A story of self deprecation

We were standing at the kiosks, staring at the screen as the slide show played showcasing the products we had for sale. I looked several inches above the machine to read for the thousandth time one of our two signs detailing how to use the most selected products of the kiosk. It was written in simple terms, no word being more than 4 letters in length. My eyes began to grow weary, as if to understand why customers would never look up for help. The customer looked up at me, scowling at me for being a foot taller than her.

The customer stood straight, tapping her foot against the freshly waxed tiles on the floor. I turned my foot to better glance at the customer as my feet squeaked. I asked what they wanted to do, and they just said “prints”. We stood there for about 5 more lengthy seconds before I asked what types of photos she would like. The sign above us clearly stated that using this machine in particular would be far more expensive than any of the others, but she remarkably stood her ground. I felt this battle between ignorances would be a tough one. I received an angry stare and told her to tap the screen. Looking at monitor without any other peripherals confused me sometimes, too. I often wondered how many taps it would take to get to the center of the monitor. Apparently, this way of using the machine angered her more, so I disregarded her obvious distaste and waited for her to read the screen.

Still in anger, she asked what she was supposed to do. Getting tired of this little Q & A session I told her to look for the option that said “prints”. I assumed this is what she asked for, because I already forgot what we were doing. It took no more than a second for her to say she could not see it, even though it was in the top left corner of the screen where most English-speaking adults would start reading. I always looked at the bottom right so it would take longer to look at the correct place.

We got to the point where she had uploaded her photos to the machine. Nothing had changed this blissful atmosphere, and I was getting paid by the hour so my level of caring was almost unbearable. I was asked once again what to do, and I again asked her what she wanted to do. This is when the gloves came off. She tried with all her might to refrain from saying “I don’t know”, but I knew she wanted to. I could see it in her eyes, just as I knew I wanted to drag this conversation down along with me. This brought us back to square one so I told her to tap the screen again. This was, in fact, the only instruction I had given her for the past seven minutes. A small amount of text appeared on-screen alongside the drop down menu from the top left of the screen. I felt like I had lost count of how many times I was asked to continue, so I took a noticeable sigh and said “I’m just as illiterate as you, and just as lost now.” And that is the story of how I got my first broken nose.