Monday, September 06, 2004

Names to faces?

Fifteen minutes ago, at 23.20 I left work and walked home via the local BP garage to buy some eggs. My girlfriend wanted me to bring some home from breakfast. (I always thought it was bring home the bacon!)

"Eggs? Normally piss-heads buy those at this time of night to chuck them around." Replied the girl behind the screen. I don’t know her name but she has served me almost every time I’ve stopped at the garage, on the way home, about once a week for the last few months. The thing is I don’t want to know her name. It would spoil things. We always share a joke, she always smiles then I disappear into the night as she deals with the drunkard wanting fags and crisps behind me.

It’s like the fat guy that always serves me in KFC. There’s the crap girl in McDonalds who serves me every time, always getting my order wrong. At first it was annoying but now I find it funny as I do a mental sweepstake as to which item she’ll forget. (Apple Pie last time) There’s the lovely older woman that always serves me in WHSmiths as I buy my Times or Star Trek mag. She asks how I am and comments on the weather. There’s the girl with puffy eyes in Pizza Hit or the guy with fuzzy ginger hair in Powerplay record shop who serves me up my weekly single releases. (No, I don’t like McFly, I need it for DJing. "That’s what they all say" is his usual reply.) There’s the barman in Wetherspoons who always says hello and knows what I want before I ask.

It’s funny how a survey a week or two ago said that the clone cites major UK chain stores were creating were lacking this personal interaction. Strange then that all the instances above are major UK chains.

I love this familiarity of life in my home city. I missed it when I went to Uni. Every face was one of a stranger. Towards the end of the first year I began to recognise faces but then had to start all over again as I moved out of Halls and into a house the other side of town. Coming home after three years of uni was a blessing and made me realise I wouldn’t leave again.

There’s no moral to this post, just that familiar, but nameless, faces are a great and underapprieciated part of life.

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