I've been in the service industry. I hated it. But I knew how to do it. I knew how to answer questions like:
"Oh, you know—Cook! Read! Go to the movies with friends!"
"Watch obscure sci-fi series, experiment with absinthe and have breath-holding contests."
I don't have to make small talk any more. Now I get to have conversations like this: "What's the word I'm thinking of? I think it starts with a k or maybe a c and might end with tion. It means like... to have reservations to the point of obsession or like... be concerned too much." (The word was "preoccupied.")
I went to a regular happy hour spot this evening with a portion of the same old people I always go there with. I was harping on with Kady and L about bringing my dog to work and what other job would I ever be able to bring my dog to work? And the server—an attractive woman in her early 50s—came to refill our waters and Kady—being that she's in the custom of thinking that everyone is in on the conversation/joke going on inside her head—jokes aloud, "She's a dog-sitter!" Because of course the woman had—according to Kady's brain—heard me say, "I get to bring my dog to work."
"Are you really?" the woman asks, gently amused.
"No!" Kady laughs garishly.
"Oh, cuz I used to have a a dog-sitting business," says the woman whose career has just been the butt of Kady's joke.
|Dog foot in mouth. But, wait... it gets worse.|
"No," I said. "I just started a new job and I get to bring my dog to the office."
"Oh that's great," the woman said.
"It is!" I said. "Why don't you bring your dog to work?" I asked HILARIOUSLY since she works in a finer dining establishment.
And what was the woman's reply?
"Oh, that would be silly. This is a restaurant!"?
"I do. She's right here. You don't see my dog? That's cuz she's invisible!"?
The woman said, "She's dead."
And this is a perfectly good example of how not to answer a fake question. "Why isn't your dog here?" was not a real question. The same way, "This is your mother!? I thought it was your sister!" is not a real compliment. The same way, "What's a girl like you doing alone in a place like this?" is not an invitation to launch into a monologue about past failed relationships and massive character deficiencies.
What's that word I'm looking for? It starts with like an a and it's sort of like a vulgar name for a part of human anatomy and it's what everyone felt like?