Chronicles of trading in Corporate America for a waitress's apron during my very own quarter-life crisis.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Awkward and uncoordinated? You'd be a great waitress.

I'm a little... clumsy.  As I stumble back into restaurant work, I'm reminded of this.

When I was an office drone, I used to joke about how I was a klutz, but the worst thing that happened there was tripping up the stairs once.  Yeah, I tripped up the stairs.  I often hit my knee on parts of my desk.  Papercuts were a daily occurrence.  I dropped files on the floor occasionally, making sure to sigh heavily as I knelt to pick them up, slightly hinting to others, "oh, look at poor helpless me."

Me, trying to be graceful.  It didn't end well.

I'm surprisingly agile when I play softball... well, when I can see.  Honestly, sometimes I can't see a thing when I play softball, particularly during night games.  I'll play especially deep in the infield, resorting to a mild and atheistic version of prayer if I think a line drive might be coming my way.  In the daytime, however, I've accomplished some moves in softball that you might only see during a Cirque du Soleil event.  Or Olympic gymnastics.  A choreographed school of dolphins breaching around ocean waves.

I might be exaggerating.  Truth is, though, I hardly get hurt during softball.  I can think of only a few injuries in the last 25 years.

As a waitress, I can think of a few injuries in the last 25 hours.

Now, I'm not exactly saying that I didn't do anything at my cubicle job, physically.  Most days had me running around all four floors of the building (in high heels, no less), pausing briefly to gulp some soup for lunch or send an email while standing at my desk.  It isn't like I had baby-soft feet held close and dear by atrophied muscles; I was usually sore by the time I came home.  If I hadn't respected my boss so much, I'd compare it to any page from The Devil Wears Prada... except my boss was far from the devil, he probably thought Prada was a mathematical unit of some sort, and he wore sweaters that would make Bill Cosby sweat.

Former Boss, if you're reading this:  You're awesome and hilarious just the way you are.

I'm just kind of corporally unlucky:

  • I cracked a back molar in half because I was eating a piece of bread that had seeds in it, and that molar had to be extracted.
  • Completely sober, I walked straight into a picnic table once, bashing the absolute shit out of my right knee and bruising my patellar tendon (when I already have Osgood-Schlatter disease to begin with, naturally), because I was watching one of my nieces dance on a haystack and not looking where I was going.  
  • A doctor told me, while reviewing X-ray and MRI results, that I have the lumbar (lower back) of a senior citizen.  I was 28 at the time.  
  • I knocked a mirror off my wall one night, trying to feel my way to the bathroom in the dark, and I stumbled onto a broken shard of that, which resulted in 14 stitches to my leg.  
  • Thinking it would be fun to become involved in an MMO RPG, I ended up just developing tendinitis in my right hand, to the point where I could barely turn the key in my car's ignition and had to wear a splint for six weeks.  

So imagine what kind of damage I can do to myself in an industrial kitchen.  There's absolutely no comparison in today's episode of "Cubicle vs. Kitchen" on how sore I get and often I get injured in the expo line of duty, thanks to some entity by the name of Awkward.

There was the time when...

... a fajita skillet burned my hand so badly that I couldn't write properly for a month.  I was a college student at the time, so let's just go ahead and say I was inconvenienced.  I still have a scar.

... I fractured my wrist (again, of my dominant hand) while walking to the back of the kitchen for some ice cream.  I was about to "a la mode" the hell out of some apple pie, but this particular restaurant floor had an incline between the front and the back of the kitchen.  It had been hosed down in a half-assed attempt to clean.  The apple pie, my wrist, and I ended up on the floor -- all broken.

... twice now, I have received a burn on top of an already-existing burn.

... at my current job, though not entirely related to waitressing, I totally face-planted in the parking lot on my first day there, in front of everyone.  I slipped on a huge patch of ice and landed hard, with the contents of my apron and purse flying everywhere.  Everyone inside the restaurant saw it happen.  I had bruises for about a month.  (And actually, when I stood up from the fall, I almost fell again.)

... while prepping my makeup for a waitressing shift, I tore the cornea in my right eye while applying eyeliner.  I could hear the doctor joking about it with the nurses outside my exam room.

... in the last two days, I've burned my arm and my finger (thanks bread oven, ur my bestie!!!11), cracked a toenail, reddened my neck with a wayward broom stick, and bruised my ankle from an aggressive refrigerator door.

The good news is that I've accidentally spilled red nail polish on my hands recently, so when I'm serving you some food this weekend, you get the relaxation of worrying about catching sanguine-transmitted hepatitis.  :)