I Don’t Like Surprises

It’s been a long day.

I’ve been working a lot, which is great, actually. I’ve made so much money in the past few weeks, compared to how much I used to make, that I feel like I’m swindling someone. But it’s not without its challenges, and today had a lot of them.

I got to work too late; I’ve been exhausted and kept hitting the snooze. Then I got to the store to see that I would have to go buy supplies after just one show, which wastes a lot of time, and ended up costing me over a hundred dollars (don’t worry, I get reimbursed, But still, seeing that number on the screen made me panic) and a lot of time due to a woman ahead of me in line who paid for each of her fifteen items separately.

Then I started my second show. The audience was not great: they wouldn’t answer my questions, and they just in general didn’t care. It was so bad that I almost stopped the show and told them to leave. Instead, I just got aggressive (or, aggressive for me.) I got very snarky and sarcastic, especially when they wouldn’t participate. “Who cooks here? No one? Wow, that’s unhelpful.” “What’s the worst thing to chop in the kitchen? Any ideas? No? Thanks, guys.” Et cetera. Sometimes this makes people laugh, sometimes it makes them look at me weird, but at least it gets their attention. But I noticed that one guy, in his twenties, was giving me a different kind of attention. When I would get super snarky, he’d laugh with everyone else, but in a sort of amazed, approving way. At one point, he leaned forward, snapped a picture of the box, and looked it up online, challenging me with the website price. It really annoyed me and I kind of snapped at him, throwing some sarcastic comments his way throughout the rest of the show to let him know that I didn’t want to hear anything more from him.

At the end of the show, I helped a lady with her purchase and the guy came over and asked if I could show him how to do a carrot on the shredder. I said of course, grabbed a carrot, and started to shred it. “You might want to use the safety handle,” he said. “I know,” I replied. He asked if I could show him on the machine, and as I grabbed for the clean one, he remarked, “You shouldn’t use the commercial one.” This made me stop. He held his hand out. “Hi, I’m Peter. I’m the New York manager.” “Yeah,” I sighed. “I figured.”

I usually would have panicked more, but for some reason I didn’t. Maybe because I knew it was a bad show; if I had thought it was good and he said it wasn’t, that would have upset me more. So as he gave me notes, I nodded, tried hard not to make excuses. He was really constructive about it, so I didn’t feel reprimanded and everything was fine. The only thing I was worried about was his opinion on how I treated the audience (and, uh, him.) Thankfully, he said he really loved it. “I like a new agent who isn’t afraid to call people on their shit.”

He did a show for me and then asked me to practice part of my show for him. That was when I started to get frustrated, because when I don’t get something right the first time around, I feel like I have failed. I got to the point of tears, which was terrible and embarrassing and just all-around awful. He was nice about it, but that just made it worse. Eventually, though, I got past it, did more shows, got more notes, and then he left me to my work.

It’s weird because while my experience with Peter wasn’t bad, merely jolting, it made me feel awful for the rest of the day. When I got home, I exercised out my frustration (Insanity!), but then just laid on the couch feeling bad about myself. I recently recovered, due to my roommates asking me to help them in a pinch, but I’m still not feeling great.


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