When I was in elementary school, I remember the teacher telling the class that there was no such thing as a stupid question. As I grew up, I know that what she said is not true. There are stupid people hence stupid questions. The teacher probably said that to make the kid that asked the stupid question feel better about himself. That kid is probably going around now right now asking everyone a stupid question.
I ran out of coffee late in my shift so I went to get some more. I visited the Tim Horton’s across the street, as usual. When I go into the restaurant, there were two people already at the cash, giving their orders. Shortly after, two more people entered, a mom and her daughter.
The two people in front of me gave their order and the lady behind the countered started to make them. After giving their orders, the two customers shifted to the left a bit but not enough for me to walk straight up to the cash. It was rather early in the morning and I do sometimes look rather suspicious, so I gave the two customers in front of me some space. There was no reason to walk right up to the cash since the employee was still running around making the order. So I waited patiently where I was standing.
As I was standing there minding my own business, the lady behind me peeks around my shoulder and asks me a question. It’s 5:00am and I’m trying to stay awake so the question sort of caught me off guard. I wasn’t sure how to reply because at the time, the question sounded stupid.
Lady: Are you in line?
Me: Uhhh, excuse me, what?
Lady: I asked if you were in line?
Me: Ummm, I’m standing in front of you so… yes, I’m in line.
I don’t know what kind of answer the lady was expecting but what kind of question is that? Am I in line? Where else would I be? I’m standing in front of her but behind the people that just finished giving their orders. I’m not standing here to look pretty. Who stands around in Tim Horton’s and not be in line? Just because I’m not directly in front of the cash register doesn’t mean I’m not in line.
And the thing was, I walked into Tim Horton’s right before she did. When I was outside, she and her daughter were walking towards the entrance. When I got inside the restaurant, it was only a matter of seconds before they entered. She even lined up directly behind me. If I wasn’t in line, I don’t know what she was doing behind me.
I have a feeling that if I told her that I wasn’t in line, she would have cut in front of me. Someone that asks a question like that seems like the type of person who wouldn’t get sarcasm. I feel sorry for the little girl who she was with because she might be teaching her the wrong things. To her, an Asian guy standing in line in Tim Horton’s isn’t necessary in line until he says so.
When someone asks you a stupid question, I think it’s only fair to give them a stupid answer. I’m just afraid that they won’t catch on to the answer and might take you seriously. So if they’re going to waste your time with stupid questions, you might as well waste some of their time too.
Lady: Are you in line?
Me: Why, that’s a very good question. I’m not sure. Are you in line?
Me: Well, I think I’m standing, yes actually I am standing in front of you. And since you’re in line that means that I’m standing, in front of you, in line.
On a regular night, something like that wouldn’t phase me but I’ve worked too many night shifts. Nowadays, even the littlest things are ticking me off. This lady has got to be very impatient to ask a question like that. There’s about two feet of space separating me and the cash register. It’s now like it’ll take me a long time to take one step forward when the time comes. I guess she wants me to move closer to the counter for some reason so I can get very up close and person with the customers in front of me.