Helping To Face The Music

| Working | August 19, 2013

(I’m a new worker in the kitchen of a very casual café. The owner allows us to listen to our own MP3 players via the sound system. Most of the kitchen staff prefers punk, rock or heavy metal. There are also two older immigrant men working as ‘helpers’ for everything from cleaning to prepping, whose German isn’t the best.)

Helper #1: *sheepishly* “Hello. Everything okay?”

Me: “Yeah, I’m alright.”

Helper #1: “Have a good day? No problems?”

Me: “No, I’m pretty much on time with all my tasks.”

Helper #1: “Uh…” *leaves*

(Half an hour later, the other helper sheepishly approaches me.)

Helper #2: “Hello! All okay? Are you happy? Nothing sad happening?”

Me: “Uh… no? I’m fine, thank you.”

(Both of them keep returning to ask me if I’m fine, but can’t seem to get across what they mean. At the end of my shift, my boss shows up.)

Boss: “Oh, I was asked by the helpers if you’re alright?”

Me: “They’ve been on about this the whole day. Is something wrong?”

Boss: “No, they just noticed you’ve been listening to a lot of sad songs and break-up lyrics. They thought your boyfriend dumped you and were worried since you worked alone today.”

(I thought it was the sweetest thing ever. I’ve since explained to the helpers that my music is randomly shuffled, and not an indicator of my feelings. We get along swimmingly now.)

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