Sep: Bored. Bored to tears. I cried. Wet, sloppy tears of boredom.
Ace: Huh. It didn't majorly offend me.
Sep: Bored. No other word for it. Unless I use one of the many synonyms for "bored."
Ace: Well at least it didn't make me want to pluck out my own eyes.
Sep: No, but I certainly wanted to close mine for, like, a thousand years.
Later, the gang shows up to "support [Buffy's] subsistence-level employment." Buffy starts to explain how odd things are at the Palace de Doublemeat while Willow gets twitchy with the straws. Because she's an addict. Remember? The camera helpfully shows a close-up of Willow's hands fiddling with the straws, because we are slack-jawed morons that cannot be trusted to pick up on background movement. Xander pooh-poohs Buffy's concerns about her new place of employment by telling her that she's "seeing demons where there's just life." Uh, yeah, Xander. Because Buffy is never, ever right when she gets a strange feeling about things, and you have never, ever wrongly dismissed her suspicions before. After being stupidly flippant, Xander decides to order some food. While Buffy is getting his Doublemeat Medley, Anya suggests getting fast food for her wedding reception, thus showing us that maybe she's not as integrated into society as we all thought. She then explains the tacky choice away by saying that time is running short for wedding preparations, and she had thought that Willow was going to conjure them some festivities, "but now that's all been blown to hell." Willow protests with, "Standing right here! Standing right exactly here." Oh, cram it, Red. Go pick up the conjure pipe. Buffy brings Xander his meal, telling him she "double-sized it." Xander takes a big bite right there at the counter. I groan and clutch my stomach. Buffy continues, "And cut way back on the cat. Just kidding. Probably." Heh.
Nighttime. Still at the damned restaurant. Buffy goes over to talk to automaton Gina, but has to wave her hand in her face to get her attention. She says that she's going to take another break because it's so slow. Gina advises her not to. Y'know who these fast food workers remind me of? The spirit-sucked serfs in the hell dimension in "Anne." I think that's sayin' something. Something that anyone who has ever donned a hairnet as a condition of employment already knows. Gina points out a new customer, thus putting the kibosh on Buffy's break plans. This new customer is, of course, Spike, who has again fallen into the Gap. Or started ordering his clothes from the dELiA*s catalog, which is very fond of that "space-dyed" stuff that looks like a dog barfed on it. To paraphrase Willow, that shirt is skanky and I think it's kinda gay. Buffy tells Spike to go away. He tells her, "You chose to be in the consumer service profession and I'm a consumer." With a little smirk and lilt he finishes, "Service me." Heh. Okay, I admit it that I cracked a smile at that one. Buffy isn't finding it quite as amusing, though, and tells him to "order something or go." Throwaway reference to fluorescent lights and the "something wrong" with Buffy that I assume we'll get an explanation of later in the season. Then Spike leans in and gets serious: "Buffy. You're not happy here." Looking about to cry, Buffy pleads, "Please don't make this harder." "You don't belong here," Spike continues. "You're better than this." Buffy protests that she "need[s] the money." Spike offers to get Buffy money, and asks her to leave the restaurant with him, gesturing his head towards the door. Buffy remains resolute, saying she needs to assist Gary with the fries, but Spike grabs her arm: "This place will do stuff to you. This place'll kill you!" Oh, please! Why are all vampires such drama queens? I mean, really! "Oi must have a Judge destroi the woirld for moi boithday!" "Darla needs a room with a view!" "Working fast food will kill you!" I think vampires must be very wearing people to know, what with the constant histrionics and exaggerations. And while I think Spike is genuinely concerned about Buffy's welfare, I just have to laugh at the idea of her taking job advice from a guy who has never, ever, in the one hundred and forty or so years he's walked this Earth, held a job. Maybe he should just shut his never-gainfully-employed mouth and let Buffy make her own choices and mistakes. Plus, while I think Buffy could choose, and get, any number of jobs more suited to her temperament, I'm really turned off by Spike's latent elitism. He loves Buffy, she's special, therefore a minimum-wage food service job will kill her? Please. It's just fast food, not coal mining. She won't enjoy it, it won't put much in her bank account, but it's not like she's above it. It's a perfectly legitimate way to earn a living. Not that Spike would know anything about earning a living.
This is the point where I was going to tell you about the horrible job I got rehabilitating dirty old pillows collected out of dorms during summer break when I was about twenty-one, and didn't have any job experience and not a lot of self-confidence. And I was going to tell you how it was awful and strange working in the basement laundry room of a dorm, washing pillow covers that students had been drooling (and God-knows-what-else-ing) on all year, and I ended up with a severe case of bronchitis due to all the particulates that came out of ancient feather pillows and matted, stained "cotton" fiber pillows and partially broken-down into orange powder foam pillows and the doctor I went to see wouldn't believe I had bronchitis, but kept insisting that I was just having an asthma attack while I wheezed and whuffled in his examining room. But I won't. Instead, I'll just say that that was a job that could have killed me. Well, only in combination with the terrible medical care I was receiving from my HMO, but I think you see my point. Having a crappy job at twenty or twenty-one ain't the end of the world and can often be quite the motivation to go out and get something better.