So, I have a blog post in the works* that will discuss my interest in the mundane. It’s called “On Interest in the Mundane”.** For whatever reason, I’m fascinated with the stuff: every day, routine, “boring”***, matter of fact, no big deal stuff. All of our lives are consumed with it: get gas, pay the bills, buy stamps, vacuum the house, brush your teeth. The music is outside of that realm, because it’s a creative process, and even if we are repeating the same task over and over, or playing the same song every day, it’s the first time we’re doing it that time, and for whatever reason, it’s easy to know that when it’s music.
*In this particular case, “in the works” means that I have a note to write it, but have not even started.
**How about that?
***Though, only boring people get bored, right?
I won’t go into full analysis here, because I really want to just tell a quick story from work today. It’s a little embarrassing, but that’s what makes it funny, right? You see work is fairly mundane, too, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy it. In fact, my particular job has become such a hodge podge of mundanity, that it’s no longer truly mundane.
Lately, though, I’ve been doing a lot of the same task over and over, so I keep it interesting by playing with language, and attempts at humor. Tonight was no exception. I was standing in the customer service booth, where we take returns and a woman approached. She had a kind face, so I thought that I was okay to play around, especially when she said this:
“Hi. I’d like to return this cat food. I tried it and it’s just not good.”
I saw my opportunity and responded, “Um… You know it’s for cats right?”
And then there was a ten second awkward silence. For a moment, I considered the possibility that she had actually eaten it. I didn’t think that was possible, really, but it seemed clear that I was making a joke. One of my co-workers laughed a little.
She finally said, “what?”
“Oh. Never mind. I was just making a joke.”
“Oh! I’m so glad you made a joke…”
[Hmm. Where is this going?]
“…My cat through up all over my house! Which is fine. As long as I don’t have company over. Or walk barefoot. I just have to have all the carpets cleaned before my next dinner party.”
I was, indeed, blushing a little. The simple act of writing a credit was no longer mundane, thought. That’s for sure.
Happily, I had a chance to rectify the situation later. She came to my line while I was cashiering and I apologized for being insensitive.
“No! You weren’t insensitive. I just didn’t get it. I’m just preoccupied. I’m thinking about my patients. I’ve had a long day, and you know, patients come first. You know? It’s all about the patients.”
“Well, just as long as you don’t prescribe that cat food for them!”
You can imagine how that went over. And now I’m realizing–I hope she’s a vet or something…