Work and MSN Play

4th January 2004

I am exhausted. I thought work wasn’t going to be busy today – I was so wrong. And the hot weather didn’t help either. I’m pretty sure I’ve got sunburn on my head. It had better not start peeling, otherwise it will look like I have seriously bad dandruff. Gross.

Dad dropped me off at work around 11am. There wasn’t any parking available out the front, so thankfully he didn’t come in. Dad is so lame. He only comes in because his friend Larry hooked me up with my job. And my boss gets free coffees. So dad gets free coffees too. Ugh.

I mean, it is weird having Larry as my boss, considering I’ve known him practically all my life, but he’s actually a really cool guy. He always makes sure that I’m ok at work (he knows it can get really full on sometimes) and he gives me a lift home after my shift finishes each week. Then, mum and dad insist that he stays for dinner. I think that’s their way of saying thankyou for looking after me. He’s pretty much a permanent fixture at our dinner table every Sunday night.

So yeah, work was so annoying. I hate school holidays. There were heaps of kids and they made the worst mess. Like, the WORST. My rag was so dirty after each lap of the food court that I had to get a new bucket of hot water each time. Then, to make matters worse, one of the cleaners went home sick, so then I had to take over her duties of checking the female toilets…

OMG! NEVER again!

It was so gross! I’m not going to go into detail because I don’t want to throw up. But seriously, I don’t know how people can leave such a big mess behind! Thank God I only had to do it once each hour. And I only had 2 hours left on my shift. The rest of the time I was outside with pretty much no shade, making sure that the seagulls weren’t making a mess on the alfresco tables. Or annoying the patrons. It was a lot harder than what I thought. They just kept coming back. The only way I could stop them was by putting up the huge umbrellas we had in the store room. They seemed scared of them for some reason.

And then, just before 3pm, I was asked if I could stay back for another hour. My feet were so sore, but I said yes because that means overtime. And that means… more money for me! I know that my job isn’t very glamourous, or stereotypical for my age, but it pays a lot more than if I was working at Maccas or KFC, like my friends do. Plus, I’m not stuck in a hot, tiny kitchen having to cook for 4 hours straight. I even heard that my friends had to pay for their own uniforms when they first started. How sad is that? I actually don’t mind being a cleaner, because everything is disinfected and clean, so I know I won’t get any nasty germs. Plus, I get the occasional tip here and there, especially when the cruise ships come in. Tourists are so generous.

I finished my shift and waited for like 30 minutes in the food court until Larry showed up. He apparently got held up by one of the shop owners complaining about a water leak. The lady at the ice-cream shop felt sorry for us both so she gave us some mango sorbet to take home. I have to admit, it was a pretty good way to finish work.

There were some roadworks on the way home, so we had to take a detour along the river. Larry was telling me about his sons and what they’ve been up to during the school holidays. I haven’t seen them for a long time actually. It’s weird. Like, we used to see each other all the time when we were younger, obviously because our families were pretty close, but then when Grace came along, everything changed. We stopped seeing them, as well as other people, because things became ‘too hard’ and ‘too difficult’ with a baby. It sucked. Heaps. But it is getting better though. I think as Grace gets older, it will get easier to fit her into my parents lives, rather than them make plans around her.

As predicted, Larry ended up staying for dinner. I was so hungry I think I nearly ate a whole Hawaiian pizza! When Larry left, I had a shower and played with Grace for a little bit before she went to bed. Is it weird that I still like playing with Barbies even though I’m 15? Ok, maybe not playing with them per se, but like, her outfits are so much better than mine. I wish I had her wardrobe. Barbie has, like everything.

Once Grace was asleep, I went on the computer and opened up MSN. NO ONE was on. Well, no one worth talking to anyway. I only really wanted to talk to Britt or Joshua, but Britt is like still M.I.A and Joshua rarely comes online.


He really isn’t like normal guys. Like, most guys use the net heaps, but he lives out on a farm, somewhere in the southern suburbs, so he’s always outdoors doing stuff. I don’t even know how he got into our high school because he doesn’t live in the catchment area. I think it takes him like 40 minutes to get to school each day. That’s nuts! No wonder he never hung out with me after school when we were going out; it probably took him ages to get home. Poor Joshua.

