Call Me Antisocial
by WHO on Feb-9-2004

When my husband and I went on our first date, we finished off our evening at a dumpy old coffee shop right across the street from the college. Huddled in a corner avoiding eye contact with the creepy singing cashier, we joked that one day, this particular coffee shop would soon be replaced by a Starbucks. A mere 3 years later, our prophecy was fulfilled. Maybe it’s just us, but we weren’t angered by Starbucks taking over the coffee shop. We actually get a kick out of big businesses driving the ‘little guy’ out of the city. And Starbuck’s really improved the place, too. They painted over all that angsty poetry in the restroom and made it into a place I’d actually want to piss in.

Anyway, we stopped in Starbuck’s tonight and ordered a couple of cups of coffee. Almost immediately, the cashier starts chatting us up. Then the coffee pourer guy joins in our conversation. I’m trying very hard to be polite, but I’m squirming inside. My husband is making no attempt to even look like he’s paying attention. He’s staring off into space leaving me to suffer the small talk alone. The bastard.

Am I the only one who hates being chatted up by perfect strangers every time I purchase something?

I don’t find it necessary or appealing to have my ass kissed every time I want to buy a cup of joe. I’m happy with the barest minimum of service. Take my money. Give me my change. Hand over the goods. And be reasonably polite. You can skip the sunny fake smile and the inquiries about my day. Hell, if you don’t feel like making eye contact, that’s fine with me, too.

Maybe that sounds antisocial and bitchy, but personally, I think it’s even MORE bitchy to demand that the poor underpaid sap behind the counter pretend to care how the fuck your day is. The job is humiliating and unrewarding enough. Why must you people babble incessantly while you kill their spirits?

Back in the day, when I worked in the bagel shop, I had to ‘make conversation’ with a multitude of rich snobs while they agonized over what car to buy for their slutty daughters for their 16th birthdays. Do you have any idea how many times I wanted to shriek, “I’M WORKING FOR $7 AN HOUR, ASSHOLE! DO YOU THINK I GIVE A FUCK?” Instead I was forced to endure such indignities with a stony smile on my face while I frantically tried to remember what they were saying every time they paused dramatically.

Anyway, I just want to say to each and every register jockey out there: (And this means you, Starbucks guy) you don’t have to talk to me. You don’t have to pretend you like me. And you don’t have to kiss my ass. As far as I’m concerned, as long as I get in and out with what I’m buying in a reasonable amount of time, we’re even. Your job sucks enough. Suffering through 5 minutes of small talk with me isn’t worth the chump change they’re paying you.

Besides, you’re boring and stupid and you make my ears bleed.


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