Sat in a bakery for close to six hours. One that has pastries made at 5 a.m. and sold at 3 p.m. One where lunch is available at 9 a.m. and pretty much still there at 5 p.m. Where bread comes only out a handful of times a day, because the money-maker isn't the food, but the video gambling machines that take up almost half the commercial space. Would take up more if it weren't for having moved an equal amount of glittering cabinets across the street to form a Medieval-themed Game Room.
Sat in the bakery for close to six hours. Surfed the Web, wrote several pages of stuff, read a book, watched the rain...watched the employees. Ah, the employees. Wage-earners that form the backbone of what We laughingly call Our economy. You'd recognize the types:
1) The young one who skimps work with clever ease: Young lady, early 20s, with two kids that she "has" to call every 15 minutes or so to find out of their "cough" has gotten any better. Spends 6-7 minutes on the phone, discussing the news, soap operas, recent shopping, future shopping and how she's "swamped" with work. Hangs up, says "May I help you?" to a client, then walks away to "check something out in the back." Comes back a few minutes later, wonders aloud about her kids, then again, then again, then again, then still again until she picks up her cell phone and makes another 5-minute call. Does this several times--never tends a customer directly--leaves at 1:50 to "pick up her kids"...who are being brought to her by a friend as she speaks. The kids look hale and hearty, not a sign of a cough within a mile of either one, bless their little hearts. No hugs, no kisses for the tykes, but a brief screed to the friend about how "miserable" her job is. Her friend asks if she can leave as it's still not 2 p.m. The young lady makes a sour face and says she's done enough and the owner (of the bakery) can go screw himself if he dares to mention she left a few minutes early. They all pile into a late-model car, cherry red, and she pulls out into traffic without looking. The kids are not in car seats.
2) The government bureaucrat in private employ: Woman in her mid-30s, about 12 pounds from upping to "fat" from "big-boned," blonde hair a tribute to chemical abuse. Sour expression all the time. Looks at customers as if they were interruptions in her otherwise unbreakable stream of semi-conscious self-loathing. Smiles with her lower lip only, like a constipated baby. Makes bitter remarks to customers she's seen hundreds of times, makes even more bitter remarks to co-workers, especially about the bathroom's general level of cleanliness. One answers her repeated remarks with "When was the last time you cleaned it?" to which Our Bitter Kvetch responds airily "It was several months ago and I can't do it anymore." She claims a bad back hampers her, but she readily agrees to walk every delivery to nearby locations, even those with several box-loads of cakes and donuts. Takes almost an hour to deliver 4 boxes two blocks away. Her excuse coming back was that the walk made her feel dizzy. Not ten minutes later, she aggressively badgers a co-worker out of walking a delivery of 8 bread loaves to a nearby café. The woman says she can be back in 10 minutes and the Bitter Kvetch says she can too. Comes back 77 minutes later, complains about the heat making her dizzy, then grabs her lunch (11:42 a.m.) and takes until 1:26 p.m. to eat it. Notices Me making notes and typing and asks if I'm working for her boss. Grunts when I reply that neither of Us is. Leaves at 4:06 and loudly proclaims she should get overtime pay for those 6 minutes. Three hours later, I happen to see her walking around the town plaza, still in her bakery uniform (neon-green T-shirt and jeans two sizes too small) and not a sign of dizziness in her step.
A man drives past a farmer holding a pig up to an apple tree so the porker can eat the fruit. The man stops and says to the farmer, "Why don't you knock the apples down for the pig to eat?" The farmer, puzzled, asks back: "What for?" The man says, "To save time!" The farmer thinks about it for a second, shakes his head and says, "What's time to a pig?"
I'm probably the farmer in this scenario, wasting My time with pigs. But I'm not the only one. We coddle these pigs, holding them up to give them an undeserved benefit they could get otherwise. We coddle these pigs by giving them permanent jobs they can't be fired from, no matter how useless they become. We coddle these pigs by letting Our tendency of "Ay bendito" tolerance let them get away with behavior and inactions We should never tolerate. And before you go off on Me about the abusive bosses and supervisors who seed terror in their employees, ask yourself this: What do We have more of? Slackers at every level outnumber the abusers by an ample margin.
Yes, I also know the blame for holding these particular pigs up (and there are men who fit this category, only not mentioned in this post) belongs to the bakery's owner, who compounds his mistake by having his 4.6-on-the-Richter-scale herd of a daughter on the payroll as "Assistant Manager," a girth, uh, girl, so besotted with herself she thinks she's (a) attractive and (b) thus entitled to getting away with her whims. She doesn't pull her weight (if she could, she'd OWN several bakeries by now) and that spreads to the other employees.
Maybe six hours in this bakery was four too many. Time sharpened by boredom has a way of exacerbating My sarcasm and overall tendency to make fun of stupidity. But when there's so much stupidity to mock, there comes a point where even than gets dull. But for the next few weeks, when I watch employees going about their zombie ways, I'll remember the bakery, until some other place and time give Me another angle and level of pigs being held up to apples.
The Jenius Has Spoken.