Entertaining Some Random Old Guy

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

I have to admit that I am not immune to the charms of schadenfreude. I love watching YouTube videos of people falling down, or getting hit by balloons, or whatever. Unfortunately, sometimes, you aren’t watching the video. Sometimes you are starring in it. All I can say is that, at least in this case, I could provide a little bit of entertainment to some old codger sitting at the bank.

On my lunch break, I tried to squeeze in a few errands rather than sit at home and squander my time on a cell phone game or filling out a survey. I had to do something at the bank and now that the hours are greatly reduced, my lunch break seemed like a perfect time. I also wanted to get some tomatoes and lettuce, but that isn’t particularly relevant.

I hadn’t visited my bank branch to use the actual branch since the start of the pandemic. I’ve used the ATM a number of times, but I hadn’t talked to a teller since the start of the summer. As that was early in the pandemic, there was a lot of fear and mistrust. I remember being asked to stand far back from the counter. I remember taking one of the pens and the woman telling me to take it home because she viewed it as a likely source of infection. I didn’t blame her. She might have been right. I just remember the tension in the air.

I probably had that in mind because I spent a bit of time reading all the notices about masks and symptoms and whatever before I even got through the first set of doors. I entered the first door and was in the vestibule where the ATM was. I sidestepped right to go through the entrance and pushed on the door. It didn’t move. It was locked. I peered through the glass and there was an older gentleman sitting on one of the comfortable chairs where they dispensed the free coffee–so I probably wasn’t going to go near the coffee maker. but I knew the bank was open. I reached for the other door because sometimes they lock one door and not the other. It was then I realized the other door was propped open and I completely bypassed it for the closed and locked door. Needless to say, I felt a bit foolish.

The old codger sitting in the bank erupted into a fit of laughter. He then narrated exactly what I had done. “You missed the completely open door and chose the locked one. That’s so funny.” He repeated himself presumably in case I had missed the commentary. “You tried to open a locked door. The one beside it was empty.”

Again, if you’re going to spend your time watching schadenfreude, then you’re going to have to admit it when it happens to you. “That’s true.” I concurred with him because he wasn’t wrong.

I made my way into the bank as he started his third retelling of the story–and he will probably repeat that to his friends a dozen or more times this week. I chuckled at my stupidity and kept walking. When I got to the counter, the young woman who was at the teller a couple down from me (because social distancing meant that they used alternate tellers) gave me a weak, cringy kind of smile. I didn’t know what to make of it, but she was much younger than me and I put it down to not knowing what young people are like these days.

Yes, being able to laugh at myself is Today’s Perfect Moment. If ever we needed a few good laughs, it’s now. Also, as my students told me, not taking things personally is rather important.

To end off this story, I finally understood the cringe when the young lady concluded her bank business and picked up the gentleman at the door to leave the bank together. I guess it was her father or grandfather.

About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
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3 Responses to Entertaining Some Random Old Guy

  1. retrodee says:

    I do stuff like that ALL the time. I’m so awkward in public, that I was almost relieved when people started to not go out as much anymore. I’m the kind of person who pushes the door when it says “PULL” on it right in front of my face. I’m cute but awkward. Things even out. LOL! Anyway, laughing at yourself is a Super Strength, one I would not have survived without. 😀

  2. I love it when I try to push open and walk through a glass door that’s locked at a good speed. Slamming into it is loads of fun. Especially for anyone who may be watching!

    So your situation was a bit embarrassing but it’s good you could laugh it off. Why the guy had to repeat it is weird but amusing. At least you didn’t slam into it!

    • Anthony says:

      It was funny. The guy was a bit weird and way too into my ineptitude, but it wasn’t terrible. Writing is also a good way to get it out. confront it and move on I say. Besides, it won’t be the last time.

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