Last week I was at work at my coffee shop. It was Friday (Hooray!). Paycheck Friday, no less (hip-hip!). Except our paychecks were late. Bummer. So in between serving double-shot cappuccinos and blueberry muffins I was fielding calls from several of my fellow employees who were eager to pay their rent and other bills, but were hampered by their lack of being paid.
Finally our checks arrived, delivered by our friendly FedEx guy. There was much rejoicing, and I don’t think anyone had any serious financial trouble because of the lateness. While he waited for my manager to sign some papers, I chatted with him. That’s what I do all day – I chat with people while they wait. So we talked a bit. He asked if I was in college studying, and I said no, I’m all graduated. He asked my degree – I told him Illustration, but to earn steady money I need another job. He said he was interested in art too – was thinking of setting up a studio in his basement. I thought – cool! Our FedEx guy is developing his other interests. He introduced himself. We’ll call him Bob.* Then he got what he was waiting for – signature or something – and went back to his truck. I went back to serving coffee, and thought no more of it.
Awhile later, maybe an hour, my coworker anwered the phone. Hm. It’s for you Anna. Now this particular coworker just started working at my coffee shop, and so doesn’t know how rare an occurance this was. I never, I mean NEVER get calls at work. I never give out my work number, and even Brian has never called me at work. It says right in the employee handbook not to take personal calls at work. Besides, it’s disorienting to receive a phone call if I’m busy serving lattes. So I was kinda’ taken aback. And a little worried – who could be calling unless it’s some emergency?
I picked up the phone with apprehension, “Hello?”
“Hi, Anna? This is Bob. You know, the FedEx delivery guy? We talked a bit.”
“Yeah…well, I was wondering…are you doing anything tonight?”
Now, I was not expecting this at all. A little naive of me, perhaps. Thinking back, I should have been on my guard as soon as he asked me about college. But I thought he was just one of those people that is just interested in what goes on in their barista’s life, and just passing the time while he waited. You know. Naive or no, this question was the last thing I was expecting.
I was here faced with the problem of how to let him down easy. All kinds of things flashed through my mind. Why didn’t he check my hand? Hello! I wear a ring! With a diamond! He seems like a nice guy, and even though I just met him, he’s probably just trying to find someone to hang out with on a Friday night. Right – it’s Friday night. What can I tell him?
So there was a rather long pause while my mind raced, trying to find a delicate excuse.
I blurted out, “Well, I might do something with my husband.”
Very delicate Anna.
“Oh,” he says. “I didn’t realize you’re married.”
“Yeah…” I say rather lamely. What else could I say?
There was a pretty awkward pause, as each of us tries to think of some way to end the conversation without rudely hanging up.
“Well, I would still like to hang out sometime and see some of your artwork,” he says. He’s trying to show that his interest in me is more about our common interest. That’s sweet, whether it’s true or not. Like saying, “Can we still be friends?”
“Yeah! Sure!” I say. I’m dying inside – O, the horrid, agonizing awkwardness. This has gotta’ end.
“Alright then – bye!”
I later told my manager what had happened. She thought it was hilarious. I also told my coworker, and sternly warned him to PLEASE! check the girl’s hand before you ask her out!
We all know FedEx to be the provider of fast deliveries, friendly service, and a cool logo. (See the arrow? Cool, huh?)
What few know of is their secondary service as an unofficial provider of coffee-shop romances.
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Anna’s Nest is the craft and tutorial website for me, Anna Warren. It’s also where I keep my blog. Enjoy!