Is it just me, or are some of us just blessed with unexhausted-looking-faces? Un-anything-looking-faces? What was God thinking? Is it a product of the fall? Really! Humor me. I usually appear pretty alert. This is unfortunate. Pity me . . . boohoo. This means, when I’m too exhausted to be the preppy, “bubbly introvert” of a barista I’m supposed to be, all the customers and my coworkers see is a bitter barista’s—excuse my language—bitch-face.
A coworker today bemoaned how exhausted she was and then asked if she look it. “Well, no, I mean, you look a little out of it, but not a train wreck. You don’t look how you’re describing the way you feel.” I wanted to ask her the same question of myself.
I’m EXHAUSTED. But I knew the answer. I simply have a complexion that hides a multitude of sins. Occasionally people will notice that I’m depressed as fuck or exhausted or strung out on meds, but not usually. But take my word for it. I’m EXHAUSTED. I’m foggy. I’m confused. I’m slow. I’m blurred out on Abilify and Lithium, and a few others at inconsequential doses. Nothing wakes me up. Even the sting of getting a tattoo wasn’t enough to jolt me out of my viscous state.
I have worked up until the day before being admitted for hospitalization. Smiling. Pouring hearts on cappuccinos and wannabe rosettas on lattes. Ringing up orders with spring and positivity and patience. And I skip my merry way off to the hospital less than twenty-four hours later. I am a fantastic liar. But completely by accident. My demeanor on auto-pilot is somewhere between seriousness and welcoming while at work. But it is never one to elicit concern. I smile, I laugh, I joke with the customers. At home I remain neutral. At school, serious. With friends, I mirror them.
It is so confusing. I don’t want to be a puppet or a liar or a fake. But, depressed or exhausted or anxious as I may be, it is not appropriate to show up to work and not try to pretend to care for the customers. And what makes them feel cared for? Prompt service, excellent product, a smile.