A dear blogger friend recently commented “I just can’t envision “grumpy old man” and you being the same person. :)”. BTW if you want to read a really good blog check her out at https://bikecolleenbrown.wordpress.com. I quickly responded that she didn’t see me 24/7 and that there was a story behind me being “old and grumpy.” Heck I always have a story. This incident was on my list of things to write about, but her comment got it bumped to the top.
When my wife moved to Florida (July 2002), we came pretty much empty handed. Sure we brought some of the furniture, tools (though we did leave the snow shovels up north), and small appliances. But we bought a new home, and we wanted to put new stuff in it, also we wanted to put Florida kinda stuff in the new place. Yeah we were geeks!
Anyway we made several trips to Walmart picking up the odds and ends we needed. Not to mention all the cleaning supplies and what not. Every time we would get to checkout, the clerk would ask how I was on that particular day. Thru a half-dozen trips to Walmart not a single clerk even looked up, it was quite clear they could care less about how I was doing, they just started grabbing the stuff I planned to purchase and running it thru their scanner. Normally they didn’t even bother to look at me until payment was due. I truly felt that their behavior was both rude and disrespectful (something I had come to expect from the Walmart folks). It was getting under my skin, I knew it wasn’t fair to lash out at the clerk; she was just following Walmart protocol. Her mind heard the proper response so there wasn’t any need for further interaction with the customer.
So on one Saturday morning (we did a lot of shopping at Walmart at the buttcrack of dawn), after we gathered all the supplies and what nots we needed for this particular trip and headed to check out. The young lady at the checkout said (without even looking up), “How you doing today”, to which I immediately responded, in the gruffish voice I could muster, “I am old and grumpy!” The young ladies’ head snapped up looking me dead in the eye with a very startled look in her eyes.And to her great surprise what she saw was a SANTA look-a-like with a huge smiling face. She looked at me for a second and said “You don’t look old or grumpy,” I replied, “You didn’t know that until you looked at me.” Smiling I went on to say in the future look at the customer when you ask a question. She returned my smile and said, “Yes Sir.”
From that point onward, whenever a clerk does not look at me when asking that initial question I respond either “Old and Grumpy” or “Old and Cranky.” Very rarely am I either Grumpy or Cranky, but the clerk doesn’t know that until they look up and see for themselves. I have said it so often that it has become my opening salutation. My friends hear it so much, that Art and Wanda got me a hat (from Disney) that says “Grumpy.” I wear it with great pride.
Folks, that’s my story about me being old and grumpy. I hope you enjoyed it. As usual your thoughts and comments are gladly accepted. Please take care. Bill