Thursday, 27 September 2012

Sounds

I walked up this muddy pathway en route to the vineyard yesterday.  Pigs softly grunting, birds flying overhead and the sound of my boots crunching on the gravel were the only sounds that I could hear.  My soul is soothed by the solitude and by the sounds of nature around me.  Today I experienced sounds of a different nature.

As I entered the Royal Mail sorting office to collect a parcel, I sensed that the atmosphere was very tense.  There were four people queueing in front of me and the second person in the queue was being really noisy and disruptive.  He seemed to be talking to himself but was playing to an audience (the queue).  He said that on his list of people he hated was the police and his Mum and Dad and on his list of things he loved was money.  He than started screaming out abuse against authority.............then it was his turn to be served.

When the Postal Officer asked him for I.D his abuse reached new heights, screaming at the top of his voice and using every taboo expletive you could ever imagine.  At that point I wondered if my parcel was that important and whether or not I should collect it another time.  Then I had second thoughts thinking that if I walked out of the door I would get his attention so I just waited patiently in the queue.

The Postal Officer asked him to refrain from using foul language as it was offensive to the people queueing.  Well, that set him off even more! He screamed so loud it felt like my ears were about to bleed.  The Postal Officer then refused to serve the man and went in search of a manager.

I felt so vulnerable just waiting whilst the man was ranting and raging.  Postal Officer no.2 came out to serve the rest of us in the queue and the man was still standing at the serving hatch.  I went up and stood next to him as I requested my parcel.  I kept thinking what if he takes me hostage?  What if he has a knife?  How should I react?  As Postal Officer no.2 went to get my parcel, the Manager and Postal Officer no.1 came out to speak to the man.  My throat was tight, my heart pounding so loudly I thought he could hear it.  After a final round of expletives, standing just inches away from me he stormed out of the sorting office screaming that he would be back with his gang and a gun.

I showed my I.D, hastily put the package into my bag, and watched my back all the way home.

16 comments:

andamento said...

Not pleasant, sounds like a very unsettling episode and he sounds rather an unsavoury character, I wonder why he behaves that way.

marigold jam said...

How unpleasant - you can't help but wonder why the man felt the need to be so aggressive and that maybe he has a problem that we know nothing about. No excuse for his behaviour of course and it must have been quite scary!

gillyflower said...

Oh how scary and upsetting for you. That sort of unpleasantness unfortunately is hard to forget quickly.Thanks heavens you stayed safe.
Sorry I havent commented for a while Simone but I havent been able to leave one for some reason - but I have been here to visit you!
Take care
Gill xx

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Good grief Simone how scary for you, no wonder you felt worried.
If I were you I would just focus on your lovely walk to the vineyard yesterday!
Vivienne x

sharon said...

Simone, my heart is pounding just thinking you had such an experience. In America, too many times there have been such events often resulting in murders at post offices. So many that a new phrase was born: "going postal."
I think I would have been terrified but I can't say how I'd actually react. I'm just so very grateful his behavior didn't result in violence.
What an unhappy soul he must be.

A garden just outside Venice said...

Pretty scary, I've often bumped into angry people whilst queueing up at the post office, but never so aggressive.
x

Toffeeapple said...

Well done on holding your ground but I hope that if you and he were the only ones, that you would have left.

There is no excuse for that kind of behaviour, I feel for you.

Hugs. xx

Paula said...

That's very scary and unsettling just reading about it let alone being there as it happened, I hope you're OK.

Rosie said...

Very unsettling for you, Simone. I think I would have been apprehensive too! I understand what you mean about not wanting to draw attention to yourself by leaving the queue. Hope you are ok now and I hope the man involved is just full of hot air and doesn't return as he said he would, people who serve the general public do have to put up with a lot of abuse and bad behaviour at times. Take carexx

rusty duck said...

That was a horrible experience, hope you're OK. Jx

KC'sCourt! said...

How horrible. I have experienced bad behaviour but nothing like that.
Hope you are ok now.
Julie xxxxxxxx

greenthumb said...

That sounds awful, what a creap

Helen Philipps said...

What a very scary experience for you, Simone. I hope you are feeling better now. Your walk to the vineyard does sound lovely and soothing, what a great place to spend time working.
Wishing you a peaceful weekend.
Helen x

wherethejourneytakesme said...

What an awful encounter you had and how distressing. Some people cannot help being aggressive towards the staff who unfortunately don't invent the systems but have to implement them such as asking for ID. There was a similar incident last Christmas Eve in our local Sorting Office where a number of us were queuing to collect parcels because we had received a red card through our letterbox even though most of us had been in at the time (and understandably this was the main reason for the bad-tempers). The young girl on the desk was getting so much abuse as you can imagine - I was the only one, who despite the inconvenience, managed to remain calm and be pleasant and wish her a Happy Christmas (as after all it is supposed to be the season of Peace and Goodwill)and as I did silence descended on the room - probably in disbelief - but the young girl was very thankful!

millefeuilles said...

Simone, Golly, how awful! Do you know what struck me the most about this terribly stressful experience? How fantastically you conveyed it. You have a very good writing style.

Stephanie

Judy Hartman said...

I agree with the last comment, Simone. A very frightening experience, very well written. Hope you have recovered from this heart pounding experience! Glad you're OK.
xx