4 People Who Always Stress Me Out


Bar and grill hostesses

They are the tiny, beautiful gatekeepers to the land of Cajun chicken sandwiches and wedge fries, and in order to be seated you must answer them these questions three. Are you enjoying the sunshine? Do you have big plans for the night? Are you celebrating something special today? These questions always stress me out because firstly, they all need to be answered by the time you get to your table and secondly I’m usually at a bar and grill type place for one of two reasons — the birthday dinner of someone I only kind of like, or trying to score a free meal out of my parents. In other words, no, I don’t have big plans. Most of the time I’ll clam up and spit out something like “Uh… oh, you know, just uh… eating food, right?”

The personal trainer at my gym

Why must she always be there when I’m working out? It’s like she works there or something. I can never work out anywhere near the personal trainer at my gym for fear that she’s judging me. I’m mostly afraid that one day she’ll approach me and in front of everyone, tell me the way I’m doing my deadlifts is actually killing me, and then all the other gym goers will point and laugh. A totally realistic fear, right? Once she glanced over at me in the weight room and I became so self-conscious I immediately grabbed my things and hid in the stretching zone until she was gone.

H&M employees

I’m sorry. Did my shopping get in the way of your frantic running and yelling into a walkie-talkie? Look, I’ve never worked retail, and I’m sure that it can be stressful, particularly when you’re working in a big store like H&M, but seriously, please relax because you are freaking me out. Every time I shop there I get the feeling that H&M is a front for some sort of secret operation, and I’m not actually supposed to be shopping there. In one visit, I always end up apologizing to at least three unimpressed employees trying to rush past me with a rack full of discarded floral print shirts.

Clipboard People

They’re standing outside your bank, milling around at the bus stop trying to get you to give all your money away to their cause. Part of my fear of clipboard people comes from the fact that my mother has always embarrassed me in front of them by saying things like “I’ve been supporting women’s rape relief since before you were born, missy! So don’t talk to me about your so-called cause!” If I spot one of these clipboard toters from far enough away I’ll cross the street and walk on the other side. But if it’s too late to cross or turn around without looking suspicious, I’ll pull out my iPhone and fiddle around with it while furrowing my brow, ya know, because I’m so busy. Sometimes, if I sense they’ve spotted me, I’ll stage a phone call, and sometimes these fake phone calls will continue until I reach the end of the block, just to make them seem more authentic. The trick is, don’t make eye contact, because then they’ll try and reel you in with something like “Can I ask you a question? Do you hate the environment?” The last time this happened I got so freaked out, I pointed at my headphones and yelled, “I can’t hear you!”

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