Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Note: I am not a storyteller

Occasionally, on days like today, my mind flashes back to a particular incident that occurred when I was 16 and working my first real job at a bagel/sandwich shop.  I started every day at 6 am (a fact I somehow completely forgot until I went home for the holidays this past year) preparing coffee, setting out assorted cream cheese and stocking each basket to the brim with bagels just before people would start petering in about 15 minutes later. The day usually lasted through the lunch and then I was cut loose to enjoy the rest of the day. I was definitely the youngest one there, turning up my nose at the tips-bought HEB gift cards they bought to even out the extra money, trying coffee for the first time,  falling confusingly into some state of love/admiration with a twenty-year old kid named Ted and laughing hysterically at our co-worker Mike, a mid-twenty-something with a kid living the quintessential Austin life (which any current or former Austinite can attest such a thing exists; I spent most of my holiday "break" sarcastically denouncing New York b/c I was simply "too Austin" to make it there) who managed to endlessly entertain at any given moment. 

On one particular day, when the rush got particularly heinous and, as usual,  people lined up back to the entrance with order slips piling up, Mike, having missed out on some small, finicky request, took a nearly finished sandwich in a vice-like grip with knuckles bared and tore it to mushy bits with his bare hands while growling with a guttural roar of palpable rage . Which at the time felt so wrong and so off that I couldn't capably get my head around it.

However, image grilled in mind foreverrr, I spend many days walking out the office door towards some small bit of sanctuary, eyes squeezed shut and head thrust skyward, speaking "IHATETHISJOB" or exhaling as if my reason for living is meant to escape along with it. And I understand, I completely understand, wishing that my hands would reach forward, and with a Greek god-like strength rip the keyboard in front of me into sharp shards of broken plastic.


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