I was having a look at songs to download when I got a notification that someone wanted to add me on MSN! This doesn’t happen very often so I freaked. I didn’t recognise the email address. OMG, try saying it out loud – it sounds sooooo wrong:

It sounded pretty dodgy but I was curious, so I accepted. It’s a good thing I did, because it ended up being the most interesting thing that happened to me all day.

The profile picture was of some random car, so I figured this person was a guy. I played it cool and waited for the convo to begin. I didn’t want to come across as a loser. So I waited. And waited. And waited… for about 20 minutes! I downloaded like 5 songs in that space of time. Our net speed is hell good! I’m so glad dad upgraded our internet plan. I was just about to go get some ice-cream when a chat window popped up. It started with the same old casual stuff:

Him: hey regular_smile

Me: hey regular_smile

Him: how r u? regular_smile

Me: gewd. urselfregular_smile

Him: yeh gd regular_smile

Me: kool regular_smile

Him: kool regular_smile

Yup. Just the casual intro guys use to talk to chicks. Whatever. I went and got some ice-cream and by the time I got back, the chat window was blinking at me.

Him: hope its ok bt I gt ur email frm ur cuz regular_smile

I choked on my ice-cream. Now I was interested. And I had a gut feeling I knew who it was.

Me: oh? so who am I chattin 2? regular_smile

Him: guess wink_smile

I HATE having to guess stuff. Like, I was pretty sure of who I was talking to, but I didn’t want to let him know that. I figured, if he wanted to play the ‘guess who I am?’ game, I’d play the ‘I’m dumb’ game. He got pissed pretty quickly; it only took about 10 wrong names to get him to tell me…

It was Lewis.

I should have known that from the start. I just didn’t pay attention to his email address. Part of his name is in it!

Lewis: so it kool I added u? regular_smile

Me: yeh regular_smile  y did u add me? regular_smile

Lewis: coz I felt bad. i’m soz I hurt ur feelins on NYE sad_smile

I was shocked. I didn’t see that one coming. I thought it was pretty sweet of him to actually apologise. And he’s gone through a lot of effort to get my email from Steph.

Me: awww that’s ok dw bout it regular_smile

Lewis: thx regular_smileregular_smilerose

A rose! OMG I think by this stage, I had no idea where the convo was going. Did he want to ask me out? And if he did, what would I say? Obviously NO. Right? Mum would chuck a psycho and I don’t know how it would affect Steph. I know they haven’t gone out or anything, but like, I’m so sure that she likes him back. She would never admit it though.

Lewis: so, do u noe if ur cuz is single?

And there we have it. The real reason why he was being so nice. To get info from me. Not that I minded, but it did feel like a little kick in the face. Like, is there something wrong with me? I know there’s not but like, why her, and not me? But really, there’s no way I could compete with my own cousin so it doesn’t matter. I don’t even like him in that way! And besides, I already knew that he liked her – even before New Years.

Me:not sure. I thnk she is… she dun talk bout that stuff wit me regular_smile

Lewis: Ah k

I felt hell bad having to say that to him, but it’s the truth. When it comes to Steph’s love life, she is pretty secretive about it. I don’t even know if she’s ever had a boyfriend!

Me: do u wan me 2 find out 4 u? regular_smile

Lewis: nah it ok. She wudnt go 4 me neway sad_smile

Me: y not? regular_smile

Lewis: she thnk ima playa. i gtg now thx 4 tha tlk rose n8

He logged off before I had a chance to reply. I feel so bad for him. It’s weird when guys put themselves down; I never know what to say. Next time he’s online, I will try to make him feel better about himself. I have also decided that I’m going to find out if Steph has a boyfriend. And if she doesn’t, I’ll try and get her and Lewis them together!

I am so excited to see where this is headed!

Amber A.


Did you use MSN when you were a teen? Let me know in the comments section below!

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