The uniform I wear turns me into a shadow to everyone who does not know me. The clock strikes 5:00 pm and I put on my uniform, I walk to work at 5:15 pm, sit and wait for seven minutes, and once 5:27 pm hits, a dark gray cloud covers me. My personality is bubbly and energetic, I'm ready to work and to provide the food that each customer desires. I smile, I try to chat, but they just see me as a worker.
Yes, I am a female worker with a pretty smile and I have yet to have a rude customer. Everyone on campus is nice and understanding when I take their order or let them know that we have a delay. My outward personality tries to mask the things that the shadow surrounding me hears or sees.
Sometime this past week, my shadow picked up on a piece of a particular conversation. It was a group of boys and girls, no more than five people standing together. They were waiting on their food and as I walked over to send off someone else's order, I heard a girl say, "Can you imagine dating someone like her?". As her question tapered off, every single set of eyes looked my way. My outward personality gave a big smile while my shadow tried to pull it away. They all shared a smile or a laugh and with my shadow glaring behind me, I set off to take the next customer's order.
Those orders that I take, I make sure each one is right and if it is not, I fix it without any questions. Sometimes people will converse with me for a second if I say a quick line to myself. Others I will prompt with a question that they answer vaguely and move on. Each person is nice but I see in their eyes they wish to be off to somewhere better and I accept that.
My uniform turns me into a shadow and I feel that to be the case for everyone. If you do not know the person working, would you try to get to know them? Probably not but they are people just like you. The receptionist who cannot answer your question, who sounds like she is in getting irritated may just be worried about what to do for you. The food service worker who accidentally put mayo on your sandwich may have a million orders that need to be modified, so they slipped up. The point of all of this is, we all work and we all have a shadow that covers us and keeps us from being seen as a person during our shifts. If you ever get annoyed with the people who are providing you with a service, remember the shadow you wear when you do the same for them.