Watching The People Go By

This could either be the title of a really corny 1950’s film that I would LOVE …. or it could be another blog post that doesn’t make sense. Let’s probably go for the blog post option. As this is a blog post. And not a film. Because I have no theme music for this. I suppose you can add theme music to the page. Well, I know you can. Because I did on my old blogs. OK , get voting on a theme song readers! Wow, I have went way off point here…….

Working in retail, I get to people watch all the time. Believe it or not, I actually take things in underneath all the outward smut I show to the world. While you may think I am actually just lusting over a particularly hot guy who has just walked past, I am also watching him as a person…. not just a face. The same if it was an elderly lady, a teenager…. or an alien. I like to watch people. It gives you a good grasp on the way the world works. 

There are some gorgeous people in this world. Inside and outside. There are also some awful people. I’m not talking about the murderers/rapists and so on, although of course…. they are the worst. No, they really are. But this post is about …. well, i’m not sure. But not them anyway. 

Everybody has a bad day right? Some people have a bad week/month/ or even year. And it sucks. Let’s make no bones about it, when things don’t go your way, the world looks like a darker place. But we all just need to take a step back and smell the fucking roses once in a while. 

The situation I’m about to explain isn’t a great one, but it is my situation. So I will tell it. 

Last night, I got around three hours sleep. It always seems to happen when I have a delivery day the next morning. My mind just doesn’t shut off. I had been working so much in the last week or two that I was missing the kids, and on my only day off I went to London to see Jersey Boys because Jon Boydons hips are an instant pick me up and the kids were out on Saturday anyway so I didn’t feel bad about missing out on time with them. So last night I was feeling guilty in general I guess, and it’s not just working Mums, it is every Mum that gets struck with this guilt feeling every so often. Being a single Mum, I am constantly questioning whether I am doing things right. So yes, these thoughts kept me up, 

I awoke groggily to the sound of my piercing alarm at four. Four in the morning shouldn’t even be a time but it is my reality every Tuesday and Friday. I fell over while having a lightning quick shower and then I walked into the door, banging my knee hard. I went to drink my coffee , realising too late that I hadn’t actually boiled the kettle because I was so tired. I poked my mascara wand in my eye which is a bitching pain, then I whacked my head with my hairbrush as I tried to comb out the tangles of my frizz. 

As I left the house, it was raining. Which is fine. I like the rain. But it was cold, dark, raining and 5am. As I got halfway to work, I realised I had forgotten my purse which sucked as I needed to get some shopping on the way back. I stepped on two snails by accident and walked past a dead bird with its guts spilling out of its body. 

I got splashed by a lorry on the thirty minute walk and by the time I arrived at work at 5.50am, I had already had enough. At 6:10am we had a text from the manager who was delayed because of over running engineering works which was crap for him because he had delivery and promo in the same day, and it was shit for me and my workmate who were stuck outside in the rain for nearly an hour. As I said, I like the rain. But I don’t like waiting in it that early in the morning for a never ending amount of time. 

When we finally got in to the shop, we had to work our asses off to make up lost time. My hands and arms are cut to shreds from all the box tearing and shelving we had to do. The cages that are ten times bigger than me are hard to even open , let alone move…. and I was once told my a workmate who had worn a steppy thing during a delivery shift at work that we cover between 6-10 miles a shift. Which may seem easy enough but dudes, I walk a mile there and back and it’s 6am. 

The shop opens at half 8 and we were still madly putting things away. I was trying to put stuff away around the tills/front of shop and serve people at the same time. And I had just learnt I would be staying an extra two hours to help with the time we lost from this morning. 

I know you are all finding this fascinating, but there will be a point. 

Retail is very 50/50 . Some people are lovely. Some people are not. 

I had already lost my enthusiasm for the day by the time the shop had opened. But of course, I served people with a happy smile and a ‘have a nice day’ attitude. So why….. please tell me why…. some people…. choose to act like you just killed a bunch of puppies for merely having the cheek to serve them? 

One woman was so rude that she honestly had me a nervous wreck. If I can be nice to her despite wanting to go back to bed for a few days, surely she can just at least be ….. just…. mildly polite? She doesn’t have to be overly friendly. But a little less cold would have been great.

