What Do I Do With My Hands?

22 Mar

I was a junior in High School and started a new job at a movie rental store, which has since gone out of business.  When you are awkward by nature new experiences, such as the first day of a new job, are always nerve-wracking.

I never seem to know how to act around new people. It’s like I have no idea what to do with my body.  I basically turn into Ricky Bobby during an interview.  memegenerator.com_Ricky Bobby

It was my first day on the job and my manager was explaining how the cash register worked.  Instead of leaning forward and interacting with my new co-workers (you know, like normal people), I stood like a statue in the middle of the register bank.  Other employees had to shuffle around me.

Be less awkward! Do something… NO! Do not raise your hands to your face.  Do something else. Something cooler.

I decided that I would try a casual pose, like something out of those ads for feminine products where women just sort of lean against things and throw their heads back laughing and generally look like they are the most relaxed people ever.

Yes. Do that. Great plan!

My “cool and casual” pose consisted of standing with both my hands firmly pinned between my backside and the counter.

Totally natural and cool…

As I stood there listening to my manager explain how refunds are completed, I felt a button near my finger.

Hm… I wonder what this does? {press, press, press}

“And that is how a refund is done.” explained my manager. “Any question?”

Button“Uh…nope.” I answered, intelligently.

{press, press, press}

“Great. Now let’s move on to video game rentals, because those are a bit tricky”

“Uh-huh”, I muttered, wowing him with my wit.

{press, press, press}

“…and if someone asks for an NC-17 rated movie, you need to check for ID”

{press, press, press}

“…always check the movies to make sure they’ve been rewound”

{press, press, press}

The more I pressed the button, the calmer I felt.  Something about the repetitive nature, I supposed.  But then I saw my manager’s face contort in confusion as he saw something behind me.  Before I could turn to see what it was, I heard:  “FREEZE! POLICE! HANDS IN THE AIR!”  My arms shot up as high as they could go as a fleet of police officers swarmed into the store. Well so much for calming my nerves!

Police: We received the distress call. Where is the assailant?

Manager: I think there’s been a mistake

Police: The emergency signal was sent several times.

Manager: That’s impossible. The button is kept behind the counter and I didn’t push it.

Co-Worker: SHE did it! {pointing to me as I begin to ever-so-slowly scoot away from button}

Me: What? {feigning ignorance}

Manager: Did you press the emergency button?

Me: NO! Wait… what button?

Co-Worker: She did!! Oh my God. I can’t believe you hit the emergency button.  What an idiot!

Me: NO! I mean… I maybe pressed it accidentally, like with my pant pocket or…or… something. I don’t know. I didn’t, like, press it a lot. Or on purpose. I’m not even sure I pressed it, really. Which button are we talking about exactly? I…I…{things getting a bit fuzzy}

Police: ALRIGHT BOYS! Let’s get outta here. This girl pressed the button on accident.

Me: I…I…{seriously, this store needs to stop spinning}

Manager: {sigh} Come on… lets go over renting video games again. But this time you have to stand over there {pointing to area furthest away from the emergency button}.

Me: I…I…

I think it’s safe to say I made an impression…


10 Responses to “What Do I Do With My Hands?”

  1. Erica March 22, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    I cannot believe the manager didn’t fire you on the spot!! That is horrifying! (And I love that you had to make sure the tapes were rewound, memories).

    • awkwardcharm March 22, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

      Yes. We used to have to rewind the movies that were returned every evening. Crazy! As for not getting fired. I can only credit it to my charm 😉

  2. saramo March 22, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    They still hired you ??????? ……

    • awkwardcharm March 23, 2013 at 9:49 am #

      I was already hired. I can only imagine they let me keep the job due to my charm 😉

  3. datinginvegas March 23, 2013 at 12:59 am #

    This made me laugh!! What a nasty coworker! In all seriousness, I am a fidgeter by nature. The best way to learn what to do with your hands is to relax them at your sides. If it isn’t natural, fake it. If you are sitting at a table, rest them in front of you or fold them together in front of you. Every time I fidgeted as I was learning to become a sales person someone called me out on my body language. It works with practice. This story was precious! Thank you for sharing….

    • awkwardcharm March 23, 2013 at 9:49 am #

      Great tips! I will attempt to execute without awkwardness in the future — but I have a feeling I might fail :p Glad I could make you laugh!

  4. Blog Your Boss March 26, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    Oh wow, that must of been embarrassing. Did you ever get teased?

    • awkwardcharm March 26, 2013 at 8:54 am #

      My whole life is one embarrassing moment after another, so i’m used to it. And yea, I got teased. But it wasn’t long before they moved on to teasing me about something else.

  5. Project Southsea March 28, 2013 at 8:27 am #


    I especially like the way you were able to cooly talk your way out of that situation.

    You never cease to amaze me Awkward Charm! 🙂

    • awkwardcharm March 29, 2013 at 8:12 am #

      Thanks! Yes I can be quite the smooth talker haha.

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