A dream inspired by Barbie, finally fulfilled

About a month ago, I quit my serving job at a popular mexican chain restaurant.  I had always wanted to be a waitress, a fantasy that began when I five and owned a toy that was apparently a joint venture between Pizza Hut and Mattel.

I realize now that this was not a “Pizza Hut Waitress Skipper!” doll. This was just a regular old Skipper who invited some friends (Courtney and Kevin if I’m not mistaken) over for pizza, and, feeling a little festive that evening, decided to wear a Pizza Hut polka dot crop top because…why not? Mattel did promise that this would be “Everything for a complete pizza party!”

For whatever reason, when I was younger I had it in my mind that Skipper was a waitress. Bitch probably got half off that food with her employee discount! So from then on my thinking was this: being a waitress means you are really cool and you look like a model and you have really attractive friends and you serve the most delicious food!  Pretty dumb, especially the part about Pizza Hut being “delicious.” Well, maybe it was fifteen years ago. Anyway.

When my post-graduation summer job ended and I found myself without full time work, I decided to finally fulfill my dream of waitressing, or “serving” as it’s now called. It ended up not being the right gig for me but I’m still glad I had a chance to try it. Because the funny thing is, the parts of serving that I thought I would like were almost exactly like I pictured it. I had to say goodbye to all these wonderful things and it was slightly soul-crushing.

Goodbye to cash at the end of every shift.  Sometimes pretty measly amounts, but better than the money I made at my unpaid internship, which happened to be a negative number thanks to the exorbitant parking fees. There really aren’t many legal, non-clothing-optional jobs that let you walk out each night with cash. Well except for babysitting, which I still do and plan to continue doing well through my sixties.

Goodbye to the customers, most of whom were actually very nice. In fact I feel sort of ripped off that I don’t have an “evil customer” story to exaggerate. Well once there was this woman that got angry when her plate had refried beans on it instead of black beans. And I was like “Oh, I’m so sorry I will go get your beans right now.” And she was like “Thank you, take your time, it’s not a big deal at all.” Then she smiled. God, some people!

Goodbye fun co-workers, half of whom were high school/college students and the other half of whom were single mothers. I never fit in either group and can you guess why? You’re correct, it’s because I am a single father.  

All throughout high school and college I worked in places that were sort of uncommon for someone my age – doctor’s offices, the “Narrative” department at Nordstrom, (your grandmother owns clothes from this department, I guarantee it) more doctor’s offices. Most of my coworkers at these jobs were at least twenty years older than me. I got used to the dynamic that this creates, which is why it isn’t that surprising that the coworker I liked best was a mom in her thirties. If I really was a single father we definitely would have had a Brady Bunch situation on our hands.

Goodbye smell of corn! I left each shift smelling like I just marinated in corn oil. I’m talking about a smell that saturated every item of clothing I wore to work, including my socks and bra (and no I was not secretly storing chips in my shirt).  This was one thing I was happy to say goodbye to! Unfortunately I can’t because I swear some of my clothes still smell like corn. Although this is slightly annoying, it’s sort of nice to have a reminder of the time I finally fulfilled my lifelong dream of waitressing  serving  waitressing.

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