Saturday, October 13, 2012

Faceless (A disjointed ramble on being a food-service drone)

Before my actual post, let me briefly offer some vague, half-sincere apology about not writing in so long. I keep thinking I should post something, but then I lose motivation, or don't have time, or don't have anything to say worth posting, dubious though that distinction clearly is with me.

But on to this blog!

So today at this meeting I had for work, we got informed that there are some changes to the uniform; we now have to wear aprons, tuck our shirts in, wear a plain, solid colored belt, and if we wear black jeans, they have to be solid colored, with no fading or wearing anywhere. Our area rep commented to my manager during his last inspection that we were looking a little "sloppy" right after commending us on almost everything else. This was because we are allowed to wear black jeans and colorful, exciting belts if we so desire, and that day I wore capris and boots. When I got hired on, I was told I could no longer wear my nose ring (I can get away with the stud, but the ring is too extreme or something), my watch, my bracelets/wristband, any visible necklaces, and anything but studs in my ears. I also have to have a natural hair color, solid, dark shoes, constantly wear my work shirt and hat, and not paint my nails.

Yes, my fingernails cannot be painted pretty colors.

I realize that that isn't that bad as far as uniform requirements. It's actually not that much worse than my dresscode in high school, but the thing about the dresscode in school was that I was free to wear anything I wanted within the parameters. It's a genuine struggle for me to conform to the boring uniforms, and I have to try very hard not to look as individual as I typically do.

Let me give you guys some point of reference...

That's me in real life, more or less (my hair is actually black at the moment). I don't take issue with looking professional and making it clear where I work, especially since I'm often out of the store on deliveries and such. What I take issue with is the evil implications behind this stupid rule. Because the subtext of what my place of employment is doing is that I am not an individual. I am a food drone here to serve you.

The purpose of a uniform in food service is to make you, the customer, forget that I am a person, with my own life, my own problems and priorities, my own style, my own views, and they have nothing to do with you. It's more convenient and it's quicker is we forget that we are interacting with people and simply treat them as a function. I do the same thing. My customers are largely irrelevant to me, just as I am irrelevant to them. When I flash you a sunny smile and ask how your day is going, I couldn't actually care less, and if you don't tip me, my coworkers will hear all about what a fat trollop I thought you were. Your function, faceless customer, is to provide me with income, and my function is to provide you with food.

Actually, one time, I delivered to one of my coworker's houses right before she started working with me, and  the day I met her officially, she told me that I delivered to her before. I just stared blankly, having absolutely no memory of her until she reminded me that I got lost and her little sister walked around the corner to assist me.

I'd love to be able to give a fuzzy moral for this story, or to challenge you to remember that everyone is the hero of their own story, but that would likely just end with me telling you to tip, for the love of god, so I won't do that. Everyone is their own main character, but we are such egocentric creatures, we forget that not everyone is living our story.

Maybe someday I'll come back to this topic and write something clearer and better on it, because there's really so much more I wanted to say, but everything is coming out misshapen and cloudy, so I shall simply leave this monstrosity as it is and go about my day.

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