Maybe Scrooge was Just Misunderstood | A Chick Called Mick

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Maybe Scrooge was Just Misunderstood

Posted By on Wed, Dec 24, 2008 at 12:21 PM

I'm not sure what happened.  Maybe I miscalculated or maybe I forgot to pace myself, but I ran out of Christmas cheer a few days early.  I think the main problem is that for the last five years, I've had a minimum of two weeks off for Christmas, and this year I got two days.  So, for the better part of December, I've been preparing for my two week vacation without fully getting that that wasn't happening this year.  I began stockpiling books and movies.  I thought about what I would buy when I had a few days off to go shopping.  I've been spoiled, gone soft; I'm a bit of a candy ass around the holidays, and this year, that created a bit of a problem.

That's how I ended up spending the Saturday before Christmas waiting in lines.  I wasn't the only one, of course, and as we watched some ladies explain all about the items they were returning and why, the older gentleman behind me grunted and said, "I don't think anybody gets in a hurry anymore."  I smiled and tried to make a little small talk, but when he continued to complain, I politely began studying the contents of my purse.  I wanted to tell him, "Look, it's my fault I'm here this late in the holiday season.  And if it's my fault, then it's probably your fault, too.  The truly smart and/or impatient among us have already finished their shopping by now, and they wouldn't come anywhere near this place."

I knew that if I wore a holiday shirt, I could wear jeans to work on Monday, and suddenly the idea of wearing anything other than jeans seemed too much.  I bought a shirt that said "Bah Hum Bug," which seemed just right, and steeled myself to work the night shift.  When I got ready to work in the computer lab that evening, I couldn't help but notice a couple who had a poor concept of the term "inside voice." 

I had just shown up in the lab, when I heard them talking loudly.  I tried to figure out what if there were things I needed to work on, but I found it difficult to ignore the woman at the computer saying, "BABY!  HEY, BABY, CAN YOU COME HELP ME FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAKE THIS THING MOVE DOWN HERE."  She didn't seem mad, really.  Maybe she just wanted to make sure he could hear her over the din of people, um, typing.

I thought I should say something, but I hesitated because I assumed the person working there before me had probably said something to them already to little effect.  Well, that's kind of a lie.  I did think about that, but also, sometimes when things get under my skin, I find I have no middle gear.  There's either Me Hiding My Irritation By Being So Polite, People Don't Think I'm Serious and there's Me Saying Things That Will Get Me Fired.  I hoped they'd either finish up what they were working on or that they'd go hoarse and be forced to whisper.  Not my best plan.





Now, I have a rule--a rule I made long before this couple came in.  I will answer your questions.  I will help you as best I as I can, and I will behave professionally.  All I want is for you to ask for help.  It's literally just about the least you could do, and I've made plenty of exceptions when I notice someone is having trouble figuring something out.  But I've also had patrons sigh dramatically and/or mutter about the computer in a voice loud enough for them to get my attention.  For whatever reason, they do that instead of speaking directly to me, and I don't care to be summoned in that way.  Ask and you have my attention, but flailing dramatically so I will rush to your aid?  Not my favorite technique.

I waited for them to ask, but I ended up clenching my teeth when, instead of walking about ten feet over to talk to me, I heard, "HEY, SWEETIE!  CAN YOU COME OVER AND HELP US WITH THIS THING?"  Could have been worse.  They could have called me Babycakes.

I decided to kill two birds with one stone and went over to help, but also asked that they just lower their voices so they didn't disturb other patrons.  The man was on his cell phone by now (having a conversation that went something like this: "ARE YOU READY FOR CHRISTMAS?  HAVE YOU GOTTEN ANY SPANKINGS LATELY?  NO, NOT LIKE THAT.  I MEAN HAVE YOU GOTTEN ANY WHOOPIN'S.")

The woman whispered, "Oh!  Oh, I'm so sorry.  I told him to leave that stupid thing at home, but he's kind of hard headed.  I just need you to show me how to just do this one thing..."

I showed her quickly, and went back the desk.  Then I heard, "BABY SHE SAID WE'RE BEING TOO LOUD."


