May 10, 2011

Don't sweat it...

Hate is a strong word. Perhaps "strongly dislike to the point of nausea" is a bit more accurate. I'm talking about the way people act in relationship to the world around them.

Here is an example:

I'm standing in a graceful and confident pose at my extravaganza-of-a sandwich station, making wholesome yet overpriced lunches for the hard worker bees of Raleigh.

"Hi, how are you today?" I said to a small red man as he begins to read the menu.

"Yeah," he said, "give me a turkey sandwich." He walks off before obliging me with his choice of bread, condiments, and veggie toppings. So, I make a turkey sandwich exactly the way it reads on the menu.

The small red man returns shortly thereafter, as I'm placing the top slice of bread on a expertly crafted piece of culinary art.

"Yeah," he said, "those two pieces of bread don't match. You need to open a new package and give me two that are exactly the same size. And where is the mayonnaise? And why would you put the cheese on top of the vegetables when it's supposed to go on top of the meat? I swear you people can be so stupid sometimes. You ruin my day time after time."

At this point I simply pretend I'm in the middle of a hot yoga class, holding an intense Warrior II, breathing slowly as not to pass the fuck out. Only in this instance I'm trying not to pass out from raw, sheer, burning anger.

I say nothing, do exactly as the small red man"requested", and said, "Have a nice day."

What I really, really, really wanted to say was:

"Really? I ruined your day? You're having a bad day now? No. You're not. People in Libya are having a bad day. People in Japan are still having a bad day. The neighborhood two miles up the street that is still recovering from a tornado is having a bad day. YOU, SIR, ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT A FUCKING SANDWICH." At this point I would have completed his stupid sammie and slammed it on the pick-up counter to a solid: "HAVE A NICE DAMN DAY."

The point to all this is: why do people complain so much? Especially about such trivial things? And I'm not excluding myself from this. I get just as annoyed as anyone when an old lady who can't even dial a phone number on her Jitterbug hops in front of me in the Redbox line, stares at the touch screen for a full two minutes, and then looks around for an employee that doesn't exist.

I've been paying a bit more attention recently to all the bad shit that happens in the world - like, really, really bad shit - and I've come to realize that the majority of people really have nothing to complain about. I'll use myself as an example:

There are a few guys who work mainly as dishwashers in the Whole Foods kitchen, and many of them are from Burma. I swear up and down all day about how I hate making sandwiches for stupid people, and that I hate my job, and that I hate everything. Meanwhile, the dishwashers scrub all day, singing songs, with glee. They are happy. They are happy to have a job in a country that doesn't strap machine guns to their backs like they did when they were kids. To them, scrubbing the burnt French toast crust off a hot bar pan is perfectly fine. So they keep singing.

We should all get a grip and stop sweating the small stuff. None of it really matters. I'll be singing while I make sandwiches today.

xo

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