Month: September 2015

Conquistadors

At some point in the early 1500s, the Spanish government spent a ludicrous amount of money building ships and providing supplies in order for explorers to discover more of the New World. These rigorous trips across the Atlantic Ocean could take months, and success was far from a guarantee.

After mind-numbing, spirit-breaking days and nights aboard these ships, these conquistadors finally made landfall in a place we now know as Florida. They were greeted by hellish heat and humidity, relentless swarms of mosquitoes, poisonous snakes and massive alligators. Even the foliage was ruthless. These explorers had their legs sliced open by the serrated edges of the blades of sawgrass as they trudged through thick, murky swamps. It was hell on earth.

Many conquistadors died. Some got malaria from mosquitoes. Some suffered severe dehydration. Some were attacked by wild animals. However, at the end of the day, the general consensus amongst the conquistadors and the Spanish government was essentially, “Yup! This is perfect. Let’s set up shop here.”

While many will praise the conquistadors for their bravery and their perseverance, I think they were just fucking deranged.

I’m writing this passage in the second half of the year 2015. Over five hundred years have passed since my home state was discovered. As a species, we humans are exponentially more intelligent than we were back then. We know just about all there is to know about the geography and weather patterns of every square inch of this planet. Yet, here we are. People with poisoned brains are still voluntarily subjecting themselves to some of the most disgusting conditions that Mother Nature has to offer.

I strongly dislike Florida and I’d love to leave one day. I’ve never lived anywhere else, but it’s never felt like home. The heat, humidity and sunshine do to me what I assume the cold does for people that moved here of their own accord. The heat depresses me. It makes me bitter. It makes me sad. I live for cool, gloomy rainy days during the summer and our pitiful two-month excuse for a winter. Those are the times I feel the most alive.

I need to get my degree and get the hell out of here.

Pest

As a server, my duties consist of nothing more than giving my customers what they want and making sure they’re satisfied. This is exactly why most people go out to eat. They don’t want to cook, clean or provide service. They’re willing to pay a significant markup to avoid such chores. Therefore, it angers and confuses me when people treat me as if I’m inconveniencing them with my presence.

Countless times, I’ve greeted a table with a smile on my face, told them my name and asked if they’re ready for something to drink, only to be met by dead silence and a look that says “what the fuck do you want?”

“Hey, guys! How’s it going?”

“…”

“My name’s Cullen, I’ll be taking care of you today. Can I get you started with something to drink?”

“Beer.”

“Any kind in particular?”

“Draft beer. Cold.”

“Well, on draft, we have Bud, Bud Light, Miller Light, Amberbock, Shock Top, Yuengling, Sam Adams, Florida Avenue Ale, Stella and Landshark.”

“…”

“For bottled beer, we ha-”

“Stop. Just give me a Bud. Jesus.”

I’m always curious to know how these folks would prefer these interactions to play out. I really don’t think I’m being a pest. I’ve toyed around with the idea that they’re actually more advanced beings than myself, and are capable of telepathy. In this scenario, they’d prefer their server to take one brief look at them and instantly know their exact food and beverage order. Their bitterness would then be slightly more understandable, as I’m sure it’d be frustrating to possess a mind far more evolved than most, yet rarely be presented with the opportunity to utilize it.

Though it’d be nice to have such a cut-and-dry explanation for this behavior, I think the cold, hard truth is that some people are just assholes who look down on those in the service industry. For whatever reason, their disinterest in preparing their own food at home doesn’t outweigh the fact that they think they’re better than us. I often wonder if they’d still treat me like a voice-activated robot if they met me on the street, unaware of my line of work. I wonder if they ever think about the fact that I’m a person who’s lived a life and has stories to tell. A person who has goals. A person who could quite possibly teach them something interesting that they didn’t know before. A person with a blog.