wings and things

Saying ‘I love you!’ to a stranger

Okay, I don’t do this all the time but today a woman behind a counter served me with a smile even though she could see the desperate, psycho look in my eyes.

“This is a mobile phone,” I began (which, in hindsight, seems a rather obvious thing to say as I was in a mobile phone shop).

She smiled, patiently and asked, “And….?”

“Well we bought it from you guys and it belongs to my husband who is in a nursing home and it’s supposed to be easy to operate but he can’t answer it before the five rings and I want the message thing eradicated and I have brought it back twice and rung all of those numbers and followed all of the prompts but I still can’t get the stupid thing to ring more than five times and all of his family and mine are going mad because nobody can get through to him and twice the stupid message my son put on my husband’s phone has been eradicated but it keeps returning like some sort of phone ghost and….”

“Would you like me to take a look at the phone?” she asked calmly.

“Yes, okay,” I said uncalmly, “but we have been here before and done this before and honestly I am really going insane and people are getting angry with me because they can’t get through to my husband even though I have changed all the settings and my brilliant son has altered all of the thingys and why won’t it work?” By now, Ming, having had a nice chat with someone he bumped into, was at my side whispering to me that I was getting a bit loud.

During my little rant (and I wasn’t really that loud), I had half noticed that the woman serving me was pressing buttons on her phone, our phone, a computer, another phone, and another computer, at such astonishing speed that for a moment I thought she had 50 fingers. And then she handed me the phone, demonstrated how it would now ring out before cutting into the stupid message bank thing, and my whole body wilted with relief that finally this ongoing problem was solved.

But, just before I decided to smile back at this woman who I now felt resembled an angel, I said, “But we’ve done this before and it reverted back to the same problem, so how do we know it’s going to work for sure this time?”

“Oh,” she said, “I have the code, so it’s quite simple. You won’t have any more problems with this,” she said, again handing me Anthony’s phone and glancing at Ming in a way that indicated that (a) she’d had enough of us, and (b) she admired him for coping with me (yes, I  really did see that kid-versus-parent-empathy, flick of the eye-lash exchange between them).

OMG – the phone was fixed? After all my struggles with it? A miracle.

“I LOVE YOU!” I whooped at the woman who had served me, and she smiled with the joy of her job and waved us goodbye and then I let out another whoop of joy as Ming and I left the shop to go and take the phone back to Anthony.