Thursday, June 16, 2011
Can I Get A Side Of Gratitude With My F-Bomb Special?
The meeting started at 1pm. I crept in just before the time switched over to 1:01pm. I grabbed a seat at the end and listened quietly as the ass-whooping began.
I wish I would’ve had a tape recorder.
I think my General Manager probably used the word “fuck” about... hmm... maybe 58 times? I did lose track but I think that’s a pretty decent guess. He had called this meeting earlier this week for all of the bartenders as he was fed up with the behaviors that were getting out of control. Specifically, drinking behind the bar, before and after shifts and in general, making complete asses out of themselves.
I knew I didn’t need to be there...
The reason I WAS there was because the meeting was supposed to apply to all bartenders, including the ones that worked on the patio bar. Although the other patio bartender wasn’t in attendance... sigh... even when I don’t really care, I have a good work ethic.
I’m not really upset that I had to go. It’s part of having the kind of job that I have. In fact, my GM made more than a few good points during the meeting, one being “when you all become owners of your own restaurant, then you can make up all the rules you want. Since you aren’t, you get to listen to the man.”
Or something like that.
And he’s right. I drove 25 minutes to go to a meeting that I knew was not going to apply to me, collected half an hour of minimum wage and now am sitting at a Starbucks waiting to go back to work (because going all the way home when my shift starts at 4:00pm just isn’t efficient) all because I know that this is what working for the man is all about.
I also know that it could always be worse.
On Mondays, I work the patio bar. Typically, Mondays are not a big night for drinkers. I made $15 this week during that shift. Awesome. And I thought last week was bad when I walked with $20. Anyone wanna bet $10 on what I’ll make next Monday?
I try not to stress out too much about those nights. A few weeks ago, I got destroyed on the patio on a Saturday night and clocked out nine hours later with $300 in my pocket and people still wanting service at my bar. Those shifts are helpful for my stress level.
I am most definitely NOT complaining. I work a job that requires little to no brain power, just good time management skills and the ability to prioritize tasks in an efficient manner. I work four days a week and rarely have to work longer than six hours per shift. My immediate supervisor is one of my best friends and most of the people I work with are actually pretty cool. Our only busser is a five foot tall bundle of adorable and when we have special events and parties (which is more often than I expected), I get to exercise my banquet skills, which I thoroughly enjoy doing.
For someone who dislikes working as much as I do, I am grateful for these things.
I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to “be somebody”. As if my own self worth was determined by how much money I made, what kind of career I had and what my life looked like to outside spectators. It seems the older I get and the more jobs I have, I start to see how ridiculous this idea is. For me, at least... I’ve mentioned it before, I’m sure - but I just don’t see the point of putting on a suit, sitting behind a desk and working a phone all day long. Especially if the job itself has little to no meaning in my life.
I’m always envious of those people who love what they are doing. I’ve been looking for a job to love ever since I was fifteen. Actually, I did love my first job... I worked at a Subway. It was fun to prepare all the vegetables every day and I loved seeing how fast I could make a sandwich. Plus, people have some pretty crazy ideas on what makes a good sandwich (the dude who ordered the footlong meatball with double meat - 16 meatballs, mind you - and topped it off with a vinegar soaked piece of white bread comes to mind...) and it was a wonderful way to bring me out of my shyness as a teenager. I worked there all the way until I went away to college. If I would’ve stayed in Washington, I might own that particular Subway by now...
I’ve had jobs since that I’ve been thrilled to have been hired for, but never actually “enjoyed”. Working for my next vacation just seemed... awful. Besides, vacations were just filled with back of mind thoughts of how full my in-box was going to be when I returned to the office. Not to mention all the catch-up I was going to have to play to try and make my numbers.
A Case of The Mondays. Wednesday Hump Day. T.G.I.Fridays. Sunday Night Blues. I’d like to pass on all of the above, thanks.
Becoming a server was one of the better decisions I’ve made in my life. Mostly because it has given me the opportunity to do something on a daily basis that is so important to me: sleep in. Plus, being in Las Vegas, working the night shift does not necessarily have to interfere with my nightlife. And with the rare exception of the complete asshole who has never had to wait on anyone in their whole life and thrives off of making YOUR life hell by pointing out all that is wrong with his entire dining experience, I don’t usually take work home with me.
When I first started working at Chili’s, I felt like I was kind of a failure at life. Okay so I spent two years and just under $35,000 on college so I could ask you how you want your mediocre steak cooked? But, the longer I was there, the more respect I had for the food industry as a whole. Besides, before serving, I had a career in hotel sales and hospitality. Ever since 9/11, that has been one of the most difficult and unrewarding industries to be in, besides the mortgage business, I think... and I did that for a while too.
Once I got behind the bar, I started enjoying what I was doing even more. I could be creative and enjoyed the responsibility that came along with serving alcohol. I’ve always been a better server than bartender because I’m not much for small talk or putting up with advances from drunken idiots... but I’m also more trustworthy than most bartenders so management loves having me behind the bar. It’s a decent trade-off.
When Jeremy told me I was wasting my time and talents at Chili’s, there was part of me that was offended, even though I knew he was right. Of course I’m capable of doing other things... but the idea of enjoying my job always took precedence over something that society considered “more valuable”.
Obviously, Jeremy was mostly saying that I should be focusing all of my energy on becoming a writer because he was so impressed by what I wrote about and how I expressed my thoughts. I knew what he meant... believe me, if I could find the motivation and desire to pursue a writing career, that is exactly what I would be doing because it is something else that I thoroughly enjoy.
It’s nice not to be working at Chili’s anymore. There is a lot of bullshit one has to put up with when they are simply an “hourly”. I experienced that today with my new job at Roadrunner. Sometimes, you have to attend meetings in the middle of the day and get told to “go fuck yourself” if it means being able to pay rent with one of the easiest jobs in the world.
I still have hopes, of course, that I won’t have to work as a server forever. I dream of the day that someone will read something I wrote and be willing to publish it. I certainly have the hopes that it won’t take more effort than what I’m putting in now because I’m just not sure it’s in me...
My birthday is in just a little over two weeks. I’m changing my mind again... I love this blog. I love having a place where I can always be myself. Beginning this blog has been one of the best things I have ever done. I have been given unique opportunities because of it and it keeps me grounded in a world where it is so easy to just... drift away.
Plus, if there is one thing Jeremy has taught me (and there is more than one, by the way), it is that rules only impede us and that I have a nasty habit of setting boundaries for myself that may not actually be what I want. Sure, I would love to write a book - and if it happens, that’s great. In the meantime, I’m already doing something I love. So... why would I stop?
Tim and I celebrated one month of being together on Tuesday. He was so cute and excited about it and I was inspired to get him a card and write down all of the things he is to me and how grateful I am to have found him. As I was writing, one thing that came out was how being with him has really made me embrace the “what is” in life instead of the “what if”. Instead of worrying so much about whether or not this job will work out or if I will ever make it as a successful writer or if I have what it takes to make this relationship work, etc... I’m starting to really understand the beauty of just being in the moment.
I work. I write. I love. I’ve managed to overcome every obstacle that has popped up so far... no sense in worrying about future ones that may or may not arise.
Taking life too seriously has been my downfall in the past. Feeling happy with the “what is” has given me the opportunity to focus my attention on the things in my life that are working. And gratitude, along with love, has the highest level of vibration in terms of energy, attracting the most positive response from the Universe.
So, in case my General Manager ever reads this - my smirk during the meeting today was not because you were dropping F-bombs like they were going out of style, but because I was actually grateful to be there.
Go fucking figure.
Posted by Tina V at 3:40 PM