I took the car in for an oil change today. I saw a trio of sales staff standing around outside enjoying the afternoon. I entered the waiting area to an onslaught of one-sided conversation.
There was a sweet "little old lady" who was opining, reiterating and waxing ignorant about anything and everything. When I arrived, she was talking about her phone:
"I still have a dial phone, you know the one with the numbers that you use with your fingers? When I'm on the phone and you have to push the button? I can't do that; I go to my neighbours. Do I have to pay Bell for the push-button phones?"
After learning what I do for a living:
"I'm born again. Baptist. My dad was Presbyterian but I'm Baptist. You should tell your wife when you get home that she's like an angel – hanging around, up there, always harping! Ha! You know the health food store here in town? The owner was saying that he thanks God ten times a day. Now that gets you thinking, doesn't it? It got me thinking."
After pulling out my laptop and popping in the headphones to signal that I don't want to be part of the conversation:
"What does a computer do? I don't know anything about them, my grandson works with them all the time. They scare me. I like flowers and animals and health. Could a computer teach me about that? How do you pay for it? Is it a little each month? Can you show me your computer? How does it work? My grandson knows all about them; he says he could get me one. How does the internet work?"
In the almost-hour that I was there, she didn't let up at all. You can imagine what she thinks about raising kids these days, the high cost of auto repair and getting old.
My sales guy was telling me later that she'd been there for 3 hours while their car was getting fixed. He spent an hour-and-a-half of it outside, enjoying the afternoon. He was going to call me into his office to discuss a "problem with my file" so I could get some work done in peace away from the chatter. Had he done that, I might have felt obligated to buy another car or, at the very least, lease a getaway vehicle.