You Can Sweat The Big Stuff

, , , , , | Right | October 4, 2020

I work at a fairly casual restaurant where it is mandatory for everyone to wear masks during the health crisis. It is about ninety degrees Fahrenheit today, which is really hot for where I live. I’m at the end of a long shift, so I am sweating and my face is very red.

I am standing next to an older man who is probably around sixty. He is not wearing a mask. I am a fourteen-year-old girl, which only makes the story creepier. 

The customer looks like he is about to leave.

Me: “Have a good afternoon!”

Customer: “You, too.”

He looks up at me.

Customer: “Wait, where are the napkins?”

It’s a fairly regular question, so I don’t really wonder why he asks despite the fact that he’s about to leave.

Me: “Right behind you, sir.”

He grabs a napkin and then quickly steps forwards and tries to wipe my forehead with the napkin. I instinctively step back.

Customer: *laughing* “Wow, you are beet red! I’m just trying to get some of the sweat off your face.”

He puts his arm on my shoulder and I keep inching backward.

Customer: “Wow, I feel bad for you; you have to spend all day in this heat with a mask on! No wonder you look so red.”

I am still stepping back as his hand is still on my shoulder.

Me: “Heh. Uh, yeah, I guess.”

Customer: “And yesterday must have been much worse; it was so hot you must have been dying!”

Me: “I didn’t work yesterday.”

Customer: “Wow, that’s lucky. Have a good afternoon.”

By this time, somehow we had walked down a hallway just from my inching back. I have no idea why he thought that touching someone’s face with no warning would be okay, especially during the middle of a rapidly spreading health crisis! I spent the rest of my shift being extremely self-conscious of my face.

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