Dear Helpful People

12 Mar

Dear Helpful People,

Most of the time, you are helpful, and that is an amazing and wondrous thing.  You find items in the back of the store that are not on the shelves, and you honor the price listed rather than whatever it is that rings up that is more for some unexplainable reason.  You give hints on how to get the best discount, and you stand there holding a door open for longer than is merely polite.  You point out things I’ve dropped, and help me reach tall things (because closing my eyes does not actually extend my arm reach).  You provide me with information in a timely manner and say, “Have a good day!” very, very sincerely.

But then, sometimes, you’re too helpful.  Like when I walked into the little dessert place around the corner from my house, and found no little loaves of chocolate cake like I once ate over a year ago.

And I asked, kind of vaguely, “So there’s no hazelnut or something like that chocolate cake?”

And you said, slowly, “Nooo…well, maybe…hazelnut?”

And I said, “Well, maybe.  Maybe it was something else.  It was chocolate and came in little bread loaf shaped pieces?  It was really wonderful.”

And then you looked around, and suggested that maybe it was chestnut, and then went to see if you had any whole cakes of it in the back, and then dragged the pastry chef out to talk to me, who told me he makes 12 different kinds of rolled (bread loaf shaped to me) cakes, and it could have been any one of them, and they make different ones depending on the day so maybe another day but not today and then you tried to describe how often you make the chestnut one, even though that totally may not be what I’m looking for, and you settled on, “Pretty, well, sort of , maybe, often.”  And then said, “Maybe it the flourless chocolate cake.”  (Or, conceivably, one of the other ten.)

Through all of this I kept trying to say, “It’s ok, I’ll check back, I clearly don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, so how could I expect you to know, please help these other nice people in line, really, I promise I’ll come back, you aren’t losing my business, you are so so so helpful, but please let me go home now.”

All in all, helpful is better than not helpful.  Too helpful is awkward in the most delightful way possible.

And finally– thank you.



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