Friday, August 22, 2014

I Object!

I've been a bit of workaholic since I was a wee little tot. This stems from a weird combination of needing to please people and a fear of instability and destitution that is far too boring to unpack here. The important consequence of this tendency is that days after my 16th birthday I got my first real job and it was at a dry cleaners.


***PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Real live human beings have to sort and clean your clothes when you drop them off at the dry cleaners, SO HAVE SOME SHAME. This means checking your clothes for: your dirty underwear, your cocaine, poop (hopefully yours?), clumps of pubic hair, and if I kept making this list of things that we routinely found, my blog would cease to be family friendly.***


Even without adding my manic mix of peppiness and annoyance that I bring to all my places of work, a dry cleaners is a fascinating and disgusting place to work.

Sometimes you have clients that refuse to give their real name and insist you call them "Mr. X."

Sometimes you have clients show up after closing time at the double glass doors in their underwear screaming about how they have no clothes and you have to let them in.

Sometimes you have clients come in looking for the afore mentioned cocaine and get the entertainment of watching them figure out how to ask if we've seen it without admitting it's theirs.

And sometimes, you are the problem.

It might not come as a surprise that I can be quite chatty and friendly at my place of work. This was especially true at this job, because sorting through and bagging people's dirty clothes is incredibly awkward and nothing brings out my obnoxiousness like feeling awkward.

The customer was a large, scowling, laconic man. Challenge accepted. I'm kind of like a My Little Pony - ignoring social cues in favor of attempting to bring unnecessary amounts of rainbows and butterflies to everyone's world. The less chipperness is wanted, the more it blazes out of me (especially when I was a bright eyed, bushy tailed sixteen year old).

Serious Man was NOT interested in any of the blithe conversation I was attempting to make.

He also had an incredible amount of clothes to sort, so my attempts were not short winded or subtle.

Serious Man quickly became Scowling Man, and I in turn ramped up the "charm" to 1,000 kilowatts.

I will make this man smile. I will make him like me. His day WILL BE BETTER.

I was shaking out the last garment (a choir robe), this was my last chance: "Oh cool! I see you're in the church choir! Awesome! I bet that's so much fun! Baritone?"

Seriously? He won't even talk about Jesus? Nothing??

Mega-Scowling Man replied, many painful moments later: "I'm a judge."

Nope. Not a choir robe.

Fine. You win this round.

In my defense:


 EASY MISTAKE. All though I see now that sleeves are much sassier on a Judge. You think Mega-Scowling Man would be happier getting to wear such sassy sleeves. Sheesh.

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