First of all: apologies. That’s probably not even your name, and I’ve gotten off to a bad start with the proper apology by nicknaming you such as part of a cheap pun, in a desperate crowd-pleasing desire to make my behaviour seem less monstrous.
But it isn’t.
You’re a hardworking woman, pleasant, polite, most likely a mum and a regular churchgoer because you genuinely believe that God does good things and looks after you and your family. I don’t think I’d find you marching down Lambton Quay shouting about evildoers. Unless they were capitalist sharetrading arseholes who’ve helped kept you on a low wage for the last ten years.
I’m digressing. I don’t know anything about you. I’m making assumptions. You could be a serial cat abuser and regular reader of Ian Wishart’s Investigate magazine, and I’m just projecting an image of faultless working class niceness onto you because I was such a prick.
I should not have become aggressive and argued with you in the food court when you told us it was time to close. I should have not have snatched up what remained of my plastic McDonalds food and stormed off, streaming obscenities as I went like a petulant child when you were just doing your job.
Cleaning staff very rarely talk to members of the public as it is, given that on the best days most people treat you like bins with legs. So for you to even talk to me at all… you were probably at least expecting some haughtiness. A tantrum directed at you was unacceptable, and I apologise.
It’s cold comfort for you of course, but what made me even angrier as I lost control was that I knew none of this was your fault as the words came tumbling out my mouth. It was the idiots at the McDonalds counter in 277 who had screwed up our order twice, leaving us waiting, and then neglecting to tell us that we couldn’t sit down and eat it because the centre was about to close.
But they weren’t in the firing line when my sanity passed breaking point, you were.
You probably didn’t think I was having a mental meltdown, you probably just thought I was another rude and obnoxious cretin fresh from a shopping excursion in a store downstairs where a single shirt costs $500.
I met people like this ten years ago when I worked just a few hundred metres up the road in Whitcoulls. People who thought the shop boy was there to be abused, would tell me to “shut up” if I tried to explain something about a book, complain loudly if I didn’t wrap a present to their liking, and give their suburb as “Rem” when taking down their address for a special order.
In the boilover of frustration from (what I now realise was) a series of comparatively trivial events that afternoon, I became in that swearing instant the exact type of person I hate. The person who believes its their entitlement, their right, to lose control and direct their ephemeral rage at an innocent person.
You don’t need to know the reasons why, because they are irrelevant.
I hope you will accept my humblest and most sincere apologies, which aren’t driven by guilt (I’m no longer a Catholic) by obligation (my long-suffering partner had already cleaned up the mess by apologising on my behalf) or by loss of face (no-one knows who I am, so this incident is hardly likely to end up rivalling the Teapot Tapes).
I’m writing this because I know that when you work hard, the last thing you need in your day is someone making it shittier for no good reason. My problems are my own, not yours.
I hope your day today is a brighter one.