Confessions of a Carney: California State Fair

I have been a Carney for two summers now. And while some people look at me as if I’m below them, I proudly wear my Carney title. We work to make your experience at the State Fair as good as it can be. But here’s some things you may not be aware of…
You will never be aware of how hard we work.
We see everything. EVERYTHING. We remember almost every customer we serve.
I will remember the person who treats me like I am below them and cannot look me in the eye but will triple check that I gave the right amount of change.
I see you getting frustrated in the 10 seconds I take to finish up with a customer who was there before you.
To the 20-something group of girls who had a conversation with me: thanks. You seemed to get that my job was to make you happy. And you took 30 seconds to treat me like a human.
17 days. Every day on my feet. For hours on end. Music blasting from all different directions. Constantly making fresh churros and restocking drinks and ensuring they are as cold as possible while keeping everything clean.
This is a lot. Often, it’s over 100 degrees.
We have other things going on in our lives. There are plenty of days that I would want to roll in a ball and cry. But I put on my carney smile and took care of you instead. To those of you who were kind: thank you.
I remember the person who ordered 3 Diet Cokes in one day. You will not realize it until later but I learned your name and I remembered it. Only it wasn’t until you showed up three days later and I greeted you with a smile and cold Diet Coke ready that it might have even occurred to you that you were seeing the same person over and over again. And yes, I am judging you. Seeing you down three Diet Cokes in a single day and do the same thing over and over again worries me. But you do you.
The people that ask me 20 questions about chocolate covered bacon, yes I know you want to taste it. No you cannot. You know that. Asking questions won’t change my mind. My patience is strong.
I can read you. I can read every single one of you. I can predict who will give me a tip. I know what you will order before you ask for it.
I know that you are going to ask me the price of something despite it being right in front of you because you are hoping to hear something different. Yes, I am aware of your incredulous face when I punch one thing in and give you exact change without needing it to be calculated. I make the same exchanges of money all day, everyday. I’ve got it down. No, it’s not that amazing, but thanks.
People that ask directions: if you are nice, I will do my best because despite being at the cart all day I take pride in being able to answer your questions. If you’re rude, I’m shrugging my shoulders because I don’t want to deal with you.
I get it. A lot of you see some one who is working at the fair because they aren’t good enough to work somewhere else. Wrong. We are working there because we needed a summer job and we like making people happy. Without us all that trash you are unable to throw away (despite there being trash cans every few feet) would pile up. You wouldn’t have anyone to suggest where to eat or tell you where the bathrooms are. Quite frankly, the fair would turn into a setting for an apocalypse without us. So you toss that bottle on the ground and pretend not to care. I will be there with my Carney smile ready to serve you.