Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ennui and The Bread Lady

What is the meaning of life? What if I die here? Why am I soft in the middle when life is so hard?

So, I'm standing in line at the local bread and sandwich restaurant chain in Jacksonville, Fla, when the server lady comes to me and gives me -- not the welcoming faux smile I'm expecting -- a bitter glare.

I reply with a look of befuddlement, and she happily provides the details.

"Some people," she says.

"Oh?" I say.

"We get the worst customers in here."

All I want, really, is a bear claw. Mark's waiting for me at the Starbucks on the other end of the strip mall, and I haven't had my first sip of coffee for the day.

"I give this lady her tea," the fiftyish woman informs, "and she says to me -- god -- she says 'Is this green tea?'"

I wait.

"The tea is GREEN," the lady says. "I mean, God, what else would it be? Of course it's GREEN tea!"

Ah. I smoothly segue into my need of a bear claw and she nods and obliges. I ask her how long she's been working at the bread place.

"Three years!" she says. "Too long!"

"I was a waitress for five years," I commiserate while she serves it up. "It can get on your nerves."

She tells me she spent hours last night online trying to get into AT&T's online job center but couldn't get in.

"I gotta get out of here," she says.

"You should," I agree. "Good luck with that."

And I walk out with my bear claw, free of all those things. Reminded once again that I have a great job, that I'm not at my job, that I'm so lucky to be drifting from place to place with no deadlines, no place to be, no generic bread place, no AT&T.

Poor bread lady. Lucky, lucky me.


mich said...

Good post, Michelle, even for those of us still slogging through the work weeks. I had a sucky day at work today, and this made me realize I don't have it so bad. Good for you, appreciating what you've got! We miss you guys.

Rita said...


freda said...

great post Michelle, I love it.

Janice said...

Judy's kids always accuse each other of various things by saying "SOME PEOPLE..." with a wide-eyed stare right in the face of the offender (wouldn't get ready to go so we're late, acted up so we didn't get to do something fun, fill in the blank). Her youngest, who is related to a velocorapter in vocal tone, raises her voice really high and yells back "SOME PEOPLE!" while throwing a punch at whoever started it.

freda said...

wow, how many kids does Judy have and how old are they?

Janice said...

She has the same amount you do, Freda! and in the same proportion, two boys, two girls, but Judy's boys are the older two (18 and 14) the girls are 10 and 7.