true customer tales: oxygen

An older woman came in this morning who was the embodiment of 'frail', pushing one of those Robotech looking walkers that doubles as a chair. It had a rack for an oxygen tank which was umbilically attached to her nose by a long loop of surgical tubing, its metronomic hissing imbuing our conversation with a medical urgency.  Her walker got hung up on the footplate of our doorway and needed an assist from her husband to get clear.

She fished a thick list out of her bag, fifteen single spaced pages of mysteries printed out alphabetically by author and secured with a black metal binder clip.  I directed her to the correct section and she arranged her walker, seting the brakes & laboriously lowering herself into the seat, clutching her list.  Her husband fetched a step stool and they went to work, she calling out authors & he scanning the shelves and pulling books.  By request I brought them an large empty box, which filled up over roughly 90 minutes of diligent call and response.

She cleaned out most of our John D. MacDonald & Mignon G. Eberhart along with a brace of other classic authors, and added a stack of Charlene Harris for variety.

Ringing up their purchase took me a good while, to the visible aggravation of the fellow with the awful timing who landed behind them in line.

The husband carried the box out to their car, then returned to help his wife back across our threshold and off they went.

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