Hello, you great wonderful people. I realize that this is possibly my latest post of all time, but in my defense, I had a lot to do today. The lateness of the hour aside, I have decided to break my pattern and tell you a true story of my own life. Enjoy! -BW

The subtitle of my blog is Let Me Tell You a Story . . . I have realized that it’s actually been quite a while since I told you a story.

We can fix that.

Once upon a time, I had an actual job. (Really.)

in my defense, I was young, stupid, and impressionable.

Soon after I graduated from high school, a friend of the family offered me a position as a extra hand on his carpentry/construction crew. I’ll spare you the hilariously innumerable stories of an aspiring writer trying to swing a large hammer at tiny nails.

One day, my boss -tired of my laughable antics with power tools- said to me: “Listen, we’ve had enough of that for one day. Why don’t you run out and get us some donuts? I don’t care how long you’re gone, just get us some donuts.”

I scurried forth in my beater car in search of the bakery. Thankfully, living in a small town, there was no dispute of which bakery to go to. There is, after all, only one bakery in the entire city.

When I walked into the bakery, a beautiful human comedy of errors smacked me in the face.

I saw only two things: the large rounded back of a slow-witted old man, and the stress-twisted face of the young girl girl working as cashier.

The man was pointing through the glass counter at a specific pink frosted donut that he wanted the girl to put into the paper bag that she was holding.

The expression on her face said enough to make me laugh and cry.

Have you ever considered how difficult it is to order something at a bakery without making the cashier’s life harder?

Let’s say for instance that you want a cup of coffee, a donut, and maybe a cruller for someone else. If you walk up to the counter and say it all at once:

Me: “I’d like a cup of coffee, a chocolate frosted donut, and a cruller to go for my friend.” then you frustrate the worker. They can’t remember all that you said.

Cashier: “I’m sorry, you wanted a coffee and what else?”

So you end up repeating yourself several times.

On the other hand, if you mention the items one at a time:

Me: “Hello, I’d like a cup of coffee.”

The cashier hands me a cup of coffee.

Me: “And I’d like a donut.”

The cashier hands me a donut.

Me: “I’d like a cruller to go too.”

The cashier strangles me out of frustration.

In this scenario, there’s no way for both parties to be happy with the sequence of events.

So the man ahead of me in line was under the impression that the young girl working at the bakery counter could read his mind, because every time he asked for another donut, the young girl would put it into the same small white paper bag and hand it to him, and he would act annoyed that she hadn’t guessed that he intended to get more donuts.

A cashier at a bakery is very hopeful, because they always hope that the donut you ordered is the last thing you wanted so that you can leave them alone and they can move on with their life. Because of this girl’s deep well of hope, she didn’t realize what this man was doing, but I did. He was trying to fill a dozen and hadn’t realized that he should ask for a box and not a flimsy paper bag.

By now she has piled six or seven donuts into a tiny paper bag intended to hold one or two. She can’t even fold the top of the bag closed anymore. The weight of the donuts is tearing the bag, and crushing the fragile donuts on the very bottom, and yet the man is still going on, adding donuts to his already bloated order.

When he asked for another donut, the girl finally snapped and asked:

Are you trying to fill a dozen?”

The man looked up in surprise and indignation.

Of course I am.” he said.

The young girl bit her lip severely, unloaded the torn bag into a box, filled the rest of the man’s order, and sent him on his way with not a smile.

When I approached the counter, I realized that frustrated people are funny because they are the few people brave enough to let their true emotions be written on their faces.

The girl’s face was flushed pink and angry, her blue eyes clouded darkly behind her glasses, and her small hands clasping and unclasping in frustration. By now a line had formed behind me, and she had her work cut out for her for a while.

She asked me what I wanted.

I raised my hands into the typical “I Surrender” position and said:

I want six donuts.” being the only paragon of simplicity and clarity that the girl would see that day. She sighed in relief.

That cashier girl and I aren’t married, but I think that for that one day I was her favorite person.

And we lived happily ever after.

One thought on “Frustration=Funny

  1. Oh, how I loved this story. I audibly laughed several times. Yes, why can’t the person ordering, be clearer on what they need. It’s obvious when the person grabs a bag and not a box. “Oh, make this a dozen.” And your boss, “We’ve had enough of that…get some donuts…and take your time.” (hahahah)

    Liked by 1 person

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