Thursday, June 29, 2006

Fly On the Wall

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Last night, a friend of mine had a 21st-birthday celebration at his house, and the experience---while hardly a negative one---reminded me why, unless I'm buzzed or plain drunk, I tend to feel awkward in those kind of social gatherings.

Much of it probably comes from the fact that I've never really been part of a close-knit circle of friends; instead, in large groups, I'm usually on the outside looking in as people talk about old boyfriends, or trips to New York City or farther, or something else. And, unlike a lot of people I know, I'm honestly not as big a pop culture junkie as some of the other people (seemingly) who were there at my friend's little party. I haven't much felt the desire or need to listen to Dane Cook, for instance; and Monty Python---sure, I've heard of the British comedy troupe, and yes, I've seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but, save for a few (hilarious) sketches from their Flying Circus series (including one about a bunch of renegade nuns), that's about it for my exposure to Monty Python as a group (of course, I've seen John Cleese in other films, and obviously there's Terry Gilliam, who has become a visionary film director in his own right), and I surely can't quote them verbatim.

So last night, as cool as it was to see friends and meet new people, most of the time I simply sat there, listened, and felt like an objective observer. If I was writing about this particular bunch of people for a news story or something, I wouldn't have minded. But this was a social situation, not a news story, and after a while, the fly-on-the-wall approach felt a little uncomfortable, sitting there, wishing I could actually say something more---or just something clever or funny, for Pete's sake--- and make myself stand out in some way. Maybe popularity sometimes matters more to me than I think.


Yesterday I was called into Megamovies for an extra shift---a "rain shift," they like to call it---during the day, and I finally got an opportunity to man a box office pretty much all by myself. Granted, one of the managers there put me on the less-busy east box office, but still, I think it was a reasonable step forward.

I think I did all right, although one of the managers did emphasize to me during the 4+ hours I was there that really, I should know the business policies of the movie theater pretty well. I had directed a customer to one of the managers with a question that I guess he thought I could have answered pretty easily if I had known the policies better. My two weeks as a trainee are almost up, but I suppose I still have things to learn and pick up.

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