Stefano Morcelli notices the way people look at him as they wait for him to finish waxing their tires. He sees how they look at his ill fitting polyester uniform, the tattoo poking out from the bottom of its left sleeve, the beaten down by life expression on his face brought on by pulling five twelve-hour shifts in a row at the car wash, and how they figure they know what all of that means: here’s a two-bit kid going nowhere in life. All he probably cares about is going home, opening up a cold one, lighting up a joint and downing a bag of Doritos before his baby mamma eats them herself. He’s cool with that, even though he doesn’t drink, do drugs, or has any kids, because he feels the same way about his customers as they do about him: that they’re all just a bunch of sad losers.
He has his undergraduate degree in psychology to thank for that, a degree paid for by long hours at the car wash. After four years of reading case study after case study, and conducting experiment after experiment, he’s pretty confident he has the human race figured out. Take Mercedes Benz Guy who just pulled in to have his car washed, for example. He paid a small fortune for that car, no doubt has to work even more hours than Stefano does this week in order to afford it, and will likely spend a big chunk of those hours on his knees kissing the asses of both his clients and his boss. The young guy who came in just ahead of him isn’t any better off. Stefano has seen his type plenty of times – the ones who think it’s absolutely necessary to buy a fifty thousand dollar truck even though they only bring home forty grand a year. Then there are the women with the compact sedans who wake up every morning pissed off because they’re driving a seven-year-old shitbox instead of a Mercedes. And the grouchy old men who watch every move you make in case you try to rip them off by only polishing ninety-nine point nine-nine percent of their dashboard instead of the whole one hundred percent.
They all have terrible eating habits, judging by the food wrappers he’s had to toss on their behalf. Some are super anal-obsessed with their cars and get it washed every week, others are either too lazy or too cheap and only come in once in awhile, and then there are the ones who have fooled themselves into believing that the dancing hula girl affixed to their dashboard isn’t the least bit tacky.
In a few years he’ll have his Masters degree, shortly thereafter his Doctorate, and then he plans to offer his services as a psychologist; give these people a place to come and bitch about how unfairly life has treated them. He just won’t tell them he used to be the kid who once washed their cars. Making them feel old and outdone by a car wash attendant would only make it worse.