I had to call in at the last minute today and request next Friday off. It's my birthday after all. I nearly forgot and the schedule comes out tomorrow. IS THAT ALL? the manager asked me. YES, THANKS. Our conversations are brief these days.
But NO! As soon as I hang up the mind reels. That is not all, there are numerous engagements... The Worst Day of The Year Ride, the Blazers game with Mama and Papa Coop and Katie The Newly Engaged, Buddhist temples, canoodling on Valentines day, laundry, overdue books. I have no tolerance for the service industry and its whims, its crappy bosses and thousand petty tyrannies. Everything is more important. SOMETHING TELLS ME IT IS TIME TO MOVE ON.
The manager is a self described 'lifer and professional foodie' though in my esteem a crappy one who stayed on while others went and lived bigger lives, one who eventually did foment for himself the inverse sourgrape identity of the one who wanted to stay.
This morning he asked me how my new interpreting job was going, asked a few well-intentioned questions and quickly, yet innocently unearthed an understanding that my field seemed to be one that wouldn't really require much education or training, in fact none at all if one put ones mind to it.
Last October, during the week before the marathon he struck up an affectionate conversation with me about endurance running, noting with fascination that he had recently read an article in the newspaper about how the marathon isn't the accomplishment it once was... SEEMS, he said, THAT THEY SAY THAT JUST ABOUT ANYONE CAN DO IT SO IT REALLY ISN'T VERY REMARKABLE. THAT IS WHAT THE ARTICLE SAID AT LEAST...
All that might be appropriate had I walked around with a race medal around my neck for a few weeks (WHAT, THIS OLD THING??) or if I steered every conversation invariably towards my innumerable and glorious victories, the extraordinary triumph that was my internship, the moving passion of my engagement, and the staggering force of my intellect. Which I don't. Not really. Much. Anyway, this is a man who, despite the exasperated fuming of everyone server in the restaurant, is driven to condescend as matter of pressing psychological need.
It isn't only the employees. The other day a customer was working on the crossword puzzle at the bar as he boinged into the room, and though isn't fair of me to poke fun of him because he walks on the balls of his feet - honestly, on top of everything it would annoy you too... and he grabbed the crossword out of her hands unbeckoned, filled in a few of the clues, threw the paper back down and said rather satisfied THERE, IT SHOULD BE A BIT EASIER FOR YOU NOW.
And then there was the time he tried to sized up Clark... and then there was the time... and that other time when... and every. single. day. he...
So. Lately I can hardly stand to be in the room with him without a triple dose of Rescue Remedy and the occasional shot of vodka. The horror is balanced out only by the five hours a week I have interpreting at the college. And yet, and yet... I have made not one single call about freelance work. Its like, the door is right there and I just wont go through it. What the 'ell is wrong with me?
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