Filters. Verbal filters. As in, I wish customers weren’t taking advantage of this unsettling time to speak their thoughts at the exact moment they think them. Example par excellence:
Middle-aged male customer enters store after reading large sign outside, looks around, then says to me with what has become the usual note of suspicion, “Everything is 60% off?”
He then wanders around for a few minutes, picks up a couple books, returns to the counter.
“So you’re closing, then?”
He nods, goes on shopping, and then comes back to the counter.
“So you’re losing your job?”
Nod, shop, shop, shop, then there he is again at the counter. He points at my belly.
“So what, you must be at least 9 months, huh? What’re you, post-date?”
An utterly harmless & well-meaning man, but my inner-Austen was bristling: “Insupportable!”