When they told me to pump my own gas, I took on Lady MacBeth characteristics, but I pumped.
When they told me to please listen closely to all available selections as options have change, I listened as I manically punched “0.”
When they told me to swipe my own credit card to complete the most sacred of rituals; shopping, I swiped, and I silently wept.
And when I am expected to supply my own towel, paper towels, cleaning solution, and noise canceling device to enjoy the few machines that work in my sweltering gym, I do so.
I do all these things. But not without speaking up, which I see as a moral imperative and those around me see as another excuse to label me as “difficult, high maintenance, crotchety” or any other label that allows them to distance themselves from the fact that silence equals complicity.
Having most recently spoken up to gym “management” regarding the ephemeral opening times of the gym (the pool opens when its waters can no longer stand the glassy top to their surface and the gym opens when someone decides that the hang-over is not in fact life threatening.) I was treated this morning to being followed into the rest room by a “old enough to have recently graduated high school, but let’s be serious, she was most likely asked to leave” who “works” the desk. I heard her muttering, not making eye contact of course; “Tobias,Tobias.” It had a rather eerie “The Prince of Tides” quality to it. I’m not sure when it occurred to me that she was actually trying to address me, “Tobias?” Had I not changed my name when I married, I no doubt would have been having some serious 8th grade gym class flashbacks. Safely ensconced in my married name, I told the tot “I’ve never been addressed that way. It’s Mrs. Tobias.” She continued that the gym is no longer open at 5:45, it opens at 6:00. This time change of course, the result of my compaints regarding opening time. Fine. I’ve no problem with shortening the gym day. I’m not sure that I even mind being chased into the bathroom. What I DO MIND is being spoken to as if I am a schoolyard homie, or posse, or BFF, or whatever the hell they call them.
I am a customer damnit. I just want to be treated as such.