Pseudo-Vacationers

Ask anyone you meet how they're doing and you'll undoubtedly get a response like, "Fine, but I need a vacation desperately!" It's true, we all work hard, we're stressed out, and we want a chance to relax a bit. Everyone deserves a vacation - but not in a grocery store line. Or at banks, street intersection and customer service desks.

I was at a supermarket yesterday at 5:45 PM. I walked over to the checkout line with four items (if you must know, they were soy sauce, duck sauce, rice and chicken cutlets) and took my place behind a woman with about 75 items. After she unloaded her stuff onto the counter, she took her elbow and rested it on the conveyor belt and then leaned her head on her hand. Some people have got all the time in the world, I figured. I assumed she was about to take a nap, except her eyes were open. Finally, after all her items were rung up, she slowly fished out her wallet and lazily plunked a few bills onto the counter. She resumed prior position while her change was counted out. Feeling sorry at having to leave such a cozy, relaxing atmosphere, the woman sought excuses to stay - an argument over payment. After another five or so long minutes, it was my turn to check out.

A short bit later I was on the bus that would take me home. This rant was born on the back of a USPS Store receipt since it provided lots of room to write. I jotted down the details of the encounter at the counter. I paused for a minute to look around me and I saw some more vacationers! One person took a few minutes to board the three teeny steps of the bus, and another while to find a bus ticket, and even more time to find a seat. Some people have got all the time in the world, I thought for the second time that hour! When that particular vacationer's stop came, she leisurely walked to the front of the bus and then eventually reached the pavement.

These experiences brought to mind the very many ways that pseudo-vacationers find a relaxing getaway in the middle of daily living situations. Some drivers wait forever at stop signs for good measure. Some technical support agents put you on hold for half a month until they finally come back to break the news to you that your purchase isn't covered by the warranty anymore. There are people who take ages until they respond to your letters/emails/texts/phone calls. Or like when friends show up at events 2 hours late. We all know a handful of these relaxed vacationers. Do we have to suffer because of them?

I can't just rant without giving a suggestion or two, can I? So I flipped over my receipt and found the words 'Czech Republic' (this is a receipt from when I mailed a package to an eBay buyer) so it can be interpreted as a sign. Like maybe we should all pack up our gear and fly off to Prague for a vacation! Czech sounds great to me (I've never tasted Czechoslovakian cuisine but would love to). Except my boss might want me to 'check in' too often ;) Bon voyage!

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