Tuesday, June 5, 2007
I have a recurring dream. Usually, it shows up if I am feeling unbelievably busy or overwhelmed. I call it..."The Restaurant Dream." I worked in the restaurant business, in one capacity or another, for about 12 years from ages 17 to about 31. On more than one occasion, whether waitressing, hostessing, or tending bar I would find myself completely overwhelmed by customers, losing my patience, forgetting orders, and wanting to walk out. But eventually, the shift would end; I'd have a pocketful of money and life went on. Often times, those nightmare shifts would end up being extremely funny stories later- and who doesn't love a good belly laugh? "The Restaurant Dream" is usually one where I am waiting tables- something I never really enjoyed- but did for a long time. I find myself somehow thrown in to the middle of a busy restaurant (most times it is one in which I worked) . I try to tell the people that I don't work there any more and no one cares. I have tables that need service, and I don't know how the register works or what beers are on tap. No matter how hard I try, I can't catch up. There are three times during the year that I can count on donning an apron during my slumber and hopelessly plodding through a chaotic restaurant scene. They are 1) at the beginning of the school year 2) during the Christmas season, and 3) at the end of the school year. Last night, I think I may have hit a turning point. There I was in the restaurant- early for my shift and there were no customers . The tables were a mess and everything was dirty. There was so much work to do that I wasn't sure where to start but I began organizing plates and tables so that all was beginning to look good for the customers to come in. Other employees began to come in- some of them I recognized- and I began to delegate jobs. Here's the BEST part. Once the actual shift began, I decided I didn't need to stay because everything was in order and they didn't need me. I LEFT!!!! And, it was good.