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

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

(Blood) Pressure

So I'm at this weird place where I think my romantic life is about to move to a new level.  Gosh, that sounds New-Agey.  

Every day, it's like I leap over some kind of relationship milestone, but I'm not in the pay-grade I expected to be earning when I "thought" I'd get married.  I guess it never really happens when you expect it.

It's been suggested that it was "inconvenient" for both of us when I quit my cubicle job, and yes, that person was right.  Would I like to have healthcare?  Yes.  Isn't it easier to be making four times the money I'm making now?  Of course.  Would I like to have work hours that coincide with my future husband's work hours?  Sure, though I really... REALLY hate the 8-5 crap.  REALLY.  Like, I'd rather sling chicken wings than have an 8-5 job ever again.  Would I like to be able to make him dinner without my ankles screaming at me?  Yes, please.  Would I like to contribute to the family finances?  Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  (Boyfriend's voice in my head: "Yes.")

Why am I doing this?  I'm going to be 30 next month, and I'm already freaked out enough about standing at the precipice of marriage, motherhood, and aging knees without also having to worry about job stuff.   Life is hard even when it's easy, so why would anyone do something do make things more complicated?

I brought it upon myself.  That's the thing.  It would be so much easier to blame my old job, my old boss, the economy, etc. for putting me in this position, but I did this.  I'm the one that snapped and decided to run, and now I have to lie in the honey mustard-soaked bed that I made.

I have to count on the little things now, even just today:  My cool 6-top of ladies didn't want their checks separate, which is a very rare thing for six lunching women to do, and that saved me a lot of time and frustration.  They then tipped me 23%.  A screaming match between servers in the kitchen provided me with a good twenty minutes of entertainment (sorry J, but it was hilarious).  And it's always fun to watch people enjoy the hell out of some free dessert.

The rude things people do or say... well, I just have to deal with it.  A customer today asked me for just a "side" of chicken tenders, and when I explained that we don't offer them as a side, she gave me the same look my cat gets when I walk in on her in the litter box and said, "Go get someone who's been here longer.  Let's see, who do I recognize..." like she's some sort of pampered, in-the-know regular.  She treated me not kissing her ass as if I'd just said "'sup homie" to Sir Ian McKellen.  My take on the situation?  "NOPE."  (In my head, anyway.)  Then I got a manager.  (Turns out, she wanted to order a couple of chicken tenders á la carte, which we can do.  But the way she was saying "a side of" made me think she wanted to substitute them for some French fries.)

And that's just all during lunch.  I have to go back in an hour to complete my double shift for another "free dessert day extravaganza."

However, I've found through the years that people lighten up significantly once they have food.  That little drop in blood pressure one experiences with hunger can turn an otherwise nice person into a homicidal maniac.  It's very real and very tricky to handle.  Some of the worst fights I've ever been in with people probably happened because I missed my afternoon snack.  So as a waitress, I tend to take it pretty seriously.

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