After a baby is born, some cultures will not name the child until a certain amount of time has passed. From what I've read, it seems that most of these waiting periods are specified in local religions, but naming a child has significance in non-religious circles, too. For example, the Free Folk who live North of the Wall (in GRR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire) will not name their babies for two years after the child is born. Infants rarely survive that long, especially among the poorer folk, and it's considered bad luck. Makes you get all attached to the wee beast, which makes it harder when it dies.
I take on a similar sort of sentiment when it comes to new hires at my jobs. In the hospitality and retail industries, staff turnover can be quite high. People will take the first job they're offered, and then quit when they get the one they want, or simply quit because they don't end up liking the work. It's hard to get attached to them, because sometimes you can get along with someone quite well right from the off. That's probably my favourite thing about my restaurant job right now, I get along well with most of the staff and a lot of us have become friends. Same thing at the liquor store, even though the staff is smaller, I think that in general, we're all friends, which is pretty awesome.
Back in October, at the liquor store, we hired a new guy. A couple of the girls had quit, so we hired this young lad. Turns out he actually went to school with my little brother, which is further evidence that the whole southern part of my province is one small town and that everyone knows everyone else, and is connected in some way. New Guy has stuck around for going on 8 months now, so most of the time I call him by his actual name.
The 'New Guy' stage tends to last the same amount of time as the probationary period, so about 3 months. It depends, though, on how quickly the person picks up their tasks and becomes independent and functional without constant supervision. It's easier to call the new guy New Guy because then you don't get attached to them if they decide to leave abruptly. After such a time as they decide to stay, the name New Guy can also be used to chastise the new person when they make a silly mistake such as a trainee would. You can go through several cycles of New Guy, to being called your actual name, then back again. It fluctuates.
My liquor store is next to a pizza store, which is owned and operated by a family. They're great people and we have good relations between them, as neighbours. They run out of toilet paper, we give them some. They give us discounts on pizza, we give them discounts on liquor. Their daughter develops a fantastic crush on our New Guy, we hilariously provoke and tease them both! It's win-win!
It was super obvious when Pizza Girl started liking New Guy. Her parents picked up on it right away and would tell us stories about how she would watch for his car to see if he was working, or always talk about him. New Guy knew for a little while, too, especially when she started giving him free pizza. New Guy's kind of innocent and so it doesn't take much to tease him, or to make him blush and feel uncomfortable. It's like a game sometimes. I tend to have very open conversations, as you all know, and so when I casually make sexual jokes, or say 'penis' and 'vagina' around him, he turns a delightful shade of pink.
One night, Pizza Girl's mother came over to the liquor store when I was working. She just wanted to chat and say hi, so we did, and it inevitably turned towards New Guy and Pizza Girl. Pizza Girl's mum (hereafter known as PG Mum) was saying how her daughter had a crush on New Guy, and I said that maybe next time he orders a pizza, she should put the pepperoni in the shape of a heart. PG Mum thought this was a great idea, and a plan was born.
It was only later that same week when I came in to work and heard the tale. My boss and PG Mum had worked it all out in advance on New Guy's next shift. A pizza was made, entirely in the shape of a heart. Pizza Girl's phone number was written on the inside of the box, with a big heart and arrow through it. I don't have any pictures of that right now, but I'll share them with you when I get them, if they exist.
Oh, the embarrassment. I wasn't there, but I wish I had been. My boss got pictures. It was glorious. About a week later, I was working and New Guy came in. We chatted and he very reluctantly admitted that he was hanging out with Pizza Girl. On a date, as it were. Cue evil laughter. Naturally, I kept this knowledge to myself... For about 10 whole minutes. I texted my boss, and she gleefully responded. Next time I remember coming in after New Guy's next shift, he explained the story to me.
He didn't know that Boss knew about him and Pizza Girl, so he was all suspicious and confused about why she came up to him and was all bright eyed and cheery and asking him if there was anything new or interesting going on. Eventually it came out, and still he didn't realize I'd told, but by that time it didn't matter. The 'piece of pizza' jokes were flying around, as well as things about 'playing with his food' and even, oddly, jokes about extra cheese.
Now, New Guy get special meals made for him. Apparently he likes Chicken Alfredo with pineapple? Ew. Anyways, it comes over in bags like this:
Most places in the food industry that I've worked, it devolves into people dating other people, and considering that you spend so much time with some of these people, it's not surprising. Thankfully, it's not like that at the liquor store. New Guy's the same age as my little brother, which makes him far too young for me (not even in the same decade), and everyone else is dating or married. They're not my type anyways. Well, we have another 'New Guy', but he worked there a couple years ago, so he doesn't really count as New Guy anymore.
I used to work at this Mexican restaurant when I lived in a different city, back when I was still going to university. I was still sort of clueless about the attentions of the opposite sex, if that can be imagined, and I had no clue that this one server had a big thing for me. I was working in the kitchen, which I don't like to do anymore because you get sweaty and greasy and dirty, so when he used to tell me I was pretty and that he liked the way I looked, I never clued in because it seemed like such a remote possibility to me. Other reasons, too, but wearing dirty, baggy chef whites isn't my idea of hot, at least on myself. Looking back, though, it was kind of adorable, and I wish I had kept in touch with this guy. I remember his name, but so far my internet stalking has not yielded any results.
As for the restaurant job, I'd rather not talk about that one in this context. It's kind of a mess, a mess that is best left unaired to the general public. Maybe in a future blog!