There is a commotion at the door. Two women are bending over another who is struggling to rise to her feet. The car of one of them is neither in, nor out, of the car park; making it impossible for anyone else to enter our yard. They seem to be having a discussion about our signage board. They must be as pleased with it as we are, the solid grey anchoring feet our tradesman managed to come up with. Not to mention the perfect match of heavy grey enamel paint which makes, what is a work of art, blend so beautifully with the asphalt out there. Two of the women go their various ways. The elder woman is moving toward our doors. You can see she is visibly shaken. I go to get a chair for her. Two assistants are with me. I offer the woman a coffee which she gladly accepts as she begins to more fully to address the earlier commotion outside the door. At the same time she is asking questions about our product.
We are in the business of flooring. We pride ourselves on the best display in town. Our shop is extremely clean and well presented. I expect all staff to focus on cleanliness as much as product.
But I digress. Turn to the woman and listen to her story. None of us in the shop saw it I am sure: however she is detailing a fall she has just had over our signage board footing, pulling up her trouser leg to examine her grazed knee. It is only a surface wound and no blood (thank goodness) to dirty the floor at our feet. She complains mostly of her shoulder. I show concern. Her order is as important to us as any customer but this is not quite the moment to say that. She is referring to health and safety; suggesting the anchorage footage on the signage board should be a bright yellow of all things. Of course we’ll have to discuss that at our ‘Heads Up’ meeting in the morning. In the meantime she rouses herself to view our stock, ask question, refers to costs, breaks in with the fact one of the women helping her earlier had offered to drive her to the hospital but she feels, sore as she is, she can do that herself in order to get ex-rays to the side on which she fell. I can’t afford to have one of the staff go with her so do not pro-offer any assistance on this.
When she leaves she has one of our tote bags. The ones I personally oversaw to see they matched our overall colour scheme of the very fashionable grey. She continues making outlandish suggestions as to bright colours on the feet of our signage board. As I said we’ll put it to our ‘Heads Up’ meeting in the morning.
Next day she phones to tell us ‘no breakages to bones’. A blessing. But I do wish she would give up on this silly idea of a yellow that would destroy our colour scheme. White would be just as horrendous.
The following week she phones to say the hospital has got back to her. On reading the ex-rays for a second time they have found a complication. Another ‘Heads Up’ meeting in the morning. I suppose we’ll have to discuss it again.
Benita H. Kape © 26.5.2014
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Yesterday I wrote a poem with my version of this episode which actually happened last week and I was very surprised to get the phone call from the hospital last night so I await their further instructions.