Saturday, March 16, 2013

Closing Ritual

There are a lot of rituals at closing time. One is walking around and telling people that we're closed. Sure they've heard the announcements at the half-hour before close mark and the fifteen minutes before close mark. Sure they saw the lights dim and heard the closing announcement. But it's impolite to not to pretend that they somehow managed to miss all the clues we provide. So we go around and tell the person on the laptop typing away that--wouldn't you know it--we're actually closed. They pretend to be surprised and then they pack up. Then we can tell the people browsing the videos that--as fate would have it--we are closed and that the machines to check them out are about to be turned off. And they get to act surprised and then bring their armload to the desk.

After I've rousted all them, I walk past a certain very nice woman and don't say anything to her as I walk toward the restrooms. There I guard the restroom doors. It really steams me when people who hang around after we're closed and don't leave until someone tells them to THEN want to spend some quality time in the bathroom. I draw the line there.

When the last people are gone, I can go back to the far corner where there is the very nice woman I mentioned earlier. She has terrible OCD. Or something. I leaver her alone until the last minute because she has to put everything in her bag, sling it over her shoulder, take it off her shoulder, rummage around in it, check her pockets, zip up the bag and then start the process again. Eventually that part is OK and she can push in her chair, then pull it out and look under the table a half dozen or eight times. Glowering or saying something won't do anything. I believe that she honestly wants to leave, but she just has to check off the boxes (again and again) before she goes.

If I were Raymond Carver, aside from being dead I would write a poignant story where the two rituals are woven together to give you a sense of something. Probably something bleak with just a touch of hope. Me, I just try to be patient with her.


Tony Greiner said...

I had the 'quick visit to the bathroom' reader yesterday. 10 Minutes. Slow breathing works for me.

DeskSlave said...

Slow breathing, just not near the restroom.

I'm amazed when adults do worse bathroom planning that kindergarteners.