I’m about to go to Barnes and Noble with the intention of buying ONE thing, which inevitably means I’ll be leaving six hours later with four bags of books and a lost sense of time, pride, and money, so I figured I’d write a blog before I do that.
Since I last wrote, I’ve acquired several more jobs. Unfortunately, none of them are what I consider “real” jobs, so I’m basically unemployed with a job schedule that mimics a seventeen-year-old’s work experience. Restaurant job 1, restaurant job 2, tutoring job 1, tutoring job 2, babysitting, etc. I’ll now be filling out four tax forms and probably owing the government money on negative income. Can’t wait.
Speaking of the government, which makes me think of Obamacare (of which I receive none. All this talk of “free health care” was a LIE), one week ago today, I woke up dizzy and sweating and without a voice.
“She can’t speak? There is a God!” “Miracles do happen!” “Hallelujah!” I get it.
But it was unnerving because my laryngitis was accompanied by chills and aches and a fever and light-headedness, and I figured I was going to die from the flu because I’m uninsured and refuse to seek treatment.
I had to call in sick, which is lame sauce because at my job, we have no paid sick leave (think about that the next time you enter a restaurant during flu season!), and I spent the day schlepping around my apartment, sanitizing everything in my wake.
I managed to find a box of remedies that I carted from New Mexico and hid in a closet that contained such gems as Emergen-C and Wal-borne (like “Air-borne,” but cheaper), Mucinex, herbal tea, and Zicam. I scared the family downstairs by looking like a flannel-clad ghost and wheezing like a hoarse mule (ha. horse mule).
“Are you…sick?” they asked.
“Eeee awww” said the hoarse mule, which roughly translated meant, “yes.”
I stayed upstairs and “rested” (coughed, cleaned, did laundry, made tea), so that the next day, when I was scheduled to work a double, I could do so without them sending me home immediately because I couldn’t audibly say “Hello.”
Tuesday I woke up feeling refreshed—so refreshed, in fact, that I did two classes at the gym before work. Happy day!
That, of course, meant on Wednesday, I woke up feeling dead again.
Long story short, here it is a week later and I still have hardly any voice and am coughing like a chain-smoker. BUT there’s been an upside to all of this!
I have had a wonderful week at the restaurant, relatively speaking. And I have a theory.
There was an episode of Friends where Phoebe—a guitar player and “singer”—gets sick and loses her voice, and she becomes a big hit because the laryngitis gave her a “sexy” voice. I think that having lost my voice slightly, I now have a sexy voice and people have responded positively to this.
My tips actually increased!
This could also be because lately I’ve tried to maintain a better attitude while at work. Instead of thinking about how much money I’m making (or more accurately, not making), I’m trying to focus on helping my guests have an enjoyable experience, whatever that requires. A table of six wants only water to drink, half with ice, three with lemons, two with limes, one with none? You got it! A couple wants to order a quinoa salad with a side of stock-velvetting vegetable broth to use as a dipping sauce? No problem! I am here to serve!
Funnily enough, when I focus more on the guests’ needs rather than my own, everyone benefits. If I go in with an attitude of “I need to make money,” then my day is automatically shot. I start comparing my tables to the other servers’ and feel discriminated against because they have better sections than me, or bigger tables, or non-foreigners, or heavy drinkers who rack up the alcohol sales, or business-suited individuals who tip 20% no matter what, while I’m stuck with homeless vagabonds, teenagers who think that leaving $35 on a $33.50 tab is generous, international couples who don’t understand the tipping culture in America (but, for the record, are very kind people), a family with toddlers whose table looks like an atomic explosion when they leave, or a single person who comes in just for a cup of soup and glass of water and leaves 20% on a $7 bill.
Compare and despair, my friends. Compare and despair.
IN non-related, but related, news, I’d like to give a shout-out to my regulars because they are AWESOME.
I met J and T when they first came into my restaurant two months ago, (I could be wrong in thinking it was their first time there…it was MY first time, though—Day Two of training) and they were the first table I took “on my own.” I must have provided exceptional service, which could in no way be related to the fact I only had one table, because they were SO nice and told me I did a great job and they promised to come back to see me when my training was complete.
Ever true to their word, they returned the next week (and the next) and requested my section, and now I email them my schedule so they know when to come in for lunch. Even when I’m having a hectic day, my mood is brightened whenever I see them appear at one of my tables. They make me feel relaxed, and they always treat me very well. (I also forced my blog upon them, so they might be reading this.*)
*This is in no way a ploy to earn best-server-ever points.
Short story: there are great people who make my job enjoyable, and J&T are two of them.
In other news:
I think I’m going to be changing up my blog. Instead of long blogs about interesting events (or rather, just events), I may transition to more of a “Day in the Life of a Dartmouth Graduate Who Seeks (Real) Employment.”**
**There are at least three other people who’ve started similar blogs. I think that should be a blog in itself. DON’T GET A MALS DEGREE IN CREATIVE WRITING IF YOU WANT TO, like, WRITE FOR LIVING.
I actually don’t know what I want to do for a living. Maybe I should start with that.
What does David Sedaris do on a daily basis? I think I’d like to do that.