Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Please Pull Forward

I've been trying to remember if I've ever taken days off from work and just chilled out at home. I generally reserve one day at home after international vacations so I can do laundry and sleep off time zones, but I don't think I've ever done what I'm doing this week - taking three days off and just hanging out around here. My brother, SIL, and their new baby (my little tomato) are visiting NY for the first time and staying with my sister and BIL, just up the street. It's only the second time I've seen my nephew, and it's pretty overwhelming to have him around. Last night I woke him up at 10:00 for his last feeding of the day, and he was so delicious, I wanted to eat him up. What turns the world on it's ear like a sleeping baby? He's so alert and strong for a 10-week old little guy; he babbles and kicks non-stop. Yesterday I talked with him about the upcoming presidential election and how important it is to vote (Democrat). The day before we covered school and how to find a balance between having fun and keeping your grades up. I'm starting to worry because we have a lot more to cover and they return to Seattle Friday morning.

It's muggy and sticky and shitty in NY, and I guess I'm getting used to it. I hardly ever use my window a/c units, which is really unlike me. I think I've decided that if I hide from the snow all winter and the heat all summer, it's going to be a long, depressing stay in these parts. See? Still trying.

The frickin AIDS Center hasn't completed my processing, so I'm still waiting to start a volunteer job. (Yes, I've been trying with multiple orgs since November, and, yes, I have about fifteen straight years of relevant volunteer experience.) I'm very over non-profits. I call them a few times a week, and they're so nice and overworked that I can't really get mad at them. In the mean time, I've left two messages for Meals on Wheels to see if I can help out there. They placed an ad in the damn paper saying they were desperate for summer help, so chances seem high that this will work out, right?

I'm a little concerned that I've painted an all-too-good picture of myself on the blog, so I thought I'd share a little story from last week that shows LSL in a different light. On Friday I left work really frustrated over several issues, and I was starving because I'd skipped breakfast and lunch or some stupid thing, and I decided to go through the McDonald's drive-thru that is a mile or so from my office. I ordered with a number and then pulled forward a few car lengths, and then came to a stop behind one car that was at the front window getting their food. And then I sat there. For - easily - about ten minutes. I was getting *so* worked up sitting there, thinking about how I hated my stupid job that day and how the whole company is so small and small-minded, and how the NY weather bites, and how I just could not believe that I had to wait that long for food. In America. So I, yes, honked my horn a few times and raised my hands into a big "shrug" position for anyone who might look to see how bewildered I was that I didn't have my #3 by now. I waited for a good three minutes more and then finally the car in front of me drove off, and I pulled up to the window. I said to the woman, "Could they not have pulled forward so my dinner wouldn't be cold? You have got to be kidding me with this fifteen minute wait!" (I know, I can't believe it either.) She was a total grouch and said something about being the only one there and that she was going as fast as she could and that I was just going to have to wait. Then she left to get my food and spit in my burger.

So I started thinking about the fact that I'd just raised my voice to someone working their ass off making $5.40 at McDonald's, and I decided that I needed to apologize. I thought of when I was a Teller and a customer would apologize to me; it would go miles in making my day a good day. When she came back to give me my meal, I was very surprised at how hard it was to apologize to a perfect stranger. (Harder, apparently, than yelling at one.) I finally did it, "Listen, I'm really sorry. I'm tired, and I'm sorry I took it out on you. It was wrong." She paused, and I was waiting for her to tell me what a good person I was to apologize, and instead, she WENT OFF on me. OFF. I was so surprised, I just sat there stunned for a few seconds, and then meekly reached out to get my food and I drove off, whispering my plea, "Sorry." I laughed my butt off about it while driving home - I so got what I deserved. Good for her for letting me have it. Next time, no doubt, I'll be nicer.


  1. I know that woman. In fact, a lot of us know that woman. When she's not working her ass off at Mickey D's in the morning, she's at Walgreen's on the corner of St Claude and Elysian Fields in the afternoon. A true grief-giver.

  2. Ahhhh.....the things that make the world go round. The happy and the sad, the funny and the laugh your ass off! I think it only goes to show not go to McDonalds!

  3. i find myself giving the exaggerated shrug about five times a day. i figure it's either that or flip 'em the bird, and that's much more likely to result in me getting my ass kicked.

    did you kind of have the urge to yell back at her? i would've. and then felt like a shitheel for the next two weeks about it.

  4. RE: Baby ...Cute cute cute snuggle snuggle I want one (one day)just so I can sniff his/her clean lil baby smell and listen to him/her gurgle and coo.
    RE: Micky D's I have had a couple of OMG was that me yelling moments, most of mine have to do woth Grocery stores though. One time I was at safeway , must have been a Saturday or a payday or something, cuz they were packed.The lines were half way down the isles that kind of stuff. Finally right as I was about to get close enough in the line to be able to peruse national inquirer a bagger came out of nowhere and put yup the elastic cord thingy telling me this line was closing. Now I yhad already been in line for like 20 minutes by this time ....I was tired and hungry and maybe a bit cranky. I looked at this lady and said /yelled " Why in the world would you guys even think about closing a register when the lines are all the way down the Isles." Then I stormed off. I didn't apologize, although I did feel bad about it later.

  5. Long Story Longer - "Fair and Balanced"

    I don't mind my blog reads being one sided, I just don't like hearing the news like that.

    Keep that up and you will give yourself a coronary and that is even before you eat the burger. :)

  6. Muggy?
    That hurts.

  7. it's just something else, isn't it, when it just HITS US that we aren't...oh , who knows - that we aren't as righteous as we think we are? something like that anyway.
    I appreciate this story - it hits home with me right now - i'm pretty in touch with my shish presently. not so attractive... at all. (me, that is).

  8. It's always humbling to learn we're all only human, more similar then different.

  9. i know you miss that baby. 10 weeks ~ such a perfect age. my new grandbaby is 5 weeks now and she is, just as you've said, eat-you-up delicious.

    on honey, the mcdonald's story . . . you have just shown your humanity and the woman at the window showed hers right back. you did the right thing in apologizing. in aa it's called cleaning off my side of the street. what the other does with their side, we can't control. but when my side's clean, i'm free.

    and the really great thing is "I laughed my butt off about it while driving home . . ." how perfect is that? from horn-honking bitching pissed off to laughing hard about life? pretty kickass, i think.