Is Civility Dead?

Today we were at the Post Office to renew a passport.  We arrived right at 9:00 a.m. when the P.O. opened and already there were several people in line for both passports and stamps/package mailing.  There were two clerks helping people, and of course each clerk was assisting a customer in turn while the rest of us were waiting in turn.

Suddenly a woman comes in and starts talking to the clerk on the end, who was assisting another customer.  The woman starts talking about needing a copy of something but the copy machine is broken.  The clerk says, yes, I'm sorry but it's not working, and goes back to her customer.  The woman then walks up to the clerk and says that she will just have to write everything down and tells the clerk she needs to give her a piece of paper and a pen.  The clerk says that she is assisting another customer and that she will help her when she is finished.  The woman keeps talking, saying she just wants some paper and a pencil.  The clerk says a little more sternly that she is assisting another customer and that she will help the woman when she is finished.

The woman says, "Jesus!" and stomps off.

Then a man comes in and asks if the copy machine is broken.  The other clerk (who was assisting a customer) pauses and says, "Yes, sorry, it's not working."

When it was our turn with the clerk, yet another man comes in and asks our clerk for a pen.  The clerk ignores him as he is explaining something to us but then since the man was still standing there, the clerk paused and handed him a pen.

Meanwhile the first woman comes back in; she is talking on the phone, loudly.  She is saying she doesn't know what the clerk's name is because she is not wearing a name tag.  Then she walks through the line to get close to the clerk to see if she has a name tag on the other side of her blouse, which she does.  The clerk says her name to the woman and shows her the name tag.  The woman repeats it into the phone.

And people complain about the Post Office.