Friday, March 23, 2012

The Lights Are on, But Everyone Is Busy

First, go read this story about a customer-cashier interaction from Not Always Right.

What could explain that behavior? I have a guess.

A friend told me years ago about something she did while in the midst of writing her dissertation. She was at a grocery store, and when she went to write a check in payment, something like this happened:

Customer: What's the name of the store?

Cashier: [name of store]

Customer: And what's the date?

Cashier: It's the 15th.

Customer: Um... of what month?

Cashier (somewhat disbelieving): February.

Customer: Ummm... and... what year?
So my hypothesis is that the Not Always Right customer was in the midst of writing a dissertation or creating some other type of work that completely consumes the mind, to the point where no other inputs have a chance of being processed.

Any other possibilities?


Michael Leddy said...

I’ve had similar experiences when paying for things and can vouch that living in Dissertationland or similar places can fog the head.

The other, sadder possibility I’d suggest would be that the confused person had recently received some sort of traumatic news.

Yastreblyansky said...

I have moments like this all the time, I'm afraid, whether I'm truly preoccupied or not. I'm too embarrassed to ask for the year, though, and always remember before it's too late.