|Posted by A.M. Wright on June 8, 2015 at 10:25 PM|
The great thing about working is communicating. If you remember your first day then I'm sure you remember all the days that occured afterwards.
Especially the not so great days and the pleasantly uncommon days. The days when you're handed a larger bill and expected to break it...just after opening the doors. Or waiting on change when the total is equal to a sum and two pennies, only to learn that you have to count out 98 cents while they sweetly apologize over and over again.
I happen to remember those days more than any. In fact, I remember every significant experience I have had since the first day I began my part-time job.
It's funny how one year uncovers small details about yourself that you never knew, like pesky pet peeves. The lack of minut pennies in a large transaction is just the beginning! It appears that when my mother and teachers taught me patience, speak when spoken to, and answer when it is your turn; others have not had the fortune of a similar education. It seems to me, and I could be miserably wrong, but it is considered rude to cut someone off mid-sentence. Rarely does it happen when I find it humorous both during and after.
Monday was a rarity.
Imagine for me an average sized girl, no older than 14, in summer clothing carrying a cup of salty pretzel bites. She must have forgotten to remove her blinders before leaving home as she merrily strode up to the counter, ploughing through an elderly woman to meet me at my register. Now the decision was mine entirely at this point to lose my nerve but I waited.
I waited because I didn't realize how hilariously unusual this girl was. Not only was she confident in her movement but she did it with a grace I have only ever seen on a football field.
We made eye contact. Her eyes were focused on me. Her mouth was focused on the salt lick her fingers had become. All I could think, while she snapped at me the title of the item she was looking for, was please don't touch the books. Please, for the love of the author and publishing company and because cleanliness is next to Godliness; PLEASE DON'T TOUCH THE BOOKS! She did so anyways. When she came back with four other books stamped with greasy, buttered covers I dove into my practiced recitation.
"Do you have this? Would you like it? I can tell you what it is, if you'd like!" Normally I get halfway through, upbeat and perky. Not this time. No, this time I was cut off a quarter of the way through with breathy indignation. Then and only then she threw her money at me, nose up and chin high. After sucking dry her pretzel fingers and washing away the fingerprints themselves, I reflected. Then I wrote it down so that I could later share it with others.
Ignored. Snapped at. Cut off.
The best days happen when the customers don't yell at You, but rather someone they are with. Their bad day is directly correlated to a child/relative/meaningless experience...or in my case and most, tourist related traffic.
This happened to a co-worker of mine the same day, Monday. We'll call her Kay for the sake of privacy! Her position requires a bit more face to face interaction as she both prepares the item and serves it. Her stories are far better than mine, especially this one.
It just so happened that during a fit of outrage at her daughter's lack of depth perception and the combination of bare feet, had her craving a killer cup of extra morning blend roast. Apparently, shoeless children in retail stores is both encouraged and no longer considered "dangerous" towards their health.
"Is it Happy Hour yet?" Our hour of delight (half off all beverages) doesn't start until 4PM. It was not, unfortunately, quite that time yet. Kay informed her of this right away and was bludgeoned, and I do mean bludgeoned, with what we like to call overshare. With a disgruntled glance directed at her poor daughter, this woman went on to explain that it had been "one of those days" and that she just needed a cup of coffee.
It gets better.
The child, as she continued on, had crossed the wrong path and met the painful end of a door. It slid across her foot and left a slightly deep cut (not quite a gash). Then, as if to further prove her point with hard evidence, a foot no bigger than a fist landed on the counter. SMACK! There it was: bare foot, angry red cut, and no shoe.
"I was going to take her to the emergency room," and she paused, "but I just needed some coffee first."
Apparently there are all different levels of agitation that only coffee can cure. A visit to the emergency room is one of them.