One of the reasons I have posted a lot less than I used to, is because I got a job working in the restaurant industry. I have had a great time earning some extra income and meeting all kinds of interesting people. However, I have noticed a few parallels between something I just couldn’t put my finger on. Then it hit me, I am living the role of an NPC in an RPG. I would love to share some parallels I think will connect me to those exposition/nonsense dispensers that plague every role-playing game.
Saying the Same Few Sentences Over and Over Again
You know when you press the same option of dialogue with an NPC and get the same response with the exact same tone every time? That is exactly what happens when I drop food off at your table.
Every time I drop it off I say “is there anything else I can get you?” the if they say no “Alright *awkwardly clasps hands together like I am trying to ritualistically bless their food*, enjoy your meal!”. I am so aware of this and would really like to not be doing it, but my comfort zone is so comfortable. I just keep saying the same things with the same vocalization over and over again, to the point you might think those job stealing AIs are already among us. I need to stop acting like a Whiterun guard and start increasing my vernacular, but that sounds like far too much effort and introspection.
Running the Same Route Over and Over Again
I have all the movement ability of a 6-year-old making pathfinding with scratch, and it gets pretty pitiful. I will walk twice as far as I need to just because I can’t be bothered to find another route.
Even when I can see easier routes right in front of my face, I make things hard for myself. I am paralyzed by the prospect of screwing up in any way and making things hard on myself is more appealing than taking even the smallest of risks. I would genuinely walk into a sinkhole if it was on my normal route to a table. This kind of terrible pathfinding makes me feel like one of those suicidal NPCs in GTA or a sim that cant figure out what to do when their path is blocked by a chair. Of all the things I am trying to improve, this one is probably the most essential, and I need to stop taking the scenic route to the tables.
Never Getting to Partake in the Interesting Bits
I am forced to work around some pretty delicious food, and walking to drop it off at a table can sometimes be torture (depending on my hunger levels). I am but a catalyst for other peoples enjoyment, and while I enjoy letting others enjoy these amazing foodstuffs… I wanna eat em. It feels like giving the quest to an adventurer, and while I get the loot, they get the adventure and the stories to tell. I want to be the one slaying the orc and getting the delicious delicious meats, but who will tend to the general store?
Designed for a Specific Task and Unable to do Anything Else
My job doesn’t involve as much customer interaction as a server, and as such, I am super focused on doing the things I do. Anything that isn’t in my job description is basically out of the question to my ape-brain, even the most basic stuff ever. I recall towards the beginning of my job asking a customer if there was anything else I could get them, and they asked for a refill of water. Now I have been refilling cups for quite a bit now (citation needed), but as this wasn’t something I was used to doing at my job, I panicked. I actually asked their server to do it and the mixed reaction of confusion and disappointment I got was palpable. This is not unlike your average NPC who cannot do more than maybe 5 things if that and anytime you try to do anything that isn’t in that list, they blue screen. Even when I’m walking away from a situation like the water-incident, I’m mentally kicking myself for my dumb-assery. However, I keep doing it, which shows a lack of self-awareness and introspection, or maybe just bad scripting.