“I remember that movie,” my boss said, “how did it start? I missed the beginning of it … ”
I looked at her, she looked at me, and we laughed.
How did I get here?
It’s been an unusual progression. My marriage afforded me with an executive function, my wife’s. This meant that I always had things to do. After her passing, I was left at loose ends, as they say.
I ended up helping out at a local café in exchange for a place to write and hang out in the day.
Skills help …
Helping out entailed maintenance and repairs, I’m a handyman along with having a couple dozen other skills acquired over my half century of wandering attention.
Pitching in, literally
Before long I was busing tables and serving food as a fill in when things were busy. That was okay, I’d been eating for less than I should have been paying and those who know me I’m sure will not be surprised that the café goes through more coffee than it sells.
As of this week just past, I’ve added fill-in dishwasher to my repertoire, a paid position with spontaneous and irregular hours. How very much like me.
My boss gets no respect!
So it’s no surprise that, although I just started work as a real employee, I’m on joking terms with the café owner, a friend I affectionately refer to as “Bareeesta” (you have to give it a bit of a Latin accent). And I can laugh at her obvious foibles, she is newer to the ADHD label than I am.
When she said that she’d seen a certain movie but couldn’t remember how it started, we both laughed at her because we knew why. She’d been late. Not being on time is not something I suffer from, but it is something I understand, and it is something she suffers from. A lot!
I should be paid for being a waiter …
We have had occasion to attend different events in our community together and it makes sense for us to car pool. But invariably she is late and I am anxious. I’ve only told her the wrong, accelerated time once and that worked out well for time management, but I’m too honest and confessed the ruse. The scam made me feel unwell and I’ve never done it since.
She knows I hate to be late as much as she hates to be rushed. And I think that these two seemingly opposing hatreds are caused by the same thing. We have been victimized in our past for our tardiness.
The results are different, but the cause is the same. In her case, she has become reactive, defensive. In my case I’ve developed my anxiety into a means of internal pressure, hurrying me on and reducing distractions.
Meanwhile, back at the café …
We laughed again when I said “I wonder how many ADHDers out there have missed the beginning of everything they’ve attended?” But the last laugh was on us, though we were still the ones laughing.
He who laughs last, laughs best
We were hurrying to get the café cleaned up for closing and make our way out the door. We were on our way to attend a monthly gathering of artists who perform in our community. Musicians, poets and spoken word artists organize and attend an open mic night, known locally as “Sounds, Words and Music.” In short, our people.
Unusual as it seems (she is my boss) I sent her on ahead and stayed behind to finish off a couple of loads of dishes and to lock up. She arrived on time, I was late. But that’s not the funny part. It seems that there is a larger percentage of our people in this group, these artists and creative personalities … the thing started – 15 minutes late as usual. I shouldn’t have worried so much.