That turned out to be my last day of work for a few days, and I'm home now.  I've eaten some of my mother's homemade fudge.  I've also eaten about two dozen of these little almond flavored cookies she makes that I love.  They're light and a little crunchy, and I kept going back for just two more only to discover that one of the cookies was broken.  So, I'll just have two and a half cookies because they're kind of small and what the hell.  Fifteen minutes later, still thinking about their nutty goodness, I find myself heading back into the kitchen. 

Slowly, I'm starting to find some of the cheer creeping back in.  I think after some pie this evening, I will officially be "merry," maybe even "jolly" if I can get real coffee instead of instant.  I'm looking forward to the next few days, but before I go to hang out with friends and family, I'd just like to take a moment to say, "HEY, BABY!  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!"

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Ashley McKelvy

  • Can I have a Definition please?

    I meant to write this post days ago, but it's been one of those weeks where I just couldn't convince myself to do the things I should.  But I wanted to talk for just a minute about the Scripps-Howard Spelling Bee that was on TV this week.  The first thing I want to say is that I am an abysmal speller (and don't think I didn't get a little help on the spelling of 'abysmal.')*  When I lived in Austin, I applied for some jobs with UT, and they required a spelling test.  I took the test twice and never scored high enough to apply for a secretarial position with the school.  So, I was never a viable spelling bee candidate.  But there's a documentary about students participating in the National Spelling Bee called Spellbound that I am in love with.  I'm actually watching it as I type this.
    • May 31, 2009
  • Grillin' time

    My parents called this morning and wanted to come up for a few hours to spend Memorial Day with me.  It was a nice surprise--although if I'd had a little more notice I would have vacuumed, but dirty carpet is what they get for giving me little advanced warning--because my parents are kind of awesome.Mom mentioned that they'd thought we might cook out, but since it was rainy and I don't own a grill, I didn't give much credence to that idea.  I was surprised, then, when my parents came up to my place carrying bags of groceries and a grill in a box.  A tiny grill.  One might even go so far as to call it cute, but the punishment for undermining the grill might mean one doesn't get to partake in the delicious charbroiled food cooked upon it.  So, I didn't call it cute.I let them in, and since it was close to lunchtime, Dad started prepping the food while Mom and I sat on the couch and got caught up on the latest news.  It took me a while to realize we weren't having hamburgers.  Or hot dogs.  We were having kabobs.Generally speaking, there's nothing wrong with kabobs, it's just that it wasn't what I was expecting.  He got this idea and wanted to try it out, and that's the sometimes weird but often wonderful thing about my dad.  He and my mother live in the small town where I grew up, and I sometimes used to joke that it was a town that almost forcibly resists culture.  But sometimes major trends and fads make it all the way to our little corner of the state, and people like my dad find out about them.  Five years after I tried my first mojito, he heard about the drink and decided he'd like to try one.  He grew his own mint for the mojitos, and the thing you should know is that my father is a much better gardener than he is a bartender.  We had an abundance of mint, and the result was that he became very generous with it in order to prevent waste.  The first time he handed me a glass, I stared at the veritable forest floating amidst the liquid ingredients."Next, time, I don't want a salad at the bottom of my drink," I teased him.When the mint started to overrun the place, he put it in the iced tea as well, and insisted on calling it "mohi-tea."  Because while he is often a really, truly funny man, my father sometimes cannot resist the siren call of a cheesy joke.I like the fact that my father is curious and willing to try new things.  Sure, I wasn't thrilled when he commandeered a bottle of my wine to try his hand at French cooking, and we have actually had an argument about what truly makes a sandwich a panini, but generally I think it's an admirable quality.  It's one that I think I've inherited in small ways--I prefer to sample pop culture more than food, but I can be persuaded to try a new drink now and again.  The kabobs were good, even the slices of grilled pineapple that I pooh-poohed early on turned out to be delicious, and I was glad Dad decided to try something different.  I did have hot dogs for dinner, though.  You know, just to be patriotic and all.
    • May 25, 2009
  • Out With The Old? Not So Fast

    I am off today, and I am sitting at home in what, sadly, might be my favorite pair of jeans.  I say "sadly" because after close to five years of denim-y good times, they need to be retired.  They were a gift from someone who couldn't wear them for some reason, but they fit me perfectly.
    • May 22, 2009
  • More »

Most Shared


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation