Things that make me smile.

I returned from my lunch break at around 2:00 this afternoon.  I clocked back in at Eco, set my purse onto the floor, began to sit down into my high-off-the-ground, swivel “bank” chair and reached into my coat pocket (for the key to my drawer).  Insead, I grabbed a handful of dog treats. 

I love that.

~

I got a text message from Sierra the other day.  It was something brief, a recounting or “nutshell” description of some event that had transpired earlier on during the day.. and after her story, she concluded with — and gave no reasons for this statement/ declaration

“Sami is so cute!” (Sami is her good-looking but ugly hearted Siberian Husky pet).  Sierra is vain, her dog is vain, mom loves Sami, Sami loves being admired.

I just love that.

~

I’ve worked at Cracker Barrel a lot over the past year.  It’s always so..satisfying – when this happens. 

You, have asked a fellow server, “May I roll with you?”– meaning, “both of us have to roll silverware in order to get the heck out of here so would you mind sharing some of the spoons, knives and forks available that you secured before anyone else and that you yourself didn’t wash or sort?”.  Yeah.. you ask that.  And they say, “Nooo, sorry!  😦 There’s just enough for me.”

..

And then, weeks –or, maybe just days — later, that JERK server comes over to you on a crazy-busy Sunday and asks, sweetly, “Can I roll with you?”

You turn and look at them — they meet with your eyes — and you say, pointedly, and simply, in a “this is how we dooo ittt” sort of way –

“Yes.”

I love that.

And what I love even more, is when a new “server in the alley” walks up to me and asks, meekly, “Can I please roll with you?”, and I know from the defeated way they ask — in a weak, imploring tone — and by the sad, pitiful look on their face when they present themselves to me, that they’ve asked five thousand other cheeseheads who ‘shooed’ them off.  I reply, incredulously, “uh, duh?  Of course you can?”  At once, they look relieved, happy, and I can tell they feel accepted.

Love that.

~

I also loveee — the people sitting at table 312 on last Sunday morning at 10:40, insisting that they want to order lunch when I (being the server who works there and not they) perfectly well know (and explain to the empty sacks) that the grill line isn’t “set-up” for lunch yet, and that if I put a lunch order into the computer this early, the grill cooks will be caught off guard, and by making these workers have to run to the back cooler and oven to pull products (prematurely) to the front, THEIR (these guests’) ticket time will suffer and multitudes of other food tickets will as well, as it’s a time-consumming, pain-in-the-rear-end sort of thing

Then, they order lunch anyways, their food comes out late, and they – a table of five – leave me a two dollar and 66 cent tip.

Thanks for the change, I put it in my CHEESEHEAD-TIPPER jar at home and cash the yield in once every month or two for extra groceries.

I really do love that.

Really, I do!  There was some sarcasm in the story, but really.. the Lord uses people such as those just described to test my character and develop patience in me.  How else could He?  Trust me, nothing is more frustrating, disheartening and maddening (a little more intense than frustrating) than running your butt off for hours, carrying loaded trays out of a smokey kitchen in response to screams for help, all the way out to a hunger stricken WARZONE,..  scurrying in and out of the said kitchen for “Oh I needed ketchup” whiners and “More TEA!” barkers (and it’s not even your table you’re stressing out for).. rolling silverware (yeah, when the other girls have left a handful of forks and two knives in the dish area for you to have and when they stop stealing your unfolded napkins), counting sugars, finding new caddies to put them in (because the server in the section before you broke the one that sat on 321 and didn’t replace it), sweeping up kiddie messes, mopping up water spills and keeping everything stocked, sanitized and organized..

and then, making crap (aka, $2.66 — in case any one reading this is of the kind that leaves that kind of “tip” on a fifty dollar check, stop being a jerk).  Nothing, is more frustrating than that.  As my coworker/friend Carla said, way down in Florida and a long while back, “If you leave a crappy tip on my table, I’m going to walk up to you and give it right back – saying ‘here you go.  You obviously need this more than I do.’  If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to dine-out.” 

Word.

Doing all you can to please a table, waiting on them “hand and foot” (you run, you carry things..), dealing with their moodiness, demands, and attitude –

and getting $2.66. 

