Once in awhile, we have an ugly moment that we'd like to push under the rug. For me, today was a fucking disaster, so I took it out on some poor schmuck, like a many have done to yours truly:
It's 11pm, just a few hours ago, and I'm in a really, really crabby fucking mood before I have to start my overnight. Here's a list of reasons why:
- Last night (Saturday), I made $58 in what has been the worst month since I started working here. In the slowest months of last year, I was averaging $100 in tips per shift. I've hit that mark once in the past 3 weeks. What was once a really bad night has become the median. If things continue at this rate, I won't be able to afford my apartment through the end of my lease.
- I get home to the only thing I was looking forward to all evening - Justin Timberlake hosting Saturday Night Live. I press play on the DVR, crack open some Ben & Jerry's, and plop onto my couch. Two minutes into Timberlake's cameo-studded monologue, my cock sucker cable box zaps and I lose everything on the motherfucking DVR.
- I try to go to sleep, but can't. Daylight savings happens, so I lose an hour of sleep on a night where I couldn't get any in the first place.
- I finally doze off at around 5am, only to have my roommate come stumbling in, somehow kick over my mini-fridge, then have a vomit-party in the bathroom. After 30 min of babysitting, I finally get him to bed. I'm not mad because he was very forgiving when I did something repulsive in the bathroom at our shore house, and I owed him one. (That story is for another post.)
- After hours of staring at my well-lit ceiling, I fall asleep at 9am.
- Remember that I had a brunch planned at 11am. I hate canceling plans last-minute, so I go, and my lethargic nature makes me shitty company. Usually, I put them back at an unlimited booze brunch till they cut me off, but I could barely choke down my 2nd mimosa. Brunch disperses early.
- I remember that I missed the Rangers game, but it's okay because we have the DVR set to record and save all games.
- I get home, and the Rangers game has been zapped from my cock sucker DVR.
- After an furious tirade of profanities, I spend the rest of my day in full-blown zombie mode.
- Take a nap at 6pm, only to be continuously woken up by my roommates, who are simply living and functioning at a reasonable hour.
- Stare at my bedroom ceiling as the alarm goes off at 9pm.
- Watch an awfully anti-climactic episode of The Walking Dead, then get ready for work.
So here I am, at Dunkin Donuts, about to order an extra large coffee to keep me awake through this god-forsaken overnight. The store is empty, and the young, Indian desk clerk is cleaning the counters. His name is "Kwak", which makes me giggle. I have an uncle that used to call poop "Kwakies", when I was a young lad.
Doorman - "What's up, buddy? Can I get an extra-large French vanilla, milk, two sugars, please?"
Kwak grabs the 24oz, extra large cup and checks the size chart. He looks back at me, as if he's unsure of whether or not he wants to open a can of worms.
Kwak - "Sugar?"
His accent is thick.
Doorman - "Two, please."
Kwak - "I cannot put the sugar."
Doorman - "Come again?"
Kwak - "I cannot put the sugar."
Doorman - "Yeah, I heard that. Why not?"
Kwak - "New York state law."
I can't believe what I'm fucking hearing. I quickly remember a nearly identical argument that I had with a deli clerk the first time I tried to buy beer before noon on a Sunday, which is also illegal in NYC.
Regardless, I'm not in the mood to hear this shit.
Doorman - "Dude, come on."
Kwak - "We cannot add sugar to 24oz cup."
Doorman - "Fucking Bloomberg."
Kwak doesn't say anything. It's a silly new law that the mayor of New York has put in place, in an effort to curb obesity. So we can't get big, sugary drinks anymore. Guess what, Bloomy? There's nothing keeping me from ordering two dozen donuts and shoving them through the fat fucking hole in my face in one sitting. It's like saying "hey, lets get rid of cigarettes", then only removing one brand from the shelves.
Doorman - "It's two sugars, man."
Kwak - "I cannot put the sugar."
He's not in the mood for a belligerent customer. I'm not in the mood for the "I'm going to repeat the same rebuttal over and over till you get frustrated and give up" technique that's generally used by snooty front desk managers and kindergarten teachers.
Doorman - "My friend, it's 11 o'clock at night. No one is going to care if you dump two scoops of sugar into-"
His voice becomes more stern as he cuts me off.
Kwak - "I'm sorry, I cannot put the sugar."
Doorman - "That's fucking ridiculous. Do you see that there are 300 sugar packets over there that I could very easily dump into my sugarless coffee after you give it to me?"
He says nothing. He doesn't care about my argument. He's just awaiting word on whether or not he should just pour my fucking coffee.
Doorman - "Whatever, fine. Fucking bullshit."
I see the look on his face. It's the same look I probably give people when they berate me for a hotel policy that's completely out of my hands. Whenever people give me a shitty attitude about it, or try and belittle my job in an attempt to win whatever argument we're having, I become less inclined to try and get them what they want. I'm on the opposite end of this scenario, and I know it.
Doorman - "I mean, what are they watching you on the cameras or something?"
Kwak ignores my little comment as he seals the lid onto the white styrofoam cup.
Kwak - "$2.60"
He swipes my debit card. I'm already starting to feel my face turning flush. I want to thank him, but don't.
In my stubbornness, I grab a despicable amount of sugar packets and make a spectacle doing so. He could care less.
I leave, completely embarrassed. I'm just another asshole customer.
As I walk to the hotel to start my graveyard shift, I weigh whether or not I'm in the wrong. Then I remember the last three overnights that I did, all within a few weeks, and the other clerks putting the sugar in without even blinking. It's an insanely stupid law, but maybe the kid was new and weary of breaking the rules. I'd never seen him before tonight, nor do I really ever want to have to face him again.
Any other night, I probably would have brushed it off and put the sugar in cup myself without thinking twice.
I mean, don't I do that every time I go to Starbucks?
I think about going back to apologize, but don't. Instead, I dump four sugar packets into my shitty, watery coffee, and start the my lonely trek to 8am.