I saw a post on FB today about someone being #89 at the DMV when they were only on #45. It reminded me of my experience recently at JoAnn Fabrics.
JoAnn's has gone to the "take a number" method of cutting yardage. So, I walk up, there are a couple people ahead of me, I take a number. I'm number 26, the big lighted sign hanging from the ceiling in view of the entire stores says they are on number 20. There are two cutters. One cutter finishes, looks up at the lighted sign, walks over to the microphone and shouts into it, "Nimber 21, now serving number 21!" One of the people in front of me steps up and hands over her number and several bolts of fabric. A gentleman standing in the waiting group steps up and says, "I want all the velcro on this roll, I just need it measured so I can have a ticket to take up to the cashier." #21 looks at him like he's begging for spare change and tells the cutter how much she wants of the first fabric. The second cutter finishes and calls #22. Number 22 steps up with several items to be cut. The gentleman again mentions that he only wants that one piece of velcro measured. Same reaction. The man looked at me in frustration. Without lowering my voice I said, "Sir, if I had a number ahead of yours, I'd trade you, but I'm behind you in this line." Numbers 23 and 24 look at us and quickly look away so we won't expect them to do anything of the sort. Cutter finishes and shouts on loudspeaker that she's now serving number 23. Poor gentleman tries again to ask the cutter if she can just measure out that velcro before starting another pile of fabric. Cutter ignores him and asks how much fabric #23 wants. By now, I'm thinking how ridiculous this is....
Poor man waits his turn. Cutter 2 finishes number 23 and calls over loud speaker for number 25 like he hasn't been trying to get in line the whole time. Finally, cutter 1 finishes with # 24, I'm the only one still standing there, I step right up and say, "I'm number 26, you don't have to yell it over the loudspeaker. She looks up at the sign, which says 25, pushes a button to change it to 26, walks over to the mic and shouts that she's now serving number 26! I am flabbergasted. And, being me, I cannot help making a point of just how ridiculous this is. I start jumping up and down, shouting, "Oh, it's me! It's me! I've got number 26! It's me!" Both cutters stop what they are doing and look at me with their mouths agape. The man with the velcro starts to laugh, picks up his measured velcro and walks to the cashier. The second cutter, who has a tag claiming he's the manager, says, "We have to call out the numbers, it's company policy." I say, "Will you at least admit how silly it is to shout it over the loudspeaker when you know I'm standing right here?" Nope, he wouldn't. It's company policy and number 27 might be out there in the store somewhere waiting to hear that they are on #26 so she can hurry over. Hurry over? The store isn't that big that she won't hear #27 called in time to get over there, and the big red lighted sign is visible from all over the store, as well as the audible buzz when the number changes.
Sometimes, rules are stupid, and the managers who enforce them are even more stupid. Just sayin'.