This post is part of an occasional series I’m going to call Retail Ramblings, where I chronicle my encounters, good, bad and ugly, with retail and service personnel.
I sat in the window of a small city-centre café with a friend, having coffee. While we chatted, I kept an eye out for my husband, who planned to join us. A few moments later, I spotted him through the window, his back to me.
I expected him to turn around and come through the door, but he stayed still. Why wasn’t he coming in, I thought, puzzled.
I had failed to spot the phone in his hand, and thinking he mustn’t have seen us, I rapped on the window three times. The loudness of the raps startled me. I felt vibrations travel along my arm. ‘I thought the Apocalypse was coming,’ my husband said, when he came through the door.
I turned to the owner of the café, who was at the counter, just a few inches away from our table. ‘Sorry I banged on your window like that,’ I said. ‘You must have thought it was going to break into a million pieces.’ My tone was light and banterful, and I expected an equally banterful response: oh, I thought I was going to have to call the glaziers. Or a verbal shrug: don’t worry about it. It’s made of strong stuff.
What she said, without a trace of humour in her voice, was:
‘If you had broken that window, I would have bust you.’
Needless to say, I haven’t returned to that cafe.