I love that.  Praise the Lord for answering our prayers when we ask Him to “refine, purify, and mold us”.. to cause us to “reflect His loveliness,” and “to bear His likeness.”

Be careful what you ask for; really want what you pray for. 🙂

~

And then.. there is working at Eco.

I love it.. I really do.  It’s the best job I’ve ever had.

I love when E.J. (a member — all names/ initials fake for protection) calls.

“Eco Credit Union this is Rose speaking, how can I help you?”
(and you have to smile while you say this — they can hear it, supposedly.  I think it’s true.)

“… (silence) This ih E.J.  I want the balance on my checkin account.”

(this is said gruffly, authoritatively — semi-RUDELY.)

“(Knowing who this is, but requiring his cooperation, anyways) Yes Sir.  I’ll need your account number, please.”

“… (silence) I don’t KNOW my account numbah.”  I knew you’d say that.

“Okay then, you’ll have to give me the last four digits of your social so that I can verify your identity.” 

(He gives me all 9.. I kind of get that — it takes a minute to forward, mentally, past the first 5)

“Okay.. the balance on your checking account is..”

Once, afew weeks back, it was negative.  He flipped.

“WHAT!!!”

“..Yes, Sir?”

“WHATS MY BALANCE!”

(I repeated)

And then he hung up.

Yeah.. atleast one of us tellers gets him every day.

It’s always interesting.

And then, there are the other “regulars.”

Mrs. Four, who always comes through the drive-thru dressed elegantly and sophisticatedly.  She’s an eighty? year old woman and very proud of the many checks she deposits/ cashes.

(me, greeting the member)

“Hello, and how are you today, Mrs. Four?”

“Oh, great!  Justtttt wanted to deposit these.”

She almost always has someone with her — to look on, and admire.

I feel her staring at me as I process the transaction.. I always wonder,

what is she thinking?  “This girl is so homely looking;” “I wish I was that young again;” “Maybe she’ll type in the wrong amount and it will be in my favor” ??

And, Mrs. Smile.

She always comes dressed fashionably, wearing a gorgeous smile and toting a young (college-aged daughter? office assistant?) with her.  They withdraw more than they deposit and I always imagine, as they pull away, that while Mrs. Smile’s husband is out working in some high, up-stairs, window-view office, she’s shopping — finding clothes that make her look pretty, perfume that makes her smell nice, food that is or isn’t nutritious but is easy to prepare, and allows more time for fun, frolicking and irresponsbility..

or, I guess you’d call it, no responsibility –

because if you aren’t supposed to be doing anything,

you aren’t not fulfilling your duty by doing nothing.

Also, Mr. Golden.  I’ve been his MSR (member service representative — CU term for “teller”) afew times now, and a couple of weeks ago, when Christopher and I took Woo!pet to the veteranarian for his first Alabama visit (12 weeks shots), a man in the room called out my name.  “Rose!” I turned in the direction I perceived the voice came from.. it was to the right of me, from a man leaning up against the office counter. “Hey! You work at the Credit Union, right?”

What a glorious day that was. 

I was recognized as a teller.. and not a server. 

What a compliment.

Why yes, I mused to myself, I am that teller in the window.  I sat down next to Chris and smiled.  He understood.  He’s happy for me.

Anyways, every time he pulls in, I ask where his dog is.  “Why didn’t you bring your golden retriever with you?  I want to see him next time!” 

Then, there’s Mrs. Hair.  She’s one of my favorites.  She pulls up in her out-dated (and awesome.. I’m not into the “newer” stuff) sports car and I greet her by name.  She always thinks she has a deposit slip in her purse, but I send one through the electronic conveyor, anyways, because either she’s misplaced it, forgotten she already USED the last one, or the one she did have “ripped.”  She’s very sweet.. there are a lot of people I meet while on-the-clock that I would love to be friends with outside of work.

But, no.  I am “sophisticated” and “business-y.”  Unapproachable and dressed cute.  Sometimes, I feel like people with well-paying jobs feel and act that way.

I know I never will.

And while I am excited to begin serving at Olive Garden, with those round trays and big bowls of italian-dressed salad, I’m still holding out for Eco.. hoping that, at some point, they’ll want a full-time teller at a location within 15 minutes from my house.

I would love that.

-Aun Aqui

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