carrier to the floor and walked out of the shop, still chatting on her phone. She stopped talking only when she passed through the security gates at the door, only after a man in a uniform grabbed her by the arm that is.
What? I’ll call you back, what are you doing?
When the guard asked if she’d bought anything, she rolled her eyes and sighed but her expression changed when challenged.
You see sometimes Heather has trouble concentrating, sometimes she forgets the little things, little things like removing security tags from shop bought items or making sure customers always have their receipts, completing transactions. When the woman insisted she’d definitely paid for the bag stuffed with lingerie, which was not the stores packing policy, the guard marched her back to the till, where Heather was questioned.
No sorry, Mike, I don’t remember serving her, no not at all.
And with no proof of payment Lulu was held up longer than expected and her day was ruined, politeness costs nothing Heather always says and she ‘s right.