1. If there is a bus, by the end I will know where they are from, where they are going and how much the old ladies intend to gamble while they are there.
2. If you are reading a book, I will probably find out what you are reading and get into a discussion on your favorite author in the span of ten seconds since we offer 90 second service and I can't waste time getting your sandwich.
3. If you have an accent in anyway NOT American, I will pounce. I'm an accent whore admitedly. I love to find out where people are from and I could listen to someone speak broken English all day. Those from Quebec tend to look very surprised when I get all bright eyed and say "Quebeqois oui?" Not that my french is good, but I love the Quebec accent. It's a personal favorite of mine.
All this leads into a story, I promise. A few days ago things were somewhat busy, so I was asked to take a few orders instead of the cleaning I had been doing at that moment. One of the last customers of that bunch approached with his companion (I'm assuming a wife). He was rather tan, and bald and looked somewhat familiar with his friendly looking laugh lines. Instantly I realized he was not American when he began to ask for a Mc Double. So of course, I in all my grand noseyness inquired..."Where is your accent from sir?" to which he grinned from ear to ear and said "you think I talk strange?" I apologized and stated that I adore accents and finding out where people are from and his companion stated that I must be a geography buff (she was more than likely American). So he asks me if I truely want to know where he is from and I say yes of course and he grins once more and says "guess".
And so the game began...hmmm....Korean? No. That can't be right. He sort of looks Asian but not Korean. Taiwann? No...I know the accent is one I'm not familiar with but the face...hmmm...the face. Where have I seen that before?
It's then that I realize he looked strikingly similar to a picture a professor of mine had of a Tibetan monk and so I blurt out "Tibet?"
He was all smiles and said "No, but I'm surprised at how close you are."
~ "So where exactly are you from then?"
~ "Nepal" says the man.
Nepal? I've never met anyone from Nepal before. And this one was truely a gem. A very kind soul I could tell right away. I stated he was the first I had met from there, but I do know where it is and showed my pearly whites. He smiles and excuses himself to get his drink at the beverage bar while I put his order together and take a few more orders that walked in at that moment.
I notice him speaking to his lady friend. I think nothing of it. People talk at the beverage bar all the time. My job is to get them warm food so they are happy and come back for more. He returns around the time I finish bagging his sandwiches and holds out his hand to me...
"Here, this is for you"
He pauses...I start to say we can not accept tips..."It's a symbol of good luck and prosperity. You'll be manager by tomorrow".
I'm stunned, and smile. No stranger has ever been this kind to me and although I realized I was not permitted to accept tips, could I graciously accept this kind man's well wishes? He opened his hand and placed a porcelein painted stone strung on a leather string in my hand, and all I could do was utter "awe....thank you. Thank you so much". This man wished me to progress within the company. How sweet of him. Little did he know my aspirations were a tad higher than french fry coordination, but I found myself accepting his little gift unsure of how to loosen it to place it around my neck and so I opted to wear it as a bracelet so I could finish orders before figuring out the clasp.
I did figure it out eventually. I placed it around my neck. It matches my uniform and so it looks like it belongs. I shared with a few co workers the story and we had a little laugh, but it was more of a "wow that man is so nice" kind of laugh.
The next night our manager was hungry and convinced us all to go to a 24 hour truck stop after we closed that night. As we sat around the table I shared the story of the man from Nepal. Then I realized it was after midnight. "Sorry, he was wrong" I said. We all had a good chuckle, though I still had my good luck charm on.
The next morning I awoke after not removing it, to a phone call. A job I had applied to had called and asked to interview me. It would double our income if I could go full time and even more if I maintained hours at Mc Donalds still. Sure I'd be working my life away, but for the moment I'm taking a semester off and need the extra money. Hmmm...perhaps this little bauble is lucky....
I went to that interview today. They offered me the job on the spot. I haven't decided if I'm taking it yet, but really wish I could see the man from Nepal to let him know his well wishes were very appreciated and apparently useful. Wherever you are sir, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. :)
Me and my good luck charm waiting to be interviewed.