Working away from home today, so stopped on my way through Dallas to have a cup of coffee and a breakfast that wasn’t poured into a bowl. My server, a cute college kid named Cheryl, was friendly and chatted with me on and off. While I ate, I doodled and made a few story notes. I got up to grab myself a refill from the community coffee bar and Cheryl had come by to clear away my empty plate. I made some asinine comment about Texas weather and I got no response.
No laugh. No smile. No nothing. And she didn’t come back around.
I got 0 goodbyes from her as well when I paid my check and took off.
I puzzled over it for the rest of my drive. I checked my comments for sexism, racism, and any other -isms. While I do my very best to live -ism free, I am not a perfect person. But, I couldn’t think of a damn one.
And then I checked the pad I’d been doodling on. It read like a psychotic’s to-do list.
- car bomb – park in driveway for max damage
- house fire – snipe emergency pers.
- max casualties including school? research
- stitch up with fishing line/tackle box in trunk
- average blood loss before unconsciousness? research
And in all the corners, I’d drawn stick figures with XX eyes and broken limbs.
If I’d been her, I’d have gotten my license plate number and reported me. Cheryl, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry I scared you. I’m really a nice person with a bad habit of writing in public.
TL;DR: Other people can read what you write in public.
Don’t freak out the norms. It’s a rook mistake.