Friday, March 6, 2009

Complacencies of the Peignoir, and Late coffee and parrots and squirrels, too

(Another old thing off that other blog of mine--)

So much to write about, so little motivation to write it . . .

I wore my favorite shirt to work at the cafĂ© today. It's bright grass green, and has three hamster cartoons in little hamster balls on the front of it (you know, the plastic ones that the hamsters always barf inside of because some brat rolls it across the floor really fast, or worse—they should probably be outlawed), and it says above it, "Rollin' With Tha Homies." For some reason, though I wear this shirt pretty frequently, almost once a week, today I received non-stop compliments. Everyone thought it was brilliantly funny, nice!, cute!, et cetera. People's eyes were lighting up left and right. I remain mystified as to why today this shirt would suddenly trigger so much enthusiastic reaction. Am I wearing a different bra? Maybe because it's hot outside today, and people are thinking of spring, and the shirt is like a stem and my head is like a giant blossom! Yep . . .

I must say, I'm quite glad to be working here again, in spite of having to deal with customers and their condescension, in spite of constant frustration with little piddly things, because the money's not that bad, my coworkers are hilarious, and there is always something to laugh about. The only unfortunate thing about this job is that video cameras aren't rolling constantly, or that I can't write down all the retardation as it happens. Then I tend to forget it. Plus, it would never be quite as funny to people on the outside, I'm thinking now. So I should probably stop here.

I should have written about how a couple of weeks ago someone stopped up the toilet and fled without telling us. Its handle sticks and makes the water run constantly, so no one noticed until we saw the water rolling out across the dining room floor. I ran downstairs to my boss's office, because that's the first thing that floods when this happens, and water is seemingly pouring out of every little break in the ancient ceiling and walls, all over my head as I throw towels around and move trashcans under some of the bigger flows. The water looks clear, but . . . it's probably not. Tyson's upstairs losing his mind, hating everyone and declaring that the bathroom will be off-limits to all the world forever. Of course it happened in the middle of lunch hour, when the line for food is out the door. It's too far gone to write about that, however, in all its humorous detail, of which there was much.

The espresso machine was broken for at least two weeks, too. Can you picture having to apologize to dozens upon dozens of people every day for having a broken espresso machine at a coffee shop? Telling them it will hopefully be fixed in the next day or two does little to alleviate their frustration when you've been telling them that for ten days straight. So then you grow to hate them a little, too, for wanting a stupid latte or mocha in the first place. I mean, holy hell! You're paying over three and a half dollars a day for some espresso and milk?!? That's $1200 a year! Simple coffee and milk is one-third the price! The way I was raised I can barely justify turning on the lights at night to see. My dad used to walk me down the hallway and point out how many bulbs had been burning in the past hour since I'd forgotten to switch them off. I feel guilty about letting the water run too long and using a paper towel when I could have used a sponge. I compulsively pull recyclables out of the garbage can (which is directly underneath the recycling bin at work). My otherwise amazing boss here turns on the hot water every afternoon to wet eight or fifteen paper towels he uses to wipe down the counters, and then he walks away. He comes back to turn it off five or ten minutes later. It makes me literally insane. So do the people who ask for a bag in which to put an already perfectly self-contained to-go box in order to walk twenty feet down the street and into their office. SO! do the people who pull out huge stacks of paper napkins that they later throw out in stacks, still unused, on top of their trash. Waste horrifies me, and not necessarily because I think of landfills overflowing, but because I think of all the waste produced in the first place to get these napkins and to-go boxes and plastic bags and piles of meat here in the first place. And these people consume it so mindlessly . . . they would happily fill up fifty garbage cans a day with their shit as long as they don't have to use all of one hand to carry their lunch or have their hands warmer than body temperature while holding their coffee cups.

I could go on and on, but this must be torture for you. You're probably not even reading these words anymore, having glazed over long ago, still scanning down the page and pretending to yourself that you're comprehending, when you're actually thinking of something else altogether. This is why I don't blog very often. I feel as if the stuff I write about is some of the most pointless drivel any of you will ever read. Half the reason I keep writing is because customers I don't want to entertain keep walking by me sitting in this booth, and I don't want to talk to them, so I look as engrossed as possible in the task at hand, type type typing away, please walk away I'm far too engaged to be distracted this is just where I have internet access and I am not behind the counter anymore and though I like all of you alright twice a day is plenty of time to say everything I that needs to be said, in the seconds it takes to exchange a cup and a few dollars.

But what's even worse is that I'm going on a trip and so everyone wants to know all about my trip and what I'll be doing on it, and when I come back they'll want to know how it went and what I saw and did, and what is coming of the article I'm working on and so on. I do love talking to people. It's most of the reason I love this job. But there's a limit. What point during the week is it that people stop asking about how my last weekend was and start asking what I'm doing this coming weekend? I love people, really, at least some parts of them, but I know all of this is just SMALL talk, and the utter repetition of it is maddening. Also, there are eighteen people in the line behind you, all of whom want espresso milkshakes and large mochas.

I figured I might as well write at least once before I leave, though, since I may not write while I'm gone. After I get back, too, I'll probably be pretty preoccupied with intense customer conversation, so I may have difficulty making time for you people.

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