I have a quick temper.
Like most things in life, I’ve learned to control it, but when it flares? Whoeeee! Childishness results.
We have a show today (I’m a crafter on the side. The jewelry I make is an outlet of sorts. My business partner and I joke that it’s our therapy, to get through life without killing ourselves or anybody else along the way as we practice patience all day, every day, with our sense of injustice for whatever foolishness comes across our paths). Anyway… as part of preparing for our show, there’s a number of things I need to get done. I’m the “driver”, so making sure I have a clean car and getting it loaded for each new adventure is part of the routine.
Being part of this new “leisure” lifestyle known as being on disability, though, I’m finding my temper flares more easily. Or, I’m getting rusty at the social norms, and don’t care to put up with crap that I would have let slide, once upon a time, a long while ago…
Anyway… back to our story.
I’m up, dressed, showered, just spent two hours with the Auntie going over travel plans, AGAIN, and getting her cruise information uploaded now that she’s finally received her replacement passport. And hearing how her failed back disability claim was so EASY to process, again, and implying that it’s all a government plot that I’m not gettting my benefits as I should, why aren’t I panicking, etc., etc., etc. All a very restful conversation to have… NOT… but we’re on track for our departure next week, and I’m finally hustling her off the phone, as I have things to do.
Like any good vampire, night’s coming on, so I’m ready to start my day. And, because the rest of the world likes to get started at 8am, it’s now about 4pm, and I’ve got to hustle to beat the clock for the car wash and get to the bank before it closes. All normal stuff.
So, I make it to the car wash, order up the service, and sit back to wait.
… and wait.
As I’m sitting on my well-padded posterior, I’m enjoying the sun on my face and I’m watching the workers. I start to wonder about the legal age of some of the kids, the ones that are working particularly diligently vs. another kid, college age, who is just putting in time.
I’m there for about 30 minutes, so I got to watch them moving a lot of cars through the windows, tires, drying process, and I could see Joe College was somehow immune to the hustle gene. I’d noticed him before, during other visits, as his slow response to the job is just so out of keeping with the hardworking pace of everyone else who appears to be doing his same job.
Not sure if it’s due to his skin color being similar to the Assistant Manager’s, but if he was on my crew of multi-racial workers, he’d either have to be related to someone to still be working there, or he’d be on a remedial program to move his butt, or he’d be gone. It’s just that simple.
You don’t let a hardworking, happy and very productive crew get unbalanced in who is doing the actual work, or you end up with bad behavior being modeled as being ok. Then, the hardworking crew needs to be disciplined as a whole, and it’s much harder to fix if you don’t respond pro-actively to lazy butts.
Oh, and let me say that I was a hotel / motel chambermaid in my youth, lying about my age so that I could be hired, so I know hustle vs. lazy when I see it. 5-1/2 years cleaning up other people’s messes teaches you how to move efficiently. Especially when you get paid by the room, and you can’t get to the beach that day until your 15-17 rooms are done.
So, back to Joe College. I’m watching what appears to be a 14-15 year old boy with a skater’s “fade” haircut hustling and cleaning cars 3 times his size (he’s a small kid, kind of scrawney). I’m watching another kid swapping out clean towels for dirty ones, running back to the laundry area to keep the shop towel timing on track. I’m watching another couple of young guys (maybe late teens early 20’s) moving quickly and pushing the assembly line of cars through, while also playing and having fun with each other and their wet towels and squirt bottles of cleaner.
You know; working, but still having fun.
Then, there’s Joe College. For every 3 cars Fade does, Joe’s just limping along, wandering over to get a fresh towel, spending time to fold it just so, go back to a new car to half-heartedly do the windows, and then wandering off. No hustle. No focus. No results. Seems like Fade is doing all the work, as he jumps in and finishes what Joe College leaves undone. Doesn’t seem like he minds, either, as if this is a regular routine.
