What can I possibly say?

I delivered a parcel today.  I actually delivered 174 parcels today but one in particular sticks in my mind.  Here’s the conversation…

Knock, knock.

“Who’s there?”  [at this point I would like to point out that this is not at all a funny situation and the fact that it seems to be starting out like a knock knock joke is an unfortunate coincidence]

“Australia Post.”  Then I waited while the lady in her late 50’s waddled to the door.

As she approached the door she asked “Who’s it for?”

I read the surname on the parcel.

I normally hand a parcel over with a cheerful “have a nice afternoon” or “merry Christmas” or “cheers, see you tomorrow” or “no worries” if they’ve just thanked me for the parcel.

As I type this I just realised that I could very easily make this a guessing game.  Guess what the lady said.  But I won’t.  It would be mean and nasty to leave you hanging, but I will ask that before you read the next paragraph you give some thought to what an overweight lady in her 50’s might say in response to being told that a parcel the size of a shoebox is addressed to her and her husband.

Wait for it.  Think about it.  Knock, knock.  “Who’s there?”  “Australia Post.”  “Who’s it for?”  “Smith (not her real name).”  Here it comes.  “That’ll be my son’s ashes.”

How do you respond to that?  All my stock responses from 3 paragraphs ago are a little bit out of order in this situation.  “I’m sorry to hear that.” was the best I could manage before going back to the car a little faster than usual.

So what did you think she said?


How would you have responded?

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6 Responses to What can I possibly say?

  1. Courtney says:

    I was imagining her saying, "That’ll be my new turbo vibrator."
    THAT would have left you equally off-balance, I believe.

  2. Jason says:

    Hmm…awkward situation. I think I’d make it more awkward and say something completly stupid and make a break for it (how fast could a large middle-aged woman be?)
    Knock, knock.
    “Who’s there?”
    Australia Post.” 
    “That’ll be my son’s ashes.”
    "ANOTHER SHRIMP ON THE BARBIE! CHEERS!" (And this would be the part where I’d run like hell.)

  3. serf says:

    Surely the company has given you training for this situation.

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