Saturday, February 17, 2018

If the Buddha Flips You Shit at the Drive-Thru Window...

“What did I learn today?” is a question I asked myself earlier as I was walking back home from work, and this is something I decided is another thing I ought to make a daily habit of doing — and probably also log. Can someone actually learn something every day? Of course, I mean something instructive or edifying; not Trivial Pursuit bullshit. Well, I suppose I'll find out. Today's lesson was: If I'm going to work a long and/or hard shift, I'd better make sure I play with my meditation app for ten minutes or so around the time I usually start feeling froggy, and maybe also look into diaphragmatic breathing or progressive muscle relaxation. Because today kicked my ass, and I had an unpleasant moment with a few customers. And, well, as much as the more egregiously entitled among the dunderheads sometimes deserve my contumacity, I didn't get hired to stupidly squabble with my boss's business's bread and butter.

Today's tour of duty wasn't the usual short shift wherein the worst my job could throw at me was one or two small tidal waves of tediousness; this was day one of a state-wide high school wrestling tournament. I wasn't even originally scheduled for the event, but I suspect one of my co-workers has moved on. (If so, a pity: he was both one of the better ones and one of the least annoying to be paired up with.) I had no idea what I'd gotten myself into; I'm one of those employees who gets all gung-ho (and greedy) and volunteers to cover shifts without factoring in such inconsequentials as burn-out. It was wall-to-wall kids! More than I've seen since ... since I was in high school! I think it was even more busy than the Philip Knight Invitational was; there were no rushes, just non-stop business until the last hour we were open (and we remained open later than all the other concessions — lol those weenies!).

I've never described my job, have I? We have two kinds of stands, which are usually paired: the Dippin Dots stands and the lemonade stands. Dipping Dots is just scooping balls of freeze-dried ice cream in shallow cups; it only gets challenging during the intense Blazers intermissions, and of course when the logistics of it are clusterfucked for whatever reason. The lemonade stand, however, is a slightly different animal. The lemonade is squeezed, from a somewhat cumbrous aluminum press that always makes me miss my beautiful old German stainless steel number. No big deal, so long as I maintain a steady stock of pre-squeezed cups throughout the event. What makes the lemonade stand a pain in the ass are the damn sno cones, specifically when instead of just scooping them out of a Cambro full of shaved ice I have to use that infernal ice shaving machine, which takes time and requires a little finesse.

Now that you have an idea of what I do, imagine me doing ALL of that shit! You see, elsewhere WWE was happening ... and double events simply destroy us; something always either goes horribly wrong or nothing goes right. I can run both stands just fine by myself during a Blazers game, with someone jumping in during the meaty part of the intermission rush. But, this was an entirely different flow of business; I needed someone at the Dippin Dots for most of the shift, but my partner was a supervisor running between both events, so I was handing one to four customers every ten to twenty seconds by myself, and these kids wanted an unprecedented number of lemonades and sno cones with their Dippin Dots! It took about six and a half hours of this, plus leg pain from standing and unrequited pissing yearnings, before the unpleasant exchanges occurred. So, yeah, proactive on-the-job stress management.

The title of this post is a flippantly irreverent perversion of the Zen kōan “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” The answer, of course, is “ sure to count back his change, smile, and bid Him good day.” lol