So, of course Joe College starts on my car. Eventually. As I see him half heartedly spritzing the interior of the windshield, I’m not impressed. After he does a pisspoor job of doing the driver’s side, I go speak to him as I want it done right. Streaks, when driving into the early morning sun, are maddening. “Ok”, he says. “Sure” he’ll do the inside windshield, twice, to ensure there are no streaks. He fixes that part (he’s just started on the car), and then wanders off to get another fresh towel.
Fade, meanwhile, is working like a dervish on the Camaro in front and to the right of mine.
Joe College, instead of going back to my car to finish it, wanders off with his new towel toward the laundry area, where new cars are coming off the ramp needing attention. Joe opens up the back of a landrover, and begins working on it, until another guy comes along and leaves him in the dust with his hustle on that same car. Joe then moves on to a beamer, fresh off the washing line.
My car sits, dripping and ignored, while Fade has moved on from the now finished Camaro over to that same sporty little beamer, which came out of the shoot abou 5 cars after mine, bypassing my waiting car.
At this point, it’s been about 5-10 minutes of me watching Joe College wander, and Fade ignore my car in favor of a more recent arrival. Seriously?
Getting up again, I go over to Joe College, now sitting in the driver’s seat of the beamer, while Fade is drying the exterior and washing the windows.
“Excuse me,” I prompt Joe, “are you done with my car?”
He looks at me, clear-eyed and clueless, and Fade jumps in to respond instead. “Which is your car, Miss?”
“The white soul. This young man was working on it, wandered off to get a new towel, and has now gone to two other cars in place of mine. I’m wondering if my still dripping car is done?”
Fade looks at Joe for inspiration, who is grasping for straws and trying to think of an answer. “Someone else will be along to finish it” he mumbles while looking away and failing to meet my eyes. Fade then says, “I’ll get to yours next.”
Normally inoffensive words, EXCEPT, he’d finished the black camaro and moved on to the newer beamer. It was clear that he wasn’t supposed to be specifically picking up the slack for Joe College, or he would have done my car first, as that’s the one Joe left unattended.
So, I go back and sit down. Only to realize that now I’m stewing, and my car is still being serviced out of order due to someone else’s laziness. I have to wait, after I’d gathered my courage to request attention? Zero to insane in less than 60 seconds.
While I’d watched the Assistant Manager redirect cars to Fade after Joe College wandered off, there was no impairment I could see in this fashionably dressed, out of uniform young man to warrant him getting a break. And, if you’re going to hire the handicapped, you’re going to be on them for consistency to ensure they do well in their job. There was nothing like that in this situation, let me assure you.
Having now checked myself for unreasonable behavior, I decided to leave. F them all and the horse they rode in on.
I got up, headed to my car to drive away, and got it partially out of its spot when I realized I left my phone behind. Stop, park, get the phone, walk back to start up the car and leave, and suddenly the Assistant Manager is there, asking what the problem is, making me feel like a jerk for getting upset when I explained.
He’s in my face with his body language, so I wave him off and start to roll up the window, and the idiot Manager (according to the Assistant Manager, who identified his role) is wiping my car window off, and gets his towel stuck, forcing me to lower the window again. They again want me to wait and they’ll finish my car, but it’s now too late for that. I’m done.
I’d already given the Assistant Manager the receipt, and he now SNAPS HIS FINGERS AT ME, pointing to the instructional receipt taped to the inside of my car window. You know, the window Joe College didn’t bother to clean before wandering off.
There’s no calming me at this point. I’m insulted and angry (yes, over something as stupid as a car wash line) so Assistant Manager snapping his fingers at me like I was a child or a dog to respond to his commands finishes what remains of the dregs of my patience.
Clearly, I may think I’m a pretty laid back, patient person. But I’d be wrong, as yesterday’s car wash debacle shows. Luckily, they always vacuum before they wash, so the car isn’t as messy as it might otherwise be. Temper, temper.
Artwork credits: everything was readily available under a “free image” search. If any rightful owner objects to my repurposing of their images, please just let me know.
SharonSelby.com – chikd’s tempertantrum
Addicted2success.com – screaming model and leopard