Working the Street – 11 August 2014

Posted: August 11, 2014 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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11 August 2014

“Good morning, Dennis.”

“Good morning, Chuck, how was your weekend?”

“It was quiet. I went down Saturday, panned for a few hours, made forty bucks. When I got to McDonald’s, my friends were out front having a cigarette. I sat and talked with them for a while, bought some groceries, then came home.  That was about it.”

“Did you go to the Food Court?”

“No, it wasn’t open. If it’s not open you’re not allowed to sit in the chairs. It’s not so bad for me, but it must be inconvenient for the people who work in the mall. They’re also trying to keep the teenagers out. I don’t blame them, they make such a mess. They don’t put trays away, they drop food on the floor. They don’t care, leave it for the old guys whose job it is to clean up.

“I remember one girl, who served behind the counter. She was really efficient. She probably did as much work in an hour as some of them did all day. The customers  liked her, she was always smiling. For some reason she and management didn’t hit it off. Maybe, because she liked to take a break every once in a while.  She deserved it, but they fired her.”

I said, “With a good work attitude and good customer relations, I’m sure she could get a better job than that.”

“Last time I saw her, she was working the street as a prostitute.

“Well, I told you about how I have to get my mail. I go out the back, around the building and come in through the front. I got a surprise this morning. I went to go out the back door and saw that the street was closed. I had no way to get to my regular bus stop. I had to go three blocks out of my way to another stop. It was my usual driver, he told me that the other route has changed until the construction has been finished. Nobody was told.

“He was also ten minutes late. He said that he likes to give people extra time, in case they’re late. That’s okay for people that are late, but for people, like me, who are there on time, it means a longer wait. They’ve also shortened the route at the other end, three blocks from here. I told him where I wanted to go. He said, ‘Just stay on the bus. I have to go that way before I turn around.’

“That was the last straw, it caused me to make a decision. You know how I’ve been debating with myself about getting an enclosed scooter?  Well now I have to.  It’s the only way I can have any quality of life at all.”

I said, “I wish you all the best with that. I have to go now. I’ll see you tomorrow, Chuck.”

“Bye, Dennis.”

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