Welcome to today's lesson on the the five senses.
Touch, sight, hearing, taste, and smell.
If something is hot or painful, you can choose not to touch it (unless you are tied up, but we'll ignore torture...for the moment). If something is ugly or frightening, you can close your eyes or look away (...but that doesn't mean it's not there). If you don't like what some one's saying, you can put your fingers in your ears and begin a litany of "lalala". And taste? Why, do what we tell toddlers every day: Don't put that in your mouth!
While smell may seem simple as well, events of yesterday have proven otherwise. See, there is a polite way and an impolite way to defend against each offense; like with hearing. I simple wear noise cancelling headphones to avoid vapid conversation* such as:
"Oh HELL no! She did not just wear that! She's black! B**** can't f***in' wear no booty shorts like no white girl!"
"She ain't GOT no booty!"
"Well black girl gotta have booty or she no f***in' black girl!"
Problem with smell is, the most you can do is breathe through your mouth...but what then when your mouth tastes bad?
The man who got on the city bus must be the smartest guy in the world--there's nothing like securing your personal space than body odor that would drive a mother polar bear to offer her young to a wandering seal shaman on a floating iceberg if he would cut off her nose.
At work, there's a man who comes in the evening and sits in a corner table, just gets himself a small soda cup, and camps for hours. The story goes that he's killed someone. Why? Because that's what he tells someone here about once a week. And who are we to argue with a murderer? Exactly. Also, after he uses the bathroom, the idea is to check it. If you do, you will get the reward of discovering a couple little liquor bottles. Empty because he has emptied them into his cup of soda.
Unfortunately, I've never had lobby at the right time to *discover* these treasures.
Friend of Bum1 comes in, we'll call him Bum2. Bum2 stinks. He stinks so badly that after about 10 minutes, the smell has wafted over to and behind the counter and sits there as a stagnant swamp miasma. Bum2 orders some burritos for himself and Bum1. He asks me to grill them AFTER he has paid. And, well, the computer doesn't let me do a side order of grilled by itself. You have to do it TO something, and we do charge for it. (don't ask me why. the only reasons I can think of include words like corporate conspiracy and racket) Then he wants a water cup.
We go ahead and grill them anyway, and I'm to tell him that next time, he has to tell us before or no-go. Like that's going to happen. Then, while we're making his food, he disappears into the men's commode.
CoWorker: You know he's going in there to take a shower.
Me: Why did you tell me that....
I notice that his water cup has something other than clear liquid in it, so it adds to the speech I have to give when he comes out. I tell him all this, and he pretends to listen while I pretend to believe him when he says he won't do it again.
What is surprising to me is that the smell has gotten worse. I don't know if the water somehow released some sort of pent-up....something....or what. What I will say is that it was difficult not to lose my dinner, especially as I had to hold it together for another 2.5 HOURS.
And you can't perform good customer service while pinching your nose.
The final point of this is that I do understand how difficult it can be for the homeless or those of limited means to find regular access to bathing facilities (other than our restroom), but:
: even for paying guests, 2 1/2 hours is excessive
: my normal guests don't leave chunks of food ground into the floor and liberally smearing the table where they are sitting.
I'll take a drunk murderer over a skeevy slob any day.
*This is real. I am so not making this up. It was hilarious!