Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mental Chiropractics

I need a serious attitude adjustment.

In an hour or so, I'll be heading downtown for my third day of training for Waitressing Job. Today we're learning the Bar, and I'm already annoyed because they've told us we'll be pouring with a jigger. I know how to free-pour properly, and I find jiggers slow, tedious, and messy, particularly if one is in a rush. Thus, I am pissed off before I even get to work, a pattern that has been in effect for, oh, years... particularly when related to the service industry.

It is, in fact, the reason I got out of the industry in the first place.

Holy shit, there is an aeronotical insect ballet taking place in my livingroom. I really need to get screens for my windows. Right, back to the issue at hand.

I stopped waiting tables 4 years ago because it made me miserable, made me not only see the worst in people, but expect it, which is an attitude that is so very much not in line with my usual outlook on life. So I quit... and went on to be a personal assistant--definitely NOT the way to go when trying to restore one's faith in humanity. But I digress.

The bottom line is: I was skeptical when I took this job, but I need a job. Specifically, a job that pays more than Unemployment, which this one hopefully will. It is an act of necessity, but does necessity dictate that I must be miserable for the next few months?

Yet there I sit in training, the restaurant won't even open for business until the end of next week, and I can practically feel the negativity oozing from every pore.

Is there such a thing as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for New York City waitresses?

This restaurant is very, shall we say, "High Concept." It has an extremely limited menu and a very specific way of doing things. On one hand, this is fabulous. It makes my job that much easier not having to memorize 5,000 appetizers, or worry about swapping out sides and holding the mayo/onions/etc. Yet every time a new piece of information is introduced, I immediately find myself imagining the customer who is going to raise an enormous stink over the fact that we don't have ketchup, and therefore refuse to tip me.

It's very similar to a few years ago when the shit was hitting the fan with The Evil Ex Roommate. She flew off the handle and treated me so horribly at the slightest provocation that no matter what I did or did not do, or before she had knowledge of either, I would imagine and steel myself for the tirade to come.

I took so much abuse--from my roommate, my customers, and even my former employers--that I've come to expect it. Which is, um, bad.

Or perhaps it's less an issue of PWSD (Post Waitressing Stress Disorder), and more the fact that I am essentially bitter that, after spending 4 semesters and nearly $100k on a Masters Degree, I'm right back where I was 4 years ago: waiting tables and struggling to keep financially afloat--which is essentially a gigantic kick in the ass and an indicator that, perhaps, I've been wasting my time (not to mention my credit rating).

Regardless of the cause, what I need to figure out is: is there any way I can turn this attitude around, give the service industry (and myself) a clean slate and start over with, if not exactly a positive, then at least a neutral outlook?

Or have I simply made my bed, as they say? ...And now I have to work in it.


Princess of the Universe said...

Never having been a server (except for one day - which quite possibly is a post topic) I can't really neutralize it for you. However I will try to point out some potential positives?

1. High concept MAY mean high tips?
2. News will probably travel and people will learn what the restaurant is like, so it will only be total newbies who ask for ketchup and you totally have the right to look down on them for not being "in the know"
3. EVERYone will be in the same painful boat, so perhaps you can all commiserate?
4. Re: graduate school- never a waste of time. It sounds like you have side project that will put you in the right direction more effectively than your current employ. You gotta pay the bills right?
5. Waitressing? The kind of job you don't have to take home with you. I.e. when your shift is over - you leave. You don't have to bring home paperwork etc etc

I hope it all goes well honey!

Brian said...

Instead of paying for college I wish my parents just gave me the money so I could go have one epic time at the casino. It would have been more fun flushing it down the toilet that way.

Therapeutic Ramblings said...

I wouldn't last a shift....too many assholes out there.