Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Long time no write...

And here I sit.
Lost for words with all to say.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

“WAG #10: The Professional”

As we go through our days, we’re surrounded by people doing everyday jobs: the guy that reads the gas meter, cashiers, bank tellers, security guards, doctors, circus clowns… This week, your assignment is to observe someone doing a job (their profession should be one you don’t know that much about). Describe him/her and also what they’re doing, why they’re doing it (as best you can tell), and how. Feel free to use your imagination, but don’t forget the concrete observation! Special thanks to Lulu for this week’s topic idea!

Two weeks ago I walked out of here having paid a dollar extra for a soda that I didn't get. However, as luck would have it I didn't realize this until I was already back at work. When I called and asked for the manager, the same girl that waited on me answered the phone. Barely speaking or understanding English I tried to explain to her that I bought one soda and she charged me for two. Eventually she instructed me that the Manager was gone, but if I brought my receipt with me next time they would refund my money. Right. Well, we'll see about that.

Weeks passed, and so did my memory of where the heck I stuffed that lousy receipt. Life seems to be laughing at me again, this time a dollar (plus tax) richer. At this point though, I just want my sub.

I open the door to find a new cast of characters to my familiar setting in life. Two teenage girls wearing polo tops and khaki pants, donning crinkly disposable plastic gloves, ready to take my order. From behind the counter Girl # 1 stares at me. Clearly she's pissed that she's working here in the first place. Maybe she had a bad morning. Perhaps her Mom gave her a hard time about having to babysit her child while she went off to work. My mind wanders down that rabbit trail as reality snaps me back to the present. Back to the face of this irritated young woman who quite obviously wants me to order, yet hasn't even said hello or informed me that she is ready.

Timidly I just go for it, I place my order. With great ease she stacks my toppings on the freshly baked bread that she's retrieved from the oven behind her. In great rhythm she moves. Without thought she turns, reaches, grabs, pivots around within the 3 foot by 10 foot space that contains her for most of her day. She is comfortable with this box that surrounds her, yet as she wraps yet another sandwich, she dreams of breaking out of this small town and all these annoying customers that are holding her back.

Before my sandwich reaches completion, she says some of her first words. I anticipate hearing the voice that resides within this young girl.

"SHIT!" she says. Followed closely by some mumbles to Girl #2 as she storms off behind the scene. In an instant she is gone.

The door opens to more customers, hungry for food and preparing to place their orders. I make my way over to the boy running the cash register. His English is barely discernible as he reads me the amount that I am due to pay. Girl #2 wraps my sandwich and places it in the bag for me.

As I hand the boy my twenty dollar bill, a flash of color breezes past his back as Girl #1 returns to her station. She must have forgotten to answer the voicemail message on her cell phone. Life is all better now, though. Taking her post she stares into the face of the next hungry patron, challenging her to say her order without having to ask this of her. The customer gives in and the routine begins again. I toss my coins into my purse, shove my bills into the right back pocket of my Buckle jeans, I wrap the bag around my arm and swing it around as I chuckle to myself and rush back into the noonday light. There are few things that pass the time when you're met with a mob of customers and your are in a bad mood. But sometimes, just sometimes, you find joy in breaking the simple rules.

No one else noticed....but I did.
Same gloves. She never changed her gloves.