Working in a bookstore has a lot of perks, one of which is encountering people from all over the globe (I work in a tourist-heavy area). I don’t mind chatting for a minute or two with customers. A few people, however, take it too far. I’m a bookshop worker, people, not a rent-a-friend.
–Oh, you were part of the young beat movement? Cool. You had connections with Ginsberg and Kerouac? Awesome. That does not give you permission to sit behind the counter with me. You seem to really hate hippies. Oh, and you think people today are clueless and act like robots. Thanks.
–You promote Buddhism? Cool. You want to leave me your card? Fine. You want to chit chat for another 10 minutes while I passively listen? Oh, jeez.
–The locals here make you laugh, eh, because they think it’s cold when it’s 65ºF out? Not you? You moved here from Chicago and are obviously superior for that. I mean, you only wear closed-toe shoes five days a year. Then tell me, why are you wearing a coat?
–I’m a tough nut to crack? Usually people laugh at that joke? You just told it to me lit’rally two days ago. And now you want to complain about young people and their phones.
You, my reader, would be surprised at how many people say things to me that I could quite conceivably be offended by. One obvious topic would be complaints about young people. Hello! I’m young. Or, at least, I look young.
My problem, or what I’ve been conditioned to do, is humor people, nod along, and assume they’ll be gone soon. Unfortunately, some people really linger. I’m going to have to re-evaluate my tactics.