It used to be that I was annoyed all the time. I spent most of my summer in a near-constant state of irritation. The New York heat and problems with my computer coupled with my unexciting social life and lack of concrete plans for the future made me into a man who was pretty much always angry about something, even if it was something as minor as his earbuds not working. These days, I’m just tired. Living with that psycho roommate in Queens for a month broke me. I was, by all appearances, quite close to securing a full-time (if not exactly high-paying position) working for a cause I believed in. I had a nice apartment and was just thinking about how I was going to furnish it. Then my roommate turned out to be a total cockwad, and all that went to shit.
These days, I have enough trouble just getting out of bed in the morning. My job at the coffee shop is dependent largely on my open availability, and while I could probably get a second job and find a way to integrate that into my schedule with this one, I’m just too. Damn. Tired. It’s been three months since I moved back to California, and still, it’s a struggle not to just sit around watching YouTube videos all day. Most of my friends live over an hour away, so if I want to hang out with someone, I have to go way out of my way to do it. And my father is thinking of moving to SoCal (dependent on my mother finding a job there, which she might, so there you have it), which means that the clock is ticking here. I’m not ready to move again. I’ve done it enough times over the past few years. You ever find yourself unable to sleep when you have to get up early the next morning? You keep glancing at the clock thinking that maybe you can get just a few hours’ sleep before you have to get up. It’s dangerous and unhealthy, and it happens far too often. I am very tired, but I’m trying to stay active.
Pretty much everyone who works in customer service has a story about a shitty customer. Here’s one that happened to me a few days ago: I was working the morning shift at a register that was off to the side of the registers that we normally use. I noticed there was a gentleman at the front of the line who didn’t realize that there was a register open. “Sir?” I said. He didn’t respond. “Sir?” I said, a little louder. Again, no response. “Sir?” I tried once more, about as loud as I could without shouting. He stared at the pastries, not even looking my way. The person behind him shrugged. If I remember correctly I helped them instead.
A minute later, that man came up to me. “You can ‘sir’ me until tomorrow, I’ll come up when I’m good and ready.”
I stared at him. That was a much stronger response than anything that I had said warranted. “That was pretty fucking rude,” he continued.
“Okay,” I said, because I will be goddamned if I apologize to somebody over something that minor.
“And I’m being rude because I think one rudeness deserves another,” he said, because God, what was I thinking saying “Sir?” to him like that? I might just as well have punched him in the face, then pissed on his shoes. One rudeness deserves another, seriously? First of all, no, it doesn’t, and second, I fail to see what was rude about that. My job, as an employee, is to actively engage with customers. This dude was at the front of a line, for Christ’s sake. If he wasn’t ready to order, he could have simply turned to me and held up his index finger. That would get the message across. But instead, he said nothing, apparently expecting me to intuit that he could hear me perfectly well, but was too big of a douchebag to reply. Fuck. You. Obviously, I can’t talk back to people like that, but if he had pushed me just a little bit farther, I think I would have been perfectly justified in refusing to serve him. After he finished chewing me out, he placed his order (oatmeal), paid, and fucked off. That was that. Except it wasn’t.
Shitty people have a way of getting under your skin. I knew perfectly well that this guy was a fuckwad and that I handled things about as well as I could have. But you can’t help but wonder what happened to this dude to make him so shitty. Did he just get dumped? Do his kids not speak to him after that one time he threw hot gravy in his son’s fiance’s face over Thanksgiving dinner for calling him “sir”? Most likely, he was kind of a shithead to begin with, but I have to say that while I can get cranky when somebody interrupts my thought process (even when it’s for something perfectly reasonable, such as a customer approaching me with a question), I don’t think I’ve ever spoken like that to anyone, certainly not for just doing their fucking job.
I’ve been working there long enough that the days are starting to blur together. You know the feeling, like when the first few days/weeks of school consist mostly of you awkwardly adjusting, then eventually, things start to snowball. So maybe I should look for a second job/internship/volunteer opportunity/anything else, really. But I think I’ll wait until after the holidays, maybe. Because I still have a lot to learn.
This, by the way, is hilarious. One Direction is not a good band, but they’re nowhere near as hateable as the Biebs. Personally, I think all internet arguments should be reenacted by elderly Englishmen with dramatic music backing them up.