Since I seem to be attracted to the world of retail shopping and customer service jobs, I had to think…How fake is my smile? Is it genuine? Is it escapism from conversation? Is it acceptance? What lies behind those pearly whites?
As I stood outside my porch to light up a tartar-inducing cigarette, it came to my mind that people hide behind their smiles. So what is the mystery behind my semi watt smile? What’s it all about? I hear compliments saying, “You have such a great smile,” or “you had braces huh?” What people don’t know is how much I have to strain to let that smile out. You literally have to pay me to do it. That’s exactly why I work in retail…I get paid to greet and service people regularly whether they deserve my kindness or not.
When a customer trots in; smile and greet. When a customer comes to the register; smile and ask how they are. When they finish the purchase; smile and thank them for coming in. I usually don’t have any hang ups about doing all that, but when I have to fake it for the not-so-friendly persons, I feel like I’m wasting good energy.
Yes, I’m not the first to say, but shoppers can be jerks. I know this is turning into a tirade on manners, but honestly, who raised some of the savages that come slumping into my work? Are they trained to view us blue collared workers as though we’re beneath them? Since, in their minds they believe that the few measly, crumpled, discolored dollars they lob on the counter is what’s putting food on my table. I don’t think so!
But alas, keep smiling Victor. You’ll need it if you’re going to save up for school. And that means dealing with the annoyance of public optimism. That is my mantra. As real or fake my grin may be, it always seem to remedy any issue and allow me to escape unscathed. How fake is your smile?