Tit for tat
The other day I had to go to a shop to buy a notebook. It was late afternoon and there was no other customer in the stationery store. The store owner sat in his seat staring blankly at nothing.
I broke his reverie and demanded to be provided a 200-page notebook. I asked him the price and placed the amount on the counter. Meanwhile, the owner lumbered up to the shelves, drew out a 200-page notebook, and tossed it at me over the counter. This annoyed me to no end. I wish he had had the courtesy to hand over the notebook instead of tossing it. That is simply not the way to treat your customers.
I wish I had not already paid him, else I would have done what my friend had done when similarly treated by a shop owner.
The friend had to make a purchase - I don't remember what it was but it was definitely not something which was breakable and it was, of course, light. I had accompanied him.
The owner removed the article from the shelf and tossed it at my friend.
This angered the friend but he did not say anything.
"How much is it?" he asked the owner.
"Ten rupees," the shop-keeper said.
The friend had currency notes in his pocket. But he deliberately withdrew ten one-rupee coins and, then, with a look of great concentration on his face as if he was participating in a pistol-shooting competition and was aiming for the bulls-eye, he began tossing the coins over the counter one after the other. The coins made nice ringing sounds when they dropped on the glass-topped counter.
After the tenth coin had landed, the friend relaxed his countenance and looked up at the shop-keeper who had lost speech and was watching goggle-eyed.
There were a number of customers in the shop at that time, and they found the incident quite amusing. Some of them even went to the extent of laughing aloud.
I never visited that shop again, nor did the friend. But I am sure the shop-keeper must have learned his lesson well and given up his love for tossing things at customers.
I would have done the same thing as my friend, had I not already paid up for the notebook. Henceforth, I am not going to pay up first. It is only after taking the article of purchase in my possession that the shop-keeper will get his money, and that too in a manner similar to which the article was handed to me.