One does what one must.
"Whew, it's muggy," says the kindly older woman behind the counter as I walk up with my to-go cup of coffee.
"I noticed that, too," I say, plunking down my cup on the counter as I reach for my wallet and she shakes her head and walks away from the register. "The thermostat by the coffeemaker reads '76.' Why not turn it down?"
She grabs a broom and comes around the counter, sweeping the floor. "Those girls at night may feel free to change the thermostat, but I'm not going to break the rules. I'll ask the manager for permission to turn it down when she comes in. If those girls at night were working like they ought to, they'd stay warm enough," she sniffs with disdain.
"Why don't you just take your jacket off?" I ask, gesturing to the warmup jacket that she wears unzipped over her uniform shirt. I point to the coffee again with my brows raised, and she dismissively waves me away from the register.
"I, uh, keep my stuff in the pockets," she says, looking carefully away. "I think I'll sweep outside, where it's cooler." The store is empty.
I watch her carefully. Blue jeans. Untucked uniform shirt. Light warmup jacket. Wristwatch on left wrist, so I begin to watch her right hip as she moves around while sweeping. I don't see anything. Well, with all that loose clothing, I wouldn't. And maybe she wears it appendix carry. Or cross-draw.
She busies herself sweeping the walk near the front door. I know she can feel me watching her, and I know that it makes her nervous. This is a lady who follows the rules scrupulously. I am pretty sure that this convenience store chain wouldn't allow concealed carry by their employees.
I open my mouth to ask, and then close it.
It's impolite to ask a lady about her underwear. I was just curious, anyway.
I smile and wish her a good morning.