Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Woman Scorned

One of our company cafeteria cashiers is a middle-aged, southern, red-headed, and fiery yet pleasant woman named Rosie. She's nice to everyone that comes through her line.

Up until very recently, we had a self-serve salad and fruit bar. Take what you want, and pay by the ounce (kind of how drugs are sold in East Nashville). If you could guess the exact price of what you chose, you got it free. Not a penny over or under - no accounting for relative humidity or sytrofoam density variability.

I used to go 3 days a week to buy strawberries, blueberries, and cantaloupe for breakfast. While I enjoyed the food, I hated the game. Lots of employees loved the game. It was like their little prudish version of Vegas roulette. Me? I just wanted to get my breakfast, pay Rosie, and walk back to my desk for my first cup of morning coffee.

But sweet Rosie wouldn't have any of it. She'd beg me to play the game. Wanna guess? No ma'am. Aww, c'mon - just take a guess. So to humor her, I'd take a slug at it each time.

Monday: $2.57. No, sorry. Its $3.21.
Wednesday: $3.14. No, sorry. Its $2.87 today.
Thursday: $3.03. Oh so close. But its $3.07.

After a few weeks of this nonsense and zero wins, I thought I'd have some fun with it by bringing my own variable of nonsense.

Rosie: Got a guess today?
TMC: 18,000 dollars
Rosie: What? Laughs. No, really what's your guess.

Rosie: Got a guess today?
TMC: 17.76
Rosie: *Muffled dismissive chortle* No, $2.98.

Rosie: And?
TMC: 21.12
Rosie: Silence. Glare. Takes my money.

Three days. That's all it took to destroy her niceness towards me. This whole exchange was about 18 months ago. Ever since - including today at lunch - she snubs me. Oh, she'll take my money. But its all professional with her now. She'll chitter-chatter with other customers. But with me, nada.

I didn't intend for it to go this direction. I was just trying to have a bit of cynical, playful fun. I'm not sure she even knows why she doesn't like me anymore. And now with this much time having passed, I don't know how to make amends. The cafeteria has since replaced the pay-by-the-ounce scheme with a checklist/fixed price menu. The days of guessing and winning free meals is over.

However, this is the cross I must now bear. I sheepishly go through her line and take my flogging of limited interactive communication.

Rosie, I'm sorry. If it'll make it all better, I guess $3.17.



  1. I'm certainly not one to "lol" but reading this actually made me laugh out loud. 3 days. That's all it took. Love it.

  2. I can't believe you messed with Rosie. What were you thinking?? ;)

  3. Oh man! I used to hate that. Guessing seemed so pointless, but she insisted.