A bucket of dust was kicked up at the last Republican debate as Ted Cruz attacked Donald Trump for having “New York Values.” A stinging back and forth ensued as each man tried to capitalize on the free attention the media was lavishing on them.
You know what they say, “all press is good press.”
I really didn’t give the whole thing a ton of thought, until I found myself standing at the deli counter this weekend patiently, but anxiously, waiting my turn. Let me set the scene..it was Sunday in Charlotte, NC – the Panthers were about two hours away from a HUGE play-off game, and church had just let out. There were at least 12 customers waiting to be served and here’s the most amazing part..Harris Teeter, the grocery store here, does NOT “do” numbers.
No sir, no ticket dispenser at the deli.
At one point, after waiting about three minutes and watching as the crowd kept growing, I looked over at the lady next to me and said, “Wow, I can’t believe they don’t have a number system here, sure makes for some tension..huh?” She looked at me with a curious glance and in that sweet southern twang asked “what do you mean?” “Well, ” I responded, a bit taken aback by her question..”I mean it’s a bit hairy with this many people waiting, you know..like not knowing for sure who is next in a line… when there really is no formal line…or numbers….tickets…you know?”
She tilted her head to one side, the puzzled look still evident in her one raised brow. “My daughter used to work the deli counter in Florida” I offered ” even with numbers, people can get pretty testy about who’s next.” I went on to describe an incident she described to me years ago where two elderly folks got into a nasty exchange about who deserved to be served next by comparing the severity of their recent medical issues..
– yup true story.
“Oh!” the woman finally said, a smile spreading across her face ” you’re not from here honey..we don’t need numbers.”
I spent the next, very enlightening, ten minutes being schooled in good old fashioned manners. Every time one of the clerks called out “who’s next?” To a man and woman, the reaction was always the same..a quick glance around and one question asked again and again..
“Have you been helped yet?”
No numbers needed.