Friday, December 08, 2006

So helpful

There's some kinds of help that just aren't.

I have many things arranged for breakfast in the morning. Sometimes I have containers that are about to run out and there's a helpful person who searches through my cupboards to refill them. Usually I have not filled the container up for a reason. I want to wash the cereal container out. And I have another one ready to go. But it's not in the cupboards and all your looking won't find it. I have another syrup container or two, but if I replace them too soon I'll have a multitude of half-empty containers. It's ten minutes before closing and I'm not ready to open another box of apple-sauce until the last one has been taken to the table. Come and ask me, I'll gladly help. But when I'm trying to make sure to follow health department regulations and keep up the breakfast I just don't find it helpful for someone else to go through my cupboards looking for something that probably isn't there.

I have pens on the front desk. I usually have them arranged in some sort of pattern. But then there's the helpful person who rearranges the pens. Usually just by picking them up and dropping them in a clump. I don't think they even realize what they're doing. And I really do expect the pens to be picked up and used. But one pen out of the pattern is easily put back or replaced. I once had someone pick up my patterned pens just before he signed the registration card. Then I answered some questions and rearranged the pens. And I watched, somewhat unhappily, as two seconds after I put the final pen into the arrangement while he picked up the pens and re-organized them. I didn't really feel like he'd helped me at all.

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