A matinee. We’re classy like that.
There was a girl taking money and handing out tickets. A retired couple tried to pay her in Sacagawea dollar coins because that’s what old people do. The movie theater girl said, “We don’t take that kind of money.”
The woman was offended. “This is American money,” she protested. “You have to take it.”
The movie theater girl said, “Nope, we only take dimes and quarters.”
So the husband chimed in and said, “What about pennies? Do you take pennies?”
The girl said, “Oh yeah, we take pennies. But not that kind of money.”
Bam. Ken and I rolled.
While we totally empathized with the old folks, it was very funny to witness an actual failure to communicate.
Those poor old people. They shook their heads. The kid rolled her eyes right back. Youth and old age. Like oil and water. I thought, must be tough being on either end of the generation spectrum.
But goddamn it was so funny.
Except it’s not funny when it happens to me.
I went to the pet store, yesterday, and asked the girl behind the counter to double bag my cat food.
You know what she did? She handed me two bags.
I am not a Harvard-trained linguist, but two bags isn’t the same as double bag.
Fine, whatever. I blew it off. I don’t bring my whole self to conferences. Maybe this chick didn’t bring her whole self to work. At the pet store. For $8.25/hr. I can’t blame her.
But then I went to Cookout (mmmmm) and ordered a shake with M&Ms and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
The young woman asked, “You want that together?”
I ordered a shake. Singular. With mixins’. Do I want it together? As opposed to what? Separate? With the ice cream in one cup and the candy in another? Or with separate and distinct layers of M&Ms and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups?
Just mix that shit up and give me a spoon, please.
So here I am… the shoe is on the other foot… and I need to stop laughing at old people. As a responsible Human Resources professional, I want to smack the shit out of the parents and teachers who raise such dumb and slow-witted kids. There are immigrants who pay thousands of dollars to smuggle themselves into America — and they die in the desert or on container vessels on the waters of the Pacific Ocean — for the privilege of serving me a shake or working at a pet store and double-bagging my cat food.
These girls? Couldn’t give two rips about a job. They show up physically. Not mentally.
Bill and Melinda Gates can pour their entire fortune into America’s schools. That’s great. Unfortunately, it’s too late for these girls who were told that it was okay to be so stupid and fail so miserably at life.
What happens to them?
Where do they work?
How do they contribute?
How do they save for retirement?
How do they make change for a dollar?
And what do we do with them when they’re (eventually) too stupid to work at any job?
I need some answers, please.