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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Grumpy Old Man Alert:

Renovations are happening at my job so things have been a bit dusty at work lately. We aren't closing down as these changes happen so each day we show up for work, we never know what to expect. Plaster on the silverware? Whatever. Paint spilled on the carpet? Walk around it. The handrails to the stairs still tacky with the new stain? Stop right there, because that was a huge problem for an old man who bit my head off with the same ease he probably yells at kids to get off of his lawn.

There were signs all over the fucking place that said things like "Please pardon our appearance as we renovate" and "Please avoid using the handrail since it was newly painted today." The signs were clearly visible for anyone who didn't have an Occupy Cataract situation going on with their pupils. That may have been the problem with the old man. Seeing that he smelled like a bucket of moth balls with a shot of Fiber One and gentle mist of Metamucil, it would not be shocking to learn that his eyesight was a bit cloudy. I was at the foot of the stairs waiting for him to make his way down when he yelled out at me, "Goddamn, what the hell is going on with these rails?" I looked at his hands and saw they were covered in a beautiful mahogany stain that will really make the new purple color on the walls pop.

"Oh, I'm sorry sir. Some of the woodwork was stained today and it's still a bit sticky. I do apologize."

"Well, you ought to put up a goddamn sign," he croaked out at me.

"We did, sir." I pointed at a sign that was next to me.

"Well, you need to put one at the top of the stairs, not down here where it's too late." My eyes went to the sign at the top of the stairs and then I focused on the other sign at the top of the stairs. There were three signs in total.

"I'm sorry. I think there is at least one sign up there, sir-"

"Well, I didn't see it," he interrupted. He thrust his dirty hands out to emphasize his point.

"Well, I did," I said and help up my nice clean hands to emphasize my point. "The men's room is down the hall on your right hand side, sir." He grumbled something that I couldn't understand but it didn't matter because I had no intention of responding to it anyway. Seconds later, I heard the man caterwauling.

"Arrgh, I can't get this door open! Wheeze, why won't this door open??"

"That's a closet, sir. The restroom is down the hall and on your other right hand side."

He fumbled his way down the hall where I assume he washed his hands and bled his lizard. We had no other contact for the rest of the night for two reasons. Number one, he wasn't in my station. Number two, there's only room enough for one grumpy old man in that place and that grumpy old man is me.

So if you happen to show up at my job, please be aware that it might be dusty, the woodwork might be sticky and the paint on the wall may not be dried, but it's all so that we can make it nicer for our guests. However, if you get some wet paint on your coat, I won't tell you about it. It's too much effort for me. One time while waiting for the F train, I saw a sign that said "wet paint" on all the columns. There was a man who obviously did not read the sign because he had leaned against a pole and now had a green strip of paint down the side of his jacket. It was also on the side of his face. I watched him as he realized it was all over his coat but he had no idea it was all over his face as well. I debated whether or not to tell him. I mean, I knew there was nothing he could do about it, right? And if I told him, he would just spend his whole commute to work thinking about the fact that his face had green paint all over it and he would feel awkward and embarrassed, right? So I didn't tell him. The F train pulled into the station and I let him get on it thinking the only think he had to be self-conscious about was his coat having paint on it. Never mind it looked like he was doing his best Wicked Witch of the West impersonation. He sat down and I watched people look at him and think "Does he know he has paint all over his face?" I often wonder what he felt like when he showed up to work complaining about the paint on his jacket when someone was like, "Yeah, douche bag, it's all over your fucking face too."

Moral of this story? Read signs.

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Student Nurse Ashie said...

Hahaha What a perfectly timed post. I'm working in retail in a small clearance store for my usual employers and despite the numerous signs through out the store, the large red one at the entrance and the one on the back of the registers that all say CASH ONLY people wait until I finish ringing everything up to ask if I take credit cards.

Goodluck with the renovations and don't lean on any columns :)

fmcgmccllc said...

One of the funniest posts I have read lately, could just picture it.

suzybel56 said...

The guy with the green paint reminds me of a lady that had part of her skirt stuck in her pantyhose or whatever and no one told her that her undies and butt were in full view.

Anonymous said...

people never see the signs. but I bet my 401k that if a sign said "free appetizers" all those fuck faces would notice that shit. I hate people.

Noelle said...

"Please see Hostess" and "Wet Paint" are always written in invisible ink.

foxpen said...

The restaurant I work at recently renovated as well, as did the one beside us immediately afterwards. As all the servers tend to migrate to the other bar after ther shifts, we tend to swap stories. What I've learne from such globalized gossip trade is this:

Signs are for smart people.

That's the only way I can explain how SO MANY PEOPLE would blatantly ignore all the signs around the restaurant, inside and out, regarding the renovations. We had a giant sign outside saying "We Are Still Open As We Renovate FOR YOU!", yet people would constantly walk right by that giant sign otuside, poke their head through the open doorway, look at the hostess working there, and ask if we were still open. Wet paint was a different problem, one that both people and servers were caught off-guard by. I found that the servers were simply on autopilot and would lean against the same old wall they usually do when they have a moment, forgetting that it was damp with oil-based paint. On one occasion, however, I witnessed a guest of the establishment LOOK directly at the sign saying 'wet paint', look at me, and then put their hand on the wall to test the sign's truth. When their hand became a delightful new shade of shit-brown, they complained to a manager and had their meal comped.

Stupidity. It gets shit DONE.

Practical Parsimony said...

I just have to test to see if the paint is really wet.I cannot resist. Okay, it is weird. But, I do not want to rest on a painted wall.

It is only greed on the part of a restaurant that would stay open during renovations. I don't want to deal with plaster and paint while I eat. I tend to just back out when I see work in progress.

Once, I complained at a restaurant. The waiter said, "You ought to see what is in the back where we prepare this food."

Frimmy said...

Nobody reads signs. You can put up all the signs you want about your electronic payment going down and there will always be people telling you you need to put up signs and then act like complete assholes like we invented this problem just to annoy them.

They can't even read menu boards. I suppose it would be too much to ask that they read a sign put there for their own good.

I had a man argue with me this weekend that I gave him a small coffee and he ordered a medium. I sat a small cup next to his medium so he could see the difference for himself and he still accused me of scamming him. So my eyes said "Fuck off, asshole" and I smiled at him but said nothing until he walked himself away from me.

And they talk to us like we're the stupid ones.