Monday, September 19, 2011

The Thank You Code*

Today, while waiting on line in our small post office, I witnessed a completely routine transaction between a postal employee and a woman who was mailing what appeared to be a perfectly ordinary package.

He wrapped some sort of tape with eagles on it around the box, slapped on a few stickers and vigorously stamped it a few times before money changed hands. 

She needed something mailed and he was doing his job, efficiently and courteously.

Simple stuff, yes?

As the woman prepared to leave the window, however, this is where it all went horribly wrong: She thanked the postal worker three times.

Woman (first time): "Thank you so very much!"
Postal Employee: "No problem."
Woman (second time): "I really appreciate all your help!"
Postal Employee: "Not a problem at all, ma'am."
Woman (third time): "Thanks again, so much."
Postal Employee: "You're very welcome."

Me, in my mind: "Listen, you crazy witch, if you thank him one more time I am going to totally flip out on your excessively grateful little ass so get the *&@#$& out of here before the cops have to pull me off you!"

What was she thinking??

By totally exceeding the number of acceptable thank yous for a routine transaction she not only broke the thank you code but also made the rest of us look bad.

I was not about to thank this guy three times, despite how much I may like him--not even if he chose to add a strip or two of packing tape to my package, offered me a freshly baked almond horn or even if butterflies flew out of his ass solely for my entertainment.

That last one might, and I repeat---might, warrant a second thank you or perhaps earn him one thank you and a smile (closed mouth, no teeth) but not three, individual thank yous.

Clearly, this woman was insane

Or, had he -- beyond the scope of my hearing -- whispered, that as a result of the wobbly economy and potential adjustments to his pension, that as a statement of discontent, he had immediate plans to dismember her and her entire family but, on a whim, decided to spare them?

In that case, a third thank you might, and I repeat--might, be warranted. But don't count on it.

When it was my turn, I was still so agitated by all this thanking that I was barely able to whisper a tense thank you of my own and muster a tight smile once we were done.

I've know this fellow long
enough for him to recognize that this was not my typically sunny(hahahahahahaha!) demeanor and, as a result, he asked in a discreet whisper, "Is there anything wrong today, Susan Says? You're not yourself."

Warmed by this kindness and personal recognition, I answered that I was "fine, thank you. Really, thank you so much. Tha-----," but just before the third thank you escaped my lips, I backed away from the window and ran out the door.

Yours truly was not about to be tricked into offering a third thank you to anyone due to the use of cheap special effects such as friendly, concerned knowledge of me as an individual instead of treating me like the faceless automaton that I am.  

As if I'd fall for this!

And, despite my almost breaking the thank you code myself as a result of all this hoo-ha, was I more empathetic towards Miss Thank You Pants and her over-the-top gushing?

Absolutely not.

In fact, if I run into her again, I plan on setting her straight in some yet to be determined manner.

Then she can thank me -- three times -- when I stop.

*Today's blog post has been brought to you courtesy of wildly fluctuating estrogen levels.


  1. haahaahaa ... but he still got THREE "thank yous" - the initial one, and the two in response to his inquiry ... oh, my!

  2. No matter how you look at it, Megan, just too much darn gratitude!

  3. Butterflies out his ass- I love that! What a visual!

  4. And, Michele, that still would not have warranted a third thank you.

  5. Love this---THANK YOU!!!!!!!!