The Diary of a Nobody/October 23

Read Free Fortnight continues!

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Tuesday, October 23
Started actually checking in guests today at Hotel C during the hour-and-a-half I was there…It’s not too hard, tho this hotel does not offer a complimentary breakfast because of the attached restaurant…We do, tho, offer a coupon for $8 that is worth $15 at the restaurant for your morning meal, but we don’t offer anything in the lobby except coffee.

One guy I checked in was a Greyhound bus driver who was enjoying a night off before pulling out in the morning…He was older and plainly had been driving a bus for many years because he was wearing his uniform suit, with tie, which you hardly ever seeIt looked liked it was made of wool, too, which means it’s really old because uniform suits nowadays are made of polyester…Anyway, I had handed him his room key and told him this and that and he asked:

When do the concubines show up???

Now, Heidi, a pretty lady about my age who was training me, merely laughed, but when you have as many Line of the Year candidates as I do, you can bet I had a good line ready…There wasn’t even the Classic Sparrow Pause (CSP)…It was immediate:

They are merely awaiting your orders, Sir.
He chuckled.
I’d just send them away…I’m old now.

At 2113 I’m standing at the service desk limbering up for the first closing page of the night when I hear Ed – Ed!!!!!! – start stumbling thru one his spiels…Good gravy, plot Ed and I on a graph and you got a perpendicular line…I wanted to smack him when I saw him a few minutes later but I don’t really want to smack Ed…He’s not in the best of health, perhaps because he eats a box of Ding Dongs every day, and I’ve overheard him talking to his wife on the phone and I don’t think poets are writing sonnets about their marriage, either…I did, however, make sure I made the remaining closing pages.

Altho Patty, of all things, made one after we were closed…I am not making that up…I was walking with her to close down Ed’s sporting goods register and she saw someone still in the store, probably Nicole, who works in Homelines and was heading out, and grabbed the phone when we got to sporting goods and started yapping about how everyone has to get out of the store right now or get taken out back for beatings…Good gravy, she was worse than Ed and I told her page had all the warmth of a warden reading a death warrant, which might well be a(nother) Line of the Year candidate and which really made her laff.

About halfway thru two Hispanic guys came up to send money…Usually when there are two guys one is there to translate for the other one (despite my Spanish) and that was the deal here…It went well until I asked for, in both English and Spanish, the state the recipient lived in…This is required so the system knows where to direct the transfer because while you can pick your money up at any retailer in the state, a state has to be specified…What is almost interesting is they didn’t know which is more than a little suspicious but that is really not my lookout…So one guy, the translator, gets on his phone and the conversation, literally, took 90 seconds…It should have taken five…”Hey, what state are you in???…OK…Thank you…But noooo…I have no idea what the holdup was because they talked in Spanish and even I couldn’t understand this end of the conversation, but after more than a minute I was finally told the recipient was in California.

We also had the first Christmas light returns of the season…Good gravy, this gets earlier and earlier every year and every year my pleas to puh-leeese let me enjoy autumn and Thanksgiving first fall on deaf ears.

Anyway, this guy comes up with a box of old lights and two boxes of new lights…While I am processing his exchange he asks if I could take the new lights out and test them for him…Well, no I can’t…I’m happy, and paid, to do what I can for you, but to expect your clerk to string out your new lights for you is not particularly reasonable and if he would have pressed the matter I would have told them this…Yeah, I know, the customer is never wrong but, as I like to say, he’s not always right, either and, as it was, he shrugged and let it go.

Something else: you are buying the cheapest Christmas lights on the market here…We have some good ones, but the lowest priced ones are, frankly, cheap…You get what you pay for…Either keep expectations low or go to the chain hardware store, fork over some money and buy some that will last you several, many, years.

Sparrow’s Sleep Log: 0130 Tuesday until 0830 Tuesday, the same seven hours as the previous two nights which shows, I think, what an adaptable creature of habit us humans can be…The weekly total is at 20.5 hours.

The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. All elements are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Anything else is a coincidence.

It was inspired by the 19th century British novel of the same name.

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