Tuesday, November 6, 2007

My Secret Identity

My Dear Reader,

Something that's very strange about working in the food industry is that no one seems to recognize you when you're wearing a hat and apron. For me, part of the problem comes from the fact that I never wear my hair up unless I absolutely have to. That's right; I believe that my hair wants to be free. So people who are used to seeing me outside of work often don't recognize me at work, while my co-workers don;t recognize me outside of work. It's kind of like I've got two identities: Cecily At-Work and Cecily Off-Work.

I remember once, when I was at the grocery store, I ran into a girl that I had just worked a shift with a couple of days before. I waved to her. No recognition. I smiled. No response. I then realized that she didn't remember me, and I wasn't exactly going to walk up to her and try to convince her that we had spent three hours together making salads the last Friday. So I tried to avoid/ignore her, which got really awkward for me somewhere around the deodorant aisle. I was trying to decide whether I wanted my armpits to smell like tropical silk or mango satin (I'd really like them to smell like nothing at all, but we all know this is clearly impossible), and she was apparently in the same conundrum. And how can you choose between two fictional fragrances? I mean, really. It's just ridiculous. So we sat there hovering around the deodorant for at least five minutes, and the whole time I felt incredibly nervous because I knew who she was and was trying to pretend that I didn't, while aware that she could be very possibly doing the same thing. I just wanted to die.

Something I thought of recently was that I could really use the disguising properties of my hat and apron to create two distinct identities. At school and home I can be Cecily, mild-mannered English major, while at work I can be someone named Olivia. I don't know exactly what kind of person Olivia would be, but I guess I could just make it up as I go along. Maybe she's really into martial arts and ballroom dance. Maybe she's the second cousin of Al Gore. Or maybe she once saved several small children from a tragic and deathly fate. The possibilities are endless. It is truly unfortunate that I didn't realize that I had the power to create this alter ego until I was already well-established in my current job, for the world may never come to know the Olivia I could be.

Something else I thought of was that it would be really easy to create a spy network of people who posed as fast food workers. They could live normal, productive lives until their services were required, when they would dash off into a telephone booth and become whatever it says on their name tags. Trust me, this plan is even more brilliant than it seems. After all, nobody really pays attention to people who work in food. Sometimes people will have conversations in front of you like you're not there. Sometimes people will have conversations about you like you're not there. This could be crucial when the situation requires covert surveillance. Also, people tend to believe that food workers normally do things that human beings would never think of doing, such as break very social rule that was ever created. Since spies often have to do very strange things without raising suspicion, this could come in handy. Again, the possibilities are endless. If you are interested in creating a spy movie/network under this premise, please contact Olivia.

In the end, I guess that it shows that people get tripped up fairly easily when information is presented in a way that is unfamiliar. It also reminds me that I'm going to school so I don't have to stay in the food industry forever.

Regards, best wishes, and alter-egos,

-Cecily Jane


Meg said...

Oh my goodness it is so true! By the way, this reminded me of last Monday at the Ward Halloween party, Elanor had on one of those "disguises" with the glasses and big nose. You know what I am talking about. Anyway, I could not FOR THE LIFE of me figure out who she was. They actually work! Who would have thought?

~Stappsters~ said...

Totally radical concept Cec! Wish I could get one of those cool food service hats when I need time alone.

lina said...

You know, as funny as this whole entry was, it was honestly the deoderant that cracked me up the most. I'm of the humble opinion that armpits should really not smell like food...

mango satin... *giggle*

Molly said...

I can just picture the missionaries now:
Missionary one: Funny, that Olivia girl bears a slight resemblance to a mild-mannered Englilish major I once knew.
Missionary two: Don't be silly, companion. Olivia's wearing a hat and apron. They couldn't possibly be the same person.
Olivia: Um, I can hear you. I'm right here.

ELI said...

FYI, I once became friends with two different girls, one who worked in the bakery at the same place I worked, and one at school. This went on for two months before I finally found out it was the same girl.