McDonald’s employees work, particularly the person who assembles the sandwiches. There’s something fascinating about the way they make sandwiches and it never fails to catch my interest while I’m there. I’d probably like to watch Burger King sandwich makers too but I don’t like Burger King so I’m unlikely to find out.
I don’t find Subway or D’Angelo’s nearly as interesting - I’m assuming because I have worked at both.
I don’t imagine that many of you feel the same way about watching people make burgers so, what mind-numbingly dull thing fascinates YOU?
… people parallel parking. The best is to sit at a downtown coffee shop where there are several 15-minute parallel parking spots on a one-way street.
A well-done parallel parking job is like a beautiful ballet. The person swoops ahead of the spot, quickly reverses in, and pulls forward with both wheels touching the curb. Such a sight to behold when it’s done gracefully, but with an almost casual distain. And if a pretty woman steps out of the driver’s seat right afterwards – god, there’s nothing sexier in the whole world.
And a poorly done parallel parking job is like watching the clowns at the circus. Sometimes they’ll try to enter the space head-on. Hilarity! And if they try to get their SUV into a compact spot? How droll! And occasionally you’re treated to the 20-point turn. What merriment!
Speaking of parking…
A few years ago, I was sitting outside my place of employment (home improvement store), smoking, and people watching. I spent a good 5 minutes watching someone attempt to park their very large pickup truck. Pull in, pull out, pull in, pull out, over and over because they just couldn’t get the truck straight.
This would have been funny anyway but it was made even funnier by the fact that that during this entire episode, the spot in front of the one they were attempting to park in was open. All they really had to do was pull forward into that spot and back up once (assuming they wanted the tailgate clear). Instead, they chose to keep trying to turn their behemoth into a small spot.
I didn’t work there very long because my boss was a psycho who insisted I was sleeping with her girlfriend (even though I’m not gay and I had a boyfriend). But, while I was there…heaven. I could make my sandwiches EXACTLY how I wanted them! Extra cranberry sauce on the stuffed turkey! Steak cooked til it was crackly! Extra dressing on the Caesar salad! Best of all, I could clean the grill before I cooked mine so I didn’t end up with that one stray mushroom that seems to show up in every sandwich I get when someone else cooks. I also was the only closer so I got to take home the food that was going to get tossed. Extra bread got tossed every night. My family didn’t buy any bread while I was there. Meatballs and soup were only used for 2 days. I’d bring home the extras and freeze them. The meatballs are excellent on spaghetti.
I have found a place that makes better grinders than D’Angelos though, to the point that I don’t know if I can ever enjoy D’Angelos quite as much. Unfortunately this other place isn’t a chain.
It’s really more about the person driving it, but hey if you just don’t like pickups, that’s cool too. I suspect your five minute estimate is a gross exaggeraion due to your obvious bias, but it took this one over 2 minutes to get out of the lot and you can see the clock for yourself.
So yeah, it’s all about trhe driver not the vehicle. I’ll bet I can put my pickup in tighter and quicker than you can put the vehicle of your choice in any given parking spot, due to better visibility, mirrors and driving skill. I’ll also bet that someone you mentioned above was a woman.
Exactly. I especially love to watch craftsmen do something with ease that I’ve tried to do and screwed up, something that speaks to the thousands of hours perfecting every little step. Some examples:
[li]Watching a professional cook chop vegetables into perfectly sized squares, her knife a blur, tells me that this isn’t the first time she’s done it. [/li][li]My wife watched a painter use his 4" brush paint around our windows with nary a drop landing on glass. When she remarked how impressed she was that he didn’t need to use masking, he said, “Lady, if I had to spend all my time masking, I’d never make any money.”[/li][li]When I was working construction one summer in college, we were working on a new Target store. I saw the tiler look at the plans for the complex floor tile scheme for about 5 minutes (look at the floor in a Target sometime, and you’ll see what I mean), then, bam, he lays the sticky stuff down in quick, perfectly layered semicircles, then down goes the tile exactly as in the plans. It took me almost a whole day to tile my bathroom.[/li][/ul]
When I worked at McDonalds, there would frequently be times when we’d be working quickly around each other in a small space. I used to pretend that we were performing a very difficult choreographed routine on stage (why yes, I do have a rich fantasy life).
