Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Last Thanksgiving these two very drunk, barely English speaking guys came in the store some time in the middle of the night. Oh let's call it 2:00am just for the heck of it. I had seen them a few times before and knew they lived in the apartments just across the street. One guy wanted coffee. The other wanted hot dogs. In fact he wanted thirty hot dogs. Pointing to the roller grill he slurred, "Thirty hot dogs". "Thirty"? I asked. "Yes". "No, I can't make you thirty hot dogs". A little frustrated with me he repeated his request, "Thirty hot dogs". He is so drunk I ask him again if it's thirty hot dogs he wants. Yes it is. We go back and forth like this a few more times. Finally I ask in Spanish, "Treinta"? "Yes". I tell him one more time to forget about it. I couldn't have fit that many on the grill. So it would've been two batches of hot dogs at forty minutes to an hour each. Call me a cynic if you must; something told me no matter how adamant he was he didn't really want thirty hot dogs. He wanders around and finds a couple of cheese burgers to throw in the microwave. The other guy comes up with his coffee and a couple of cheese burgers also. He was going to pay for everything. The motion of digging his hand in his pocket almost made him fall over. They left once he paid and I could see them sitting on the curb eating with drunken fervor. I guess I was so flummoxed by the hot dogs I paid little or no attention to what was going on with the coffee. I was not prepared for what greeted me when I came from behind the counter to see what needed cleaning up. I would love to know how many cups of coffee this guy spilled. It was everywhere. It was as if he bad poured ten cups, set them in a row, knocked them over and splashed around in it a bit for good measure. When I went out later to sweep the parking lot there were cheese burger wrappers strewn about that I had to clean up. I've never seen them again.

I woke up with a start from my nap tonight surprised that I was up before the alarm. I stretch and begin to rouse myself. No, wait. What time is it? I quickly reach for my phone to check the time. 2:00am! Holy... Oh man! My shift starts at ten. I am four hours late in the blink of an eye. I can see there are some missed calls, voice mails and text messages. I don't bother with any of those and call the store straight away. "I'm SO sorry! I guess my alarm didn't go off". It ended up ok with a few people switching shifts. I stopped by the store later in the day to talk to the manager who had to cover the shift for the woman who covered mine. Ends up every one had been worried when I didn't call that I had quit. That's a big thing in this company I guess. People quit without a word. No call, no show. Nah, not me. I'll give my two week notice when the time comes. With relish. Finally going through the texts I discover the key to why I was late. I had set my alarm early so I could make a stop before work. There was a text asking me if I could stop by the next day not tonight. I answered yes. The original text came twenty minutes before my alarm. My response was sent two minutes after my alarm. Evidently I woke to the alarm, answered the text and fell back asleep. I think. I don't remember any of it.

So, having missed a night of work I was not able to finish this post in a timely manner. They say one of the keys to blogging is consistency. Oops.

I'll finish quickly. I promise.

I guess for a lot of people the holidays have become a crushing weight. Instead of a time to show your true love for family and friends it's a race to the end and heave a sigh when it's over. The whirlwind from Thanksgiving to Christmas is enough to make you dizzy. The thing is you don't have to feel that way. Go against the grain this year. Be nonconformist. Why not hand make some presents this year? People really will appreciate the thought and love behind something you've spent time on. It doesn't have to be about spending money you don't have. Give gifts that matter. Gifts you give because you want to. Be a misfit this year. Show people you really care. Stay away from the mall. Give of yourself and your time. People will remember that long after the socks have holes in them.

See ya next time.


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