Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Strange Things Are Happening To Me

My dad has owned a business for the last 20 years. People have always come in and told him their life stories or spilled their guts about all their problems to him. At first it seemed a little odd, but then became the norm. My dad is a pretty compassionate type person. After all, you have to be more caring than the average Joe to be a funeral director. I guess those sort of people skills shine through his personality, whether he's at the funeral home (which isn't often, for the record) or in his store.

I worked for him for about a year while I was in college. And when I say worked, I mean I was actually on the payroll. He would be out doing other things and I would be left to run the place and, like it or not, I was the hired help. Regular customers thought it was "so nice" that I would work for my dad and that we truly had a little family business. I bristled every time someone suggested that my dad retire and I take over. No thank you.

This go around, things have changed a bit. I'm not on the payroll, but am more earning my keep. I use the term "working" very loosely when I describe what I'm doing while in his store. I think I'm just trying not to get sucked in. And if the people that come in keep getting weirder by the day, I'm going to have to start carrying a net with me.

It's rare that I notice if someone's hitting on me, but a couple of times in the last week it's happened and I have noticed. What's strange is that it always happens when I'm working by myself and no one else is standing in the store. After being asked "Are you Wayne's daughter? Do you work here often?" I want to ask if it's really any of their business and if they think knowing my dad is going to really get them anywhere. In case you were wondering, the answer to both of those questions should be a resounding "No." Yesterday a guy wanted to play 20 questions with me because I was answering his yes or no questions with yeses and noes. I was so glad when I saw one of my dad's regulars walk. The guy was starting to really creep me out and I was tired of him not getting the hint.

Late last week, my brother and I had just opened and a lady came in with some postcards that she wanted to mail. She didn't have street numbers or zip codes, but wanted me to find the zip codes so that she could mail them. I tried my best to explain to her that there can be many zip codes for a given city or even street, but she just wasn't getting it. I was finally able to help her with one of them, after it seemed like she was finally putting the pieces of the puzzle together in her own special way, and she got mad at me. She proceeded to tell me how it wasn't that hard to give her the information and that I wasn't try to help her. With a quarter of a bagel still sitting in front of me, she then said "You're not even doing anything! You're just sitting there! EATING!!!" I looked over at my brother and we exchanged is-this-real-life?! glances. Then she continued, saying "And you're probably getting paid, too!" Too far, lady. One step too far. I informed her that I was not, in fact, being paid to be here. And neither was he. She said "You're not getting paid?! Not many people would do that." I wanted to say "Not many people are as stupid as we are, ma'am," but I had said enough.

What was even funnier was that she walked outside, waited a minute, and then walked back in like she had never been here before. She asked my brother if we sold stamps and then asked if he was from here, making "friendly" conversation. He looked at me as if to say "Is she serious?" and then said "Yes, ma'am. Born and raised." She said "Oh really? I'm not from here." He just said "I could tell." I almost choked on my bagel that I was stilll EATING.

All I've heard for days from my brother is "You're not even doing anything! You're just sitting there! EATING!" Perhaps I should cut back. But if I were to do that, the mailman might start stalking me on facebook again. And by stalk, I mean searching for me, telling me he likes my default picture, messaging me (just once, but isn't that enough?) and then talking about it when he comes to pick up the mail. All, of course, when my dad isn't around. Classy.

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