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Please, Take One…

Permanent fake smile pasted on face; check.  Feet dangling from way-too-high stool; check.  Watching strange-looking people do even stranger-looking things; check.  I am definitely at work.

Chinese New Year is soon to be upon us and with that comes an array of celebrations, decorations and festivities.  At work today, we have prepared a plate of candied fruit and nuts for our customers; a traditional custom during our New Year.  Out of sheer boredom I am topping it up, alongside the plate of fortune cookies we have put out.  So far, so good.  People are enjoying the assorted fruits very much it seems, so much so that they may as well bring a doggy bag for the amount that some people are taking.

The most amusing thing though, is the fortune cookies.  For once I do not mind how many people take each, and in fact I am actively encouraging people to take as many as they would like – within reason.  But this act of generosity is revealing a very bizarre phenomenon; people are making up all sorts of stories to justify why they feel they need ten fortune cookies each.  A man stuffs five cookies into his pocket and then takes another five whilst I smile bemusedly at him.

My son loves them,” he explains without me even asking.

Ah, that’s nice,” I tell him. 

I suppose his son really ought to eat ten if he loves them.  Then a woman walks past and takes just one cookie, walks halfway towards the exit and feels she has to come back and tell me it’s because she has ‘three daughters.’  Again, I might have already mentioned that maths is not my strong point, but that got me really confused.

 

fcookie

 

The highlight of my day happens when one lady takes a fortune cookie and presents it to her very small, very cute son.  The delight on his face at the shiny, wrapped confection is absolutely priceless.  Eyes wide, mouth gaping; his mother may as well have told him all his Christmases were coming at once.  It made me reflect on those wonderful days in my childhood where the most ordinary and mundane things would have me squealing with glee, and how things change over time.  I am almost certain that if my mother turned around whilst shopping and offered me a fortune cookie now, I would assume she’d finally lost her last marble.

All things considered, it has been a reasonably ‘normal’ day; I begin to think that I might actually go home with nothing to talk about when I get a phone call from someone, who wants to know if I ‘have the ability to slice meat thinly’.  Despite the overwhelming urge I have to describe in glorious detail, how I would go about demonstrating my ‘ability to slice meat thinly’, I opt for the usual response of, “erm…no.”  Putting down the receiver after more minutes of the same, retarded dialogue, I then get a customer who insists that I sell him a ‘Chinese suitcase’.  I try to explain to him over and over (with no visible success) that we do not sell suitcases or any travel items, let alone ‘Chinese ones’.  What is that anyway?  Some kind of bag that doubles up as a wok?  Does it squat in the corners of shopping malls and sell pirate DVDs?  After repeating myself for the fourth time, he decides to leave in a huff.

As the day draws to an end, I cross my fingers in hope as I watch a well dressed, smart-looking woman approach the reception desk.  I still don’t know why I expected anything other than complete shite to come from her mouth; perhaps it really does help to dress smartly, as long as you don’t give it away by speaking.  With a Blackberry in one hand and scribbling notes with the other, I anticipate from her a genuine question or that perhaps she has come to announce an appointment with one of the managers.  So just imagine my utter despair for mankind when she comes out with, “can I borrow your spare toilet?”  For a moment I seriously consider passing her the bin and saying, “here you are, madam; please kindly return it when you are done!”   

3L_stainless_steel_pedal_bin 

I haz a spares!

At the extraordinary rate that society is devolving, don’t be surprised if you wake up one day and find half the world has changed into monkeys. 

 

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  1. February 7, 2010 at 11:37 am

    My spare toilet? Why yes of course….when I’m desperate I just crap in my pocket.

    Here, take my blazer, please empty it before you return it….that’s a good girl.

    • February 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm

      Lmao. Some people are… special.

  2. February 7, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    hahaha :D! the ending was the icing on the cake, wasn’t it?

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