Is It Karma Or Is It Bad Luck?


I’m not sure why these things seem to always happen to me.
Maybe I was a historical time-waster in a previous life, having no regard for my fellow man behind me in a line. There must be a reasonable explanation as to why, in this life, I invariably get stuck behind someone that has no concern for the people behind them.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a supermarket check-out line, an ATM or a fast-food drive-through.
The person directly in front of me is usually experiencing some sort of problem. Sometimes it’s a problem with something that won’t scan. Other times, the card isn’t working.
If I’m at a walk-up ATM, the guy in front of me acts as if they’ve never used one before. When I use the drive-through ATM, the guy in front of me doesn’t pull up close enough to reach the machine and they have to get out of the car. Even when reaching through the window, they put the card in backward or don’t seem to remember their PIN.
People have told me the older you get, the less patience you have for nonsense. I don’t think my age has anything to do with it. I’ve never had the patience for nonsense.
I’m always prepared when I need to use an ATM and have a keen awareness of the number of people behind me in line, especially at a drive-through. As soon as I get in line, my card is already out of my wallet. When it’s my turn, I pull up close to the terminal, pop in my card, enter my PIN, get my cash and pull away so the next guy can go.

Should I get a Gold Star? I don’t see why not. I’m in and out of there in less than two minutes. You’d be lucky to be behind me at an ATM.
I just wonder why the guy in front of me can’t sometimes be the guy behind me. What did I do to deserve this fate?

Could it be that I was the guy at the Old Western saloon monopolizing the only bartender and taking way too long to decide between beer or whiskey in a previous life?
Maybe Karma is catching up with me.

While waiting my turn at the McDonald’s drive-through in Massapequa the other day, I decided on a crispy chicken sandwich and a Coke. Knowing people were behind me, I had my card at the ready, wanting to keep the line moving. I’m just that type of guy.
But Karma struck. The woman in the car ahead of me was sticking her arm out the window and gesturing at the menu. This went on for quite some time as she seemed to be ordering a lot of food. It took her over five minutes to place her order.
My order was completed in less than a minute and I was right behind my drive-through nemesis as she received her order through the window.
It was a single cold drink.
She handed the cashier a dollar but needed to come up with some additional change. After rummaging around inside the car for another minute, she completed her transaction. Instead of pulling away from the window, she fiddled with her pocketbook, popped the straw into her drink, and took a couple of sips. After straightening her posture in the seat, she pulled away from the window.

Is Karma catching up with me? Maybe. For some reason, I seem to remember being at the ticket window in ancient Rome at the Coliseum. I kept asking the guy to find seats for me closer to the arena floor. The spectators behind me in line were starting to grumble and become impatient.
As the crowd inside began to roar when the lions were released, the last thing I remember was turning back to the ticket window and asking if he had any seats on the aisle…

Paul DiSclafani’s new book, A View From The Bench, is a collection of his favorite Long Island Living columns. It’s available wherever books are sold.

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