Saturday, June 6, 2009

Older and... Wiser?

I'm not as young as I once was, in more ways than one, and not all of them bad.

I am off work today, thank goodness, after working two VERY long days at the new restaurant for our soft opening--where we have a limited number of "invite only" guests eating free food while we practice not launching french fries at people, and the kitchen tries to get their shit together. Now, a 13+ hour day is long by anybody's standards, but DAMN have I been feeling it... in my muscles, my bones, and especially my feet.

In essence, my body HURTS. And that makes me feel old.

On the other hand, watching some of the young girls (21, 22) that we're working with, I am damned grateful for the maturity that experience and life in general have given me. There are downsides to an all-female floor staff, such as the tendency to gossip and create drama at every opportunity, but what really gets me are the freakin' tears.

One of the women training us is French, so let's call her Elle, and all of these children have decided that she is rude and evil and they bitch about her behind her back every second they can, simply because she doesn't pat them on the head and tell them they're pretty every time she offers some constructive criticism.

Something that became particularly apparent to me during my studies abroad last Summer is that, as a whole, Americans expect to be coddled. We want our hands held and our asses wiped and god forbid you offer us any sort of criticism without softening the blow with a compliment (or twelve).

So when Elle corrects someone's service technique, or tries to show them a more efficient way of doing something... they cry. Or bitch about it and petulantly not do what they were told. Let's forget the fact that she is a.) just doing her job, b.) from an entirely different culture that has an entirely different approach to interpersonal relations, and c.) speaking a language that is not her native tongue. None of that matters in the slightest. She isn't treating me like a delicate flower and therefore she is a bitch.

It's really ridiculous.

Now, don't get me wrong, she rubbed me the wrong way for a day or two as well, but then again, EVERYTHING was rubbing me the wrong way. And in the end? I got over it. And now I think she's lovely. That may have something to do with the fact that she clearly likes me as well--most likely because I'm not incompetent--but that's beside the point. It's a fucking job people. Not high school. Or day care. We're not here to make friends, we are here to get paid. Period.

Fortunately there is another "old hand" on the staff, with whom I instantly bonded, who also takes all of the lunacy in stride. I'm sure a day will come for each of us when we totally lose our shit--because it's the service industry and that's just how it goes--but until that point in time, I'm just going to keep my ass out of the drama... and hope my feet don't fall off.

1 comment:

wegrit said...

And this is why I have so few girlfriends. Because so few girls are sane more often than they're complete nut jobs.