General Weirdness and Escalating Chaotic Energy

Watch how things circle around within a few hours’ time.  This is kind of…interesting.

The general weirdness of this week continues.  I’m not sure if it’s the contentious Aries/Libra full moon or the price of gas, but people are highly agitated this week, especially over the past few days.  I can explain it away at work…5 years since Iraq and things on higher alert…but even out shopping, people are on edge and ready to swing.  And the spring break traffic isn’t even in full effect here at the beaches!

Just a few little oddities within a few hours’ time and how different people are handling the escalating chaotic energy:

– I’m picking up a picnic dinner at a fav barbecue place and they are out of barbecue.  Go figure.  It must have just happened.  They are stressed but friendly and offer to have it ready in 10 minutes if I can wait for their manager to arrive from Destin with a new batch–he’s on his way–so I agreed to come back after a grocery run.  Friendliness is good.

– In line at the grocery store, the couple ahead of me buys two or three small items.  The total rings up to $6.66.  The cashier shrieks and insists they buy something more.   You know, so their expenditure won’t bear the mark of the devil.  They say they’ll take their chances.  I think it makes a pretty good marketing campaign for the grocery store:  Food World, Saving Your Soul One Penny at a Time. Ignoring is good (though ignorance is baaaaaaad).

– Lowes calls.  They mismeasured the big kitchen repair job they’re doing for me and it’s going to cost about $500 less.  And I get a free kitchen sink as previously promised.  Cool, huh?  Except now they have to invalidate our existing contract and get me to sign the new one at the revised measurements and price, which means driving 40 miles round trip and taking an extra two hours out of my day at least.  No problem–they’ll fax it and I’ll return it by mail (which is more tenuous than a missile contract for which fax and pdf is okay).  But they will back out my old Discover card transaction and put through the new price to match the contract.  Okay, yeah, fine.  I don’t even have to pay for the stamp.  I don’t understand why the contract has to be completely redone, given that I negotiate contracts for a living, but, okay.   It’s more of an annoyance than anything else but we work together to make it as convenient as possible.  A different employee might have insisted I drop everything and go to the store, which might have spurred me to tell them to drop the whole thing.  Cooperation is good.

– First trip to KMart for an emergency supply run:  I’m slowly pushing my cart through the pre-Easter-crowded store when this old man comes up to me and starts railing at me and all “woman drivers.”  Huh?  Damn, I think, this is what I get for making eye contact.  Old dude is either flirting or deranged, but he’s standing in the middle of KMart screaming at me about the way women drive their carts and how I’m going to run into someone.  If I’d been beebopping through the store, he might have a point, but I was perusing one of the endcap displays at the end of one aisle and was going about 3 FEET per hour.  He’s talking about having wrecks and I inform him I’ve never had a wreck. He yells back at me, “You would have run into THAT guy if I hadn’t stopped you!”  He points at a guy coming toward me from about 10 feet away.  The other guy and I just look at each other like WTF?  Lunatics are bad. At the checkout counter, the lines are ultra-long and I get into the shortest…where the woman ahead of me promptly is told that there’s not a price tag on the sole item she needs.  The cashier is harried but friendly and jumps the counter to go find out the price herself because she can’t get a price check no matter how hard she tries.  The customer apologizes profusely to me and we strike up a small conversation.  She gets her price and leaves.  The last item in my basket–the emergency item I needed–is missing its UPC tag, and it’s the last one they have like it.  The cashier tries unsuccessfully to get a price check and doesn’t know what the call the item but everyone in line behind me is trying to give her a good description, so at least they’re not yelling.  She asks a supervisor for help and is ignored.  She asks the store manager–the same one who a few months ago embarrassed me in this same store by yelling  at me in front of customers that I was trying to pass a bad check, only to find out later that my bank identified the transaction as a security issue with KMart, not with me.  The store manager won’t even look at her and just says in an angry tone loud enough for the rest of us to hear, “I can’t help you!” and he walks away all clench-jawed while there are 15 people in line behind me.  The cashier offers to RUN and find another item but she doesn’t know where to look for it, so the two of us take off to go find it and tough she’s 20 years younger and much tinier, I outwalk her (fun).  She asks for help in that department and the other employee there shrugs it off.  I pick up a similar item, different color, and say, “This will do.  Come on.”   We finish at the cash register, I pay with my Discover card, and she hands me a coupon for $1.00 off my next purchase.  Amazingly the customers in line were helpful, not screaming.  Cooperation and friendliness good.  Ignoring bad.  KMart managers?  Vile worms.

– I get to the car and realize I forgot something.  I run back in for an item that runs…$6.66…and my Discover card gets declined.  The work of the devil?  Not quite.  My phone is beeping with a text message from Discover to call at once regarding what appears to be a fraudulent charge.  The Lowe’s transaction that was backed out and resubmitted for the new contract just triggered Discover’s fraud center.  I ignore message at the time because it’s probably either someone RSVP’ing about my upcoming Spiritual Gathering or my upcoming date calling and both can wait.  The cashier’s sweet and friendly, though I’m a little anxious.   But I have cash on me and all is well.  Ignoring bad.  Friendliness and cooperation?   Good.

– In the parking lot, I look up one second too late to see a fender-bender.  What I do see though, amid sudden yelling, is a woman half-backed out of her parking spot but with her cell phone glued to her ear.  The couple in the truck she T-boned or nearly did (I can’t tell the degree of impact from where I’m standing)  are screaming at her to get off her phone and pay attention.  They were already backed out (woman driving, man passenger) when Stupid Cell Phone Woman started moving her car.  She doesn’t cooperate.  She ignores.  It looks as if she’s trying to leave but they’re out of the truck and blocking her in, and there’s much screaming to be done.  Yet, apparently, it’s a really important call because she still hasn’t stopped her conversation on her cell phone.  The screaming and yelling continue with Stupid Cell Phone Woman going into the store and coming out with the other driver following her and yelling at her while Stupid Cell Phone Woman is STILL talking on the phone.   Ignoring bad, very bad.

– I’m standing on the sidewalk near the bedding plants, watching all the commotion and deciding to stay there so I don’t get shot or something but this is a fist fight waiting to happen.  I’m realizing that  if I hadn’t been delayed in the store, I would have been walking behind Stupid Cell Phone Woman’s car about the time she was backing out.   I also realize that the male passenger was, I’m pretty sure, the man in the store that the crazy old dude had told me I would have run over when he was ranting about women drivers.   A very sweet elderly man chats with me while I stand there.  We talk about the fender-bender, the bedding plants, and other things for about ten minutes while the commotion simmers down.  When I step off the sidewalk, I realize for the first time that I’ve been blocking him on this narrow sidewalk and all this time, he’s been waiting for me to move while I was distracted.  We say goodbye and wish each other well.  Ignorance bad, but friendliness very, very good.