But all that didn’t matter. It didn’t matter that she merely grunted at me as I tried to pack her items away neatly in a bag that she had waved in my face. It didn’t matter that rather than handing me the money, she slung it on the counter, making some fall off the side and then moaning because I was time wasting in going to pick it up for her. It didn’t matter that as I beamed at her and told her to have brilliant day she looked at me like I was piece of shit. You know why? 

Because she might have been having a bad day herself right? She could have been having a day ten times worse than mine. She could have just lost a family member, she could have had her life savings stolen, she could have been having a mid-life crisis. She also might have been someone who volunteers her time at a charity. She may be someone who works twelve hour days just to make ends meet. She may have just saved a drowning cat. 

So many things to consider when facing another person. 

I meant it when I told her to have a nice day. Honestly. Because if her mood was any indication to go by, she wasn’t having a great one so far…. so she needed the parting comment. 

I just wish that she had maybe considered that I was having a bad day too. Because I think that at the moment, it is what is wrong with the world as a whole. We are so wrapped up in our own heads that we don’t give thought to other people anymore, and that is sad. I fully admit that I am not the most…. how shall we put it…… contactable friend??! I barely ever reply to a text message because I prefer to phone. Friends will send me messages three pages long on facebook and I will reply with a line when I remember. I’m shit at remembering birthdays even if I write them down and names…. I am so bad at remembering peoples names I have only met once. But I do care. I think about things. I wonder if you are all having a good day and so on and stuff and bits and bobs. 

Outwardly, I portray the ultimate smutty fangirl who has a brain that is wired a teeny bit differently from everybody elses. It’s understandable people would think that as today I told a fellow shop worker that the world needed more varieties of banana bread and I stand by that. I’m not sure she had the same views. Anyway…. I give that image to the world. But deep down, i’m PEOPLE WATCHING. I’m watching you all. Wow. Now I sound super scary. Watching you in a nice – non – creepy way obviously. Basically, what I am trying to say is…. I know you all have feelings because I see them. And I have feelings too. 

A few years back…. I had the worst of the worst days. My Dad was critically ill in hospital hundreds of miles away and I couldn’t visit him. We didn’t know if he would make it through the night. My sisters were both quite young at the time and they needed dinner, but we didn’t really have anything in the house so I had to go shopping. The thought of going shopping was horrific. I felt like every aisle I walked down was a never ending hell. I wanted to burst into tears with every step. But I didn’t. And when I got to the checkout, this sweet worker, probably a similar age to what I was then…… she smiled and told me I had a friendly face. For no reason at all. I had a sweet, friendly face according to her…. and then, at the end of the transaction, she didn’t just wish me a happy day. Oh no. She actually said…. 

“Have a wonderful life sweetie, you deserve it.”

How nice is that? That one comment on the darkest of all dark days has stayed with me ever since. Little did she realise just how much I needed her words. Or…. not even words. Just her smile was enough to lift my spirits that tiny teeny bit. 

What I have been trying to say this whole post is that your words, your actions, your gestures and your attitude in general will impact somebodies day. You may not think it will, but it does. Just a smile from somebody could make a person feel a whole load better about things. 

My work story really isn’t a good example. On a bigger scale, we have our NHS workers who work tirelessly to be treated with venom by some patients. We have police officers who get abuse day in, day out for just doing their jobs. We have workers who do a twelve hour shift picking up litter from the streets, all while singing a merry tune and greeting people with a cheery hello. We have midwives who work through the night , office workers meeting a deadline and dock yard workers out in all weather. I can’t list every job, but no matter who you are and what you are doing…. just remember that a smile and maybe if you have the time…. a kind word wouldn’t go amiss. 

The world can be a beautiful place even on the darkest and most miserable days, you just have to look for the sunshine. And sometimes….. you, yourself holds that sunshine. 

So with that, I’m just going to leave you some depressing pictures of what a 5am walk to work looks like in August. AUGUST!!  What the frick is it going to be like in December? BUT…. I still find remarkable beauty in these pictures. And no doubt I will find it in the cold months as well. Because I saw this new coat I wanted and it’s fucking awesome, so that will be a silver lining…… 



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Inventing the world that's passing by.

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