He's never all that glad to see me coming anyway, but today's load was particularly egregious, because I've been away: one big box and one large shopping bag full of books packed and ready to be mailed, by "media mail" all of them, except the one to Canada, to which we cannot send packages via media mail. Only two insured.
It was bad enough, that enormous pile of packages. What really sent him over the edge, though, was the fact that I didn't have my wallet with me. Where was it? I pawed through my handbag three or four times, hoping, by doing so, that I would somehow conjure it up. Nope. How to break it to him? There was no good way.
I thought he might explode. I can't close you out! he almost screamed. The people in the lengthening line behind me started visibly. Well, actually, you can, I said quietly. I've worked in retail, and it's not like they haven't seen me in there several times a week for years. Just ring it as cash or check and I'll run home and get the checkbook. I'm right around the corner. I'm really sorry.
He was too angry to register the apology. Well, hurry up! he snapped, and when I came back with my checkbook he was nowhere to be found - probably lying down in the back room with an ice bag on his head. His calmer colleague, who hadn't had such a bad morning, took my check without angst. I'm really sorry, I said again, and she smiled. Happens, she said.
Work. Other people's mistakes can mess you up. In fact, they will: you can count on it. Don't expect to work uninterrupted. That happens to very, very few of us, very seldom. Being interrupted and inconvenienced is not an outrageous violation of some natural law. It's the normal course of human life.
But I was rattled, too, as I drove home to find my wallet. Rattled by my mistake and by his anger. How could I have been dumb enough to leave it somewhere, and where was that somewhere? Why am I so absent-minded? Or what if it was filched from my purse while I was stumbling through the airport at midnight the night before, and I have to call the credit card company yet again to report a stolen card? I think they would have to throw up their hands and fire me if I did. Enough is enough, they would say.
But that didn't happen. My poor friend at the Post Office could ring his sale -- his sympathetic colleague helped him. My wallet wasn't stolen, not this time. I redeemed my error as best I could, and everyone survived our interruptions.
Late with the eMo, after all this. Better sit down and send it. Better pray first, though, to come back down to earth, to this beautiful earth in which I have been placed, mistakes and all. O God, make speed to save us. O Lord, make haste to help us.