Monday, March 12, 2012

Monkey's Out of the Bottle

How do you tell someone you're not their friend?

I can't even make a blanket statement and say I never befriend customers, because that would be a lie. There are customers I want to see every day, there are customers I keep up with on Facebook, there are customers from three years ago I still miss seeing right now. But these associations form naturally, through conversations and personal compatibility and all the other flavors that make a good friendship stew. I don't go into work hoping to find a friend, and the customers I love don't go to MoonDollars needing one.

And then you have the customers who seem to know too much about you. Who want your phone number. Who get hurt and confused when you hesitate to give them your phone number. Who find you on Facebook when you didn't even give out your last name. Keep in mind: these people are never bad dudes. Often they're almost painfully kind. Nice, every last man and woman among them. A little awkward. A little lonely. And above all, talkative. We're paid to talk, we have to talk, and so they talk to us a lot.

It's touching, it's friendly, it can make your day. But it can break your day when you're trying to serve a line of twenty and someone is standing at the service area trying to talk to you about movies. Or when you just want to sneak a text on your phone and exhale during your three minutes of downtime and someone keeps coming over to chat. Or when you're about to get off work and someone whose name you do not know excitedly asks if you want to go out for a beer.

But there's no appropriate social strategy for telling someone "you are a decent person and I bear you no ill will, but were we not connected by these circumstances we would not be interacting." It's a dick move no matter what, and you're usually a dick for thinking about doing it. The polite, appropriate thing is to and endure, because really, the person on the other end of the bar is just looking for a friend, and you don't need to take that away from them, do you?

Man. I keep revising and revising those four paragraphs and never manage to not sound like a dick.  But keep in mind: people are awesome. Sometimes that doesn't come through on this blog, because this blog contains more bitching than March of the Falsettos. But people are awesome. Customers bring me books on voiceover when they find out I'm trying to act, customers bring me gingerbread cookies with my name on them during Christmastime, customers befriend me and perform with me at my location in an hourlong tribute to Frank Sinatra. It's unfair how awesome my customers can be. It'd be much easier if I loathed them all, in the way a dictatorship is much easier than a democracy. Posts like this wouldn't suck to write.

Apologies for the bad scan here. I tried three times and never got the text legible. It says: "I am guessing based on the diorama in the Great Wall museum, which we were exploring by flashlight because the guard wanted to go home a half-hour early, so he kept turning off more and more lights on us. (Later he realized that better visibility actually increased our speed.) Anyway, it was a bit unclear in the dark! (I swear we asked more than one person--including the guard--about the hours.)" Sure you did, Jess. Sure you did.

God, it's like a bizarro version of my MoonDollars diet. Not much variety available, so staples are the order of the day, but in my case the staples include 1) marked out sandwiches 2) marked out pastries 3) marked out fruit plates and 4) free smoothies.

I cannot properly convey how much I'm going to miss my free daily smoothie. I have that thing down to a science. Two yellow scoops of ice, three scoops of protein, the biggest banana you can find, three pumps of chocolate, nonfat milk, two shots espresso (optional), double blend, pour into Trenta cup, enjoy. There. Now you all have the keys to the kingdom. I should probably stop updating this blog, I'll never top the knowledge you've received.

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