I have terrible workplace grievances. They are mainly linked to one middle aged woman, who will henceforth be known as The Biggest Bitch in the Whole Wide World. She has developed a most passionate dislike for me, and has stopped even the most basic of courtesies. I’m not attempting to do the two kisses or anything wild like that now, but she no longer even responds when I ask her a question. What have I done to her? The best I can come up with is the day I said yes to her when I didn’t mean yes. I meant, I am not entirely sure what you just said Alice, but I am willing to make a stab at it. I stabbed the wrong thing apparently. However, crucially, I did not stab HER, which I now regret, as she is certainly acting as if I did. “How is your sore foot today Alice?” No response. “How about now, BITCH?” (Bloodied dagger in hand). Not shaking the whipped cream before using it apparently amounts to social suicide in our beloved crêperie. I may be imagining it, but relations have seemed stonier with my other colleagues too. I spend most of my shifts trying to work out how I have insulted them. I never get any answers, but I can only imagine that it is linked to the ongoing errors. Which are copious. I may be a little late on the uptake, but I just discovered that Manuel -or the actor who played him in Fawlty Towers -died exactly a year to the day of when I was blogging about him, so I am afraid to make any more comparisons between myself and fictional characters. (I’ve just realised that going by a recent post, Mel Gibson better watch himself…) But such is life. And death.
My relations with the clients however continue to be good. Although I still panic when people try to make small talk with me. I try to convey good manners with eye movements and smiling brightly, while mutely communicating with the same expression “PLEASE STOP TALKING TO ME OR I WILL BE OUSTED!!” Children are the worst -I am actually afraid of them, because I know that they will not understand that I do not speak their language. They also talk very loudly, and loud conversations are the very last thing I want, in the quiet crêperie, for all to judge. So we’re still on smiling and nodding. But there is much more French happening without my noticing it, and I actually feel weird talking in English to people in the crêperie. In fact, that brings me on to another topic -a pickle, that I may or may not have gotten myself into.
Last Friday night, I joined a group that I met through an app on the internet called MeetUp. It’s a great app, and you pick the kinds of things that interest you in your area, and hopefully meet other like minded people. So when I stumbled upon a group in the city called the Have Funners, this sounded like a crowd I wanted to get in with. With some difficulty, I found them at the Christmas markets, and truth be told, it was a roaring success. I met some really great, interesting people, and five of us ended up in the pub together, having a fine old time discussing the links between language and personality. It was fabulous to talk confidently in English and remember that I do in fact have a personality. I love them all and I hope to meet up with them again. But not in a gay way. However, the other morning, I got a notification from the group organiser indicating that he had pressed the ‘good to meet you’ button on the app. I went to press the ‘good to meet you too’ button, and discovered there were many more buttons there for the pressing. These other buttons were inviting me to tell the other people I had met that it was good to meet them, with the simple press of a button. Now being new to the app and unsure of its social protocols, I thought I had better give an old ‘good to meet you’ to everyone I had encountered that evening -especially if it was going to be public news that I had thought it was good to meet some people and not others. However, it has since occurred to me that this is not the done thing, and my intentions may have been misconstrued. Which may or may not have led to a few of them calling in on separate occasions to the crêperie, just for the chats. This may seem like a nice friendly thing to do, but on the first such occasion I got all flustered by several factors. 1. Having a visitor. 2. Not remembering his name. 3. Having loads of customers arrive at that very moment when I was supposed to be manning the bar on my own. And 4. Having to speak in English where I normally speak in French. It felt WEIRD. So perhaps I have accidentally flirted with half the MeetUp group, but in my defense I said it was ‘good to meet’ the women as well! However, none of them have showed up in my place of work. All I can think is thanks be to God the ‘single’ sign wasn’t still up!!!!