‘Pocalypso | Bridging the Abyss

2020-03-26 – The last step in getting out my client’s immigration petition was FedExing it to the Vermont Service Center of the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. With social distancing in force, each of the final steps for this client have been (how shall I say it) more difficult than usual. As of yesterday morning, the petition is out of my hands. When I got home I saw the receipt from FedEx in my email, so I’ll be able to do everything else online.

The FedEx shipping center I go to is not usually bustling. Maybe one customer. Maybe two. When you walk in, an electronic sensor rings a bell and you hear a voice from the back: “I’m in the back! Be out in a minute.”

I don’t go to FedEx often, but when I do, I like to go to this shipping center because of the guy who works there. He’s an African American, maybe around my age, and he’s the friendliest guy on earth. He greets you like you are his long-lost buddy. He always says that he remembers the last time you came in and he probably does (not that my visits are all that memorable). And he gets the job done without delay. I’ve now been their four times. Once for each of my immigration clients.

Yesterday, as we were wrapping things up, a curmudgeon walked in. I’m not going to describe the guy. Just think of the most curmudgeonly guy you know. That’s the guy.

He heard me tell the FedEx guy that I was talking about going to FedEx with my son and my son said the FedEx store he goes to is not very friendly. I told my FedEx guy that I love coming to see him because he’s friendly and efficient.

Curmudgeon said, “Things used to be that way. No more.” And he went on to vilify every generation for not having the respect that he used to take for granted.

He’s kind of an angry guy—so it seemed. Wants people to yessir him and nosir him.

My FedEx guy doesn’t do that, at least not what I noticed. What makes him a pleasure to do business with is that he sees you as a person and genuinely wants to help. We kept our social distance, but we were able to exchange kind words across the abyss.

I feel sorry for Curmudgeon. He doesn’t realize that he’s quarantining himself from the kind of human contact he says he wants. I guess you get what you give.

Across the abyss.

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