I like watching people getting haircuts.
I like watching people on skating rinks. (I’m thinking of roller skating, but it probably holds true for ice skating as well). Have you ever noticed that there’s always that one guy who’s really really good? He’s at least thirty years old, but he’s faster than everyone else and he can go backwards and dance on his skates and stuff? Love that guy!
I like watching cats when they’re in the litterbox because they look so embarrassed and annoyed at me.
Glass blowers. Okay, so maybe it’s not as mundane as burger makers, but I can’t get enough of watching it. My family’s learned that my day at the Ren Faire isn’t “wasted” if I go sit and watch the glass blowers for hours and do nothing else. They just leave me there and come back for me later!
Also, Chinese restaurant cooks. Seeing the skill at the wok is just gorgeous to behold (although it’s a little frightening when you see the quantity of sugar in one order of lemon sugar - it’s nearly a whole cup they ladle in there, quicker than a wink!)
Men doing physical work of any kind is just so sexy. I hang out with hippies who build lots of bonfires, and watching the guys (and girls!) chop wood, lay the fire and then tend it all night is wonderful.
I could watch my SO do dishes, or changing a tire or building something all day. I love watching him at night when we’re getting ready for bed, and he turns off the TV, turns on the radio, lights some incense, turns on the LED “candle”… it’s the same routine every night, but I never get tired of it. I love to watch him feathering his nest for me!
It’s very annoying when I type out a response and then lose the internet. Oh well.
What makes you think that I’m biased against trucks? I don’t like driving them, that’s true. I also don’t like eating fish or smoking pot but I don’t think fish is bad for other people and I support legalization of pot. Me not liking doing something doesn’t mean I’m biased against it. Actually, I quite like trucks and wanted one for years. I didn’t realize I hated driving them until I owned one. But, I still think they’re cool and I like being a passenger in them. The only truck driver I am biased against is the one who totaled my brand new car.
I found the stubbornness in that parking spot incident amusing. I wasn’t trying to make a statement against trucks or their drivers.
You are correct that it depends on the person. Some people are capable of driving large vehicles and some people are not. I have seen some people who are completely incapable of driving the smallest of compact cars (my mother - it’s painful to watch her attempt a 3 point turn). I have seen my boyfriend’s uncle drive his massive pickup while pulling his camper and manage to make it look like ballet.
My last job was in a factory. For the first time ever, my job involved building an entire product from the ground up instead of just filling a machine with plastic. As I stood there, hour after hour, adding layer after layer of material, I’d imagine that I was on an episode of How It’s Made or that I was making a company training video. It actually helped me to build better product because I’d tell myself that other people would learn from me so I had to do it right. I can’t say it made the day go by faster or more interesting but it at least kept my brain occupied.
When I visit my sister, I like to watch her while her cats are in the litterbox. She has major cleanliness issues and she insists on cleaning the box as soon as they get out of it. I can see her fidget while they poop - it drives her crazy! WhyNot You ever hear of Josh Simpson? The Springfield PBS station did a show on him. I fell in love with his work after watching that show. Molten glass is breathtakingly beautiful even before he turns it into art. If I ever become rich, I’m going collect his planets.
I also agree with watching masters work. Seeing people who are excellent at their job makes me happy, even more so when they enjoy it.
Hey, that’s my husband you’re talking about!
He’s 50, overweight, just doesn’t look like the ‘skater’ type. But he’s been roller skating since he was 12. A couple of times a month, he and I take our daughter to the skating rink (I don’t skate; I read a book, and make sure there’s a cold drink and plenty of napkins for wiping sweat available). Meantime, he’s on the rink making everyone else there look like a n00b. About half the time, there’ll be some young guy (20-ish) wanting to bust his chops, who will start trying to skate faster/fancier, and hubby won’t bat an eyelash. He’ll just up his performance until the young stag gets embarrassed at getting his clock cleaned by an old dude, and gives up!
Almost invariably, there’ll be some woman there who will watch him for about half of the session, then come to my table and say, in a whisper-type voice filled with awe “Is that your husband??”