Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Now you see them...

While I'm a fan of change, and I think my itchy feet and wanderlust and lack of money are the root cause of all my issues lately, I've been thinking about routine lately. Or, more accurately, I've been thinking of people who are part of my routine.

When I lived in Northern Civilization, I drove to work the same way ever day, and at about the same time. I usually was put together but sometimes I put lipstick on at a stop light. But there was a guy I saw every day who always was shaving at the stop light. It got to the point where we would wave at each other every day because we followed each other down the road. We weren't neighbors (though we could've lives near each other but in a spread out city it's to tell) but as I pulled onto the main road it was usually behind or in front of him. It was an especially busy road and if I timed it right, he would stop and allow me to pull in front of him, if it would work out. We always waved. If it was "have the car window down" weather, we'd say "TGIF" or "have a good one" or "nice weather." When I moved, I always wondered what happened to him & I wondered if he thought about me and my whereabouts.

Even then I had a Starbucks I went to all the time and in a city of 1/2 million people, the baristas knew my face to make me my "usual." And I go to that one when I got to N.Civ., since it's my favorite one and if the right people are working, they still remember even though it's 7 years later. Now, how awesome is that?

I go into the Speedway gas station almost every morning for coffee (since there's no Starbucks in my town--- though--- the Starbucks that's 25 minutes from my house have several baristas who know me not only by my drink and pastry order but by NAME as well!!!! *ahem* !) and the same girls are working. I know their names and they know mine. They ask how school's going, I ask about their kids. They tease me about having Fridays off and I joke with them about their pizza perks. They notice when I get a new haircut and vice versa. One of the girl's is going to have a baby and another's kid had chicken pox. They even ask if I've been okay if I haven't come in for a few days. It's really nice to see those familiar faces.

Not only do I see the same employees on the same shift, I see the same customers; I'm in the early group so I see the truck drivers fueling up delivery vehicles, nurses, whomever. We're the "have to be at work by 8am" group. I see teachers from other schools. I see the people who are getting off of 3rd shift. I see the grandma who takes her grandson to pre-school on Tuesdays so he gets a Krispy Kreme from the big glass case as a special treat on those days.

There's a small coffee shop in town and I can go in and they know my name and my drink. Several cashiers at Wally World know me (I'm ashamed to admit that). I can call the bank and two of the tellers recognize my voice. I even have become friends with a woman who used to work the early AM shift at McDonald's and she got a new job but we liked each other so much we stay in touch! And there are several restaurants in town who recognize me and can ask if I "want the usual"! My Pizza Hut delivery guy says hi to me when he sees me in public, and asks how my dad and son are!! (I think that means I have PH delivered waaaaaaaaaaay to often!) I won't even mention how personally acquainted I've become with people at the video store and the public library!

So, while I give living in a small town a rough time, and I clamour about the boredom of a routine, there's something nice to be said about seeing the same friendly faces over and over again.


1 comment:

Jimmie Earl said...

It is comforting to have people you know around you. I marvel that I can go to Bob Evans or the Pizza Hut and not know a soul. Maybe I need to get out more.
My bro in TX says that they have lived there 30 years, and never see anyone they know when they go shopping, or out to eat. it's such a big place. The Pharmacy Tech at his local Walgreen's does call him by name though. LOL!
I think it's neat that the Starbucks baristas know you by sight and know what you like. That's so cool.