Anyone who works with the general public has one or two not-so-secret admirers. And it's not a great thing.
There are people who come in a lot--those are just regulars. There is one guy who comes in every day and has me clean his glasses because that is a free service that we offer. At first it bugged me a lot. I'm not sure why it would bug me, it is a free service that we offer. But then I just realized that stopping by and visiting and getting his glasses shined up and taken care of has just become a part of his routine. I don't mind being a teensy weensy part of someone's daily routine. Even if I don't know him aside from our respective sides of the counter, he notices when I'm gone. That's nice.
Then you have the regulars who only come in when they need to but they seem to need to come in all of the time. I like those ones, too. Like the little boy who knows me by name and brings in his new toys for me to see, even when he doesn't need me to straighten out his frames. His mom and I are nearly on friend-level and I'm thinking about buying Avon from her. This is living in a small town. This is delightful. This is getting to know your neighbors and truly one of my favorite parts of my job.
And then there is a particular man who will dash in every time that he sees that I am working and pretends like there's something that he needs. That's what I don't so much care for. It's gotten to the point where when I see him in the store, I busy myself in the lab. I will go complete Helen Keller if Travis is working with me, simply to avoid talking with this fellow who still shouts things at me even though I'm fumbling around like an idiot lost in a corner. I'm not really deaf or blind and so I drew a picture of him so that you can have an idea of what I'm dealing with.
And he's absolutely polite. At least he's trying to be polite. The way that he talks to me is actually quite offensive but I can tell that he has no idea. He's trying to be a gentleman by calling me "Sweety," "Hon," "Sugar," "Darling," "Muffin". Muffin--you guys. Muff.In. Can you see the eyes I'm giving you?
No one calls me those things except for Justin. And that's pretty much only at work. And I only allow it because I like to think that it confuses people a little bit (it really doesn't). And to keep new girls from having much of a crush on him like I did when I first started. Have I ever told you about the first time that Justin Powers ever spoke to me?*
Every time this guy walks past, he stops in and acts like he needs help picking out lens cleaner--even though I know that he does not need help picking out lens cleaner because two days ago he was in and bought $15 worth of the stuff in an effort to impress me. Also he drives a Chevy Blazer. He spends a lot of his time sleeping or watching television in the dark. I am not projecting--I'm reporting. I do not know what he does for a living, as far as I can tell, he is always just waking up.
"Is that all for you? Six bottles of lens cleaner?"
"Yes, Sweety, that's all I need. How are you, honey?"
"I am well. Your total is irrelevant."
"Thank you, Sugar. You're a doll."
"It sure is nice out there, Darlin. What are you doing after work?"
"Would you like a bag for that?"
"Oh, you are just so sweet. Did you know that?"
"I'll get you a bag."
This last time, after he thanked and complimented and referred to me as a myriad of sweets a thousand times over, we had this exact conversation:
"I'll bet your boyfriend doesn't talk to you as nice as I do, huh, Sweety?" Clearly he is doing the 'so, do you have a boyfriend?' thing that he usually does but I deflect because I am in no way interested in sharing anything even remotely personal with this fellow--but I indulged him this time because I was a teensy bit enraged.
"Well, he calls me by name. Because I have one."
"Beautiful name, too, Honey. Hey, what's your last name? Are you on Facebook?"
And then, by the grace of God, an old lady came in and needed all of my attention which I was more than happy to lavish upon her in gratitude.
Help me to identify what it is about someone who is trying to be nice to me that makes it so unsettling and icky feeling. I like to give people the benefit of their motivation and I do think that he's trying to be polite--so why do I feel the need to shower my soul after he comes in?
*I had been working at our mutual place of employment for several days
and noticed him on day one because, let's face it, Justin is a really
cute guy. I was new, so I didn't ever have anyone to sit with in the
break room and when I was on lunch, one day, he was having lunch with
some other people sitting at a table directly across from me. So, he's
laughing and carrying on and I'm a little bit smitten with him and
texting my friend, Sarah, about how cute and funny Justin is when he stops
what he's doing, looks at me from ten feet away and says, "Hey, are you
texting about me?" And I'm totally shocked, and I put my phone down and
say, "Uh... no?"
Now, Justin is one of my closest friends and
certainly on the list of Favorite People in My World. Also, I don't have
a real crush on him anymore even though he has offered to, should the
need ever arise suddenly, impregnate me.