Impolite society

A passing bank manager took out a second can of air freshener and sprayed the ground around the tellers’ feet. The hiss of the aerosol was conspicuous in the quiet bank.

The woman pulled her cart up beside me to wait for the teller who was serving me. The bank manager told her to step away and give me space. I assured the woman that she didn’t have to move anywhere on my account and she stayed where she was.

When I turned back to the counter, the manager and I locked eyes. She looked annoyed and somehow betrayed, as though I’d failed to join forces with her.  I could feel the annoyance on my own face – and disbelief that the bank should condone this kind of behaviour toward vulnerable clients. It made me think about how much rudeness is carried out in the name of propriety.


  1. Almost the same thing happened when I was shopping for groceries three weeks ago. The store manager took out his aerosol and sprayed everything and everyone in reach after a man had barely left his shop, like he was trying to exorcise him! I looked with disgust at him and he quickly took off, sensing I was about to say something he clearly didn´t want to hear. And to be honest, I thought his stupid air freshener was much worse than any smell that might have come from the man, which didn´t!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is a great post and says a lot about how marginalized people are treated. Reminds me of a few years ago when the current Pope visited Philadelphia and the city officials wanted to hide all the homeless people. Talk about officials being out of touch.

    Liked by 1 person

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