I'm Not A Poet And Boy How We Know It
Working a mid really sucks, especially when I have to open the next morning. Waking up at 9:00 isn't so bad, but I feel like my entire day is wasted because of it. I say this because what I've come to consider as my time (1pm - 5pm) is spent at work doing nothing. In the last couple of months business has slowed to a trickle and several hours may go by between customers. On the days I'm scheduled to work a mid I spend more time telling people how to find Big River than making coffee. When I actually get a chance to do the job I was hired to do I usually have to deal with the, "I really don't like coffee," people. (Skip right past the obvious question of why they would come to a coffee shop and ask for coffee. I can't figure it out either.) These people usually are lousy tippers too.
It's next to impossible to read at work. I've found that I get fairly irritable when I get interrupted too often. So if the phone rings or a customer walks in...
See? This just happened.
Some lady in what has to be her early 40s came in and wanted to buy some ice cream and check her e-mail. No problem, except there was a man and his two small boys already on the store computer. The man didn't buy anything himself. He simply came in and asked, complete with the all-important word please, if he could look up something for his son. The computer wasn't being used, the store has been a ghost town for weeks, and I couldn't think of a good reason to be an asshole so I said, "Go crazy."
When the lady came in she looked at me with what appeared to be a half-lidded glare of condescension, so you can tell we got off to a great start. She pointed accusingly either at the man or the please limit your computer usage to 20 minutes sign and demanded, "How long has he been here?" He may have been on for 20 minutes for all I could remember, but I wasn't about to kick off a non-customer for another non-customer. I just asked what kind of ice cream she wanted.
She just stood at parade rest and stared at the computer. I offered to let her use my computer since it wasn't doing anyting important. "No, that's ok," she said. For some reason she wanted that computer. No other computer on the planet would do. The Perky Piranha Customers Only Computer and only Perky Piranha's computer could fulfill her needs. Eventually she got fed up and left. All of this took place over, maybe, 3 minutes. And of course the guy and his kids left shortly after she walked through the door. I wanted to put my fist through the microwave.
People are fucking bizarre. I really pitty those who think I'm weird. I know I'm pretty fucked up but I also know there are crazier people out there. That lady just made the list.
And now the shop isn't a ghost town. Now there are six people hanging out. All of them were polite and tipped - not well but they smiled as they did it which, to me anyway, means more.
What I was trying to get at before all that stuff happened was that one of the things I find very difficult to do at work is read. We're not allowed to sit even if we're drowsy from watching all the tumbleweed blow by. If I'm going to read a novel or something that doesn't have frequent breaks, I have to be able to allow myself to give it my full attention which means sitting and not being at work. So I need something shorter and less involved.
Essays tend to be too long, short stories too, and I get tired of reading the news every day because papers are written in such a boring and perfunctory manner. That's one of the reasons I like message boards so much. They're often very brief conversations. Sometimes they provide useful information...most of the time they don't. Much like work, however, the message boards I read have been drying up and they just aren't so fun or interesting any more. So I've been reading poetry.
I came across this poem today, and thought I'd share it with you because, to keep this short, I really like it. That was the entire point of posting and it got a lot longer than I wanted it to. Hey, at least it passed the time. Woohoo! Two more hours till freedom. So here goes, then I'm out.
Our life's succeeding stages:
A day to childhood seems a year,
And years like passing ages.
The gladsome current of our youth
Ere passion yet disorders,
Steals lingering like a river smooth
Along its grassy borders.
But as the care-worn cheeks grow wan,
And sorrow's shafts fly thicker,
Ye Stars, that measure life to man,
Why seem your courses quicker?
When joys have lost their bloom and breath
And life itself is vapid,
Why, as we reach the Falls of Death,
Feel we its tide more rapid?
It may be strange - yet who would change
Time's course to slower speeding,
When one by one our friends have gone
And left our bosoms bleeding?
Heaven gives our years of fading strength
And those of youth, a seeming length,
Proportion'd to their sweetness.