Monday, July 28, 2014

The Things That Never Ended

Not too long ago, I was inside a Wendy's. I had ordered food and eating it, I wasn't just sitting in the Wendy's like a weirdo (or a homeless person, but even the homeless guy had food.) The music, or podcast, I was listening to had ended and my hands were a bit too disgusting with grease and mayonnaise to touch my phone. I was just listening to the restaurant ambiance as hungry patrons shuffled in for the lunch time rush. A particular group of older women approached the counter and started to loudly ask questions.

I cringed at their voices. They weren't particularly unpleasant, but their tone and canter said it all. I had worked in fast food for a relatively short time. I knew these women. The group of people who frequent fast food establishments are largely terrible, entitled cheapskates. There are pleasant and understanding people as well, but they're often lost in the shuffle among the impatient jerks they dine alongside. These women treated the Wendy's as their personal watering hole, asking and demanding but ignoring or dodging anything the Wendy's cashier had to say.

I cringed in fear. I've been on the receiving end of that interaction and it feels like it will never end. Even once their order has been taken, tendered, and served they'll still be sitting in the lobby. They'll be loud and rude to other customers and leave a giant mess. I don't know if these women did that, they could have been very clean and quiet after that. I left not too long after they finished their order, but that was the fear that I had. I could still feel, even after not being in fast food for a long time.

For me, while I worked that job (and even the one I have now) I would feel that cringe and fear before I left my apartment. Those interactions felt like they would never end, but that job felt like it would go on forever. I wanted to much to get out of it, and eventually I did, but I moved onto another job where I felt the same. I still fear everyday that this will never end. I feel like I'll always hop from dead-end job to dead-end job. For some it doesn't end; I've met those people, some 30-40 years older than me. My fear is that I'll be just like that.

I think it will end. Maybe not as soon or in the way I want it to, but it will end. Life is unexpected. I listen to the RISK podcast and often the story tellers talk about how their 20's were a confusing and largely terrible time. Expected to find what they'll do for the rest of their lives, but only finding confusion. Often they spend that whole decade meandering and wandering in circles. I think I'm doing that now and I have to have more confidence in myself.

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