I’ve been in a bad mood for about 24 hours now. Actually it started lifting around 11:00 p.m. tonight. And now I feel sort of sane again. This doesn’t happen often but what can you do? You just take a deep breath and get through each moment, one at a time, till the night is over.
The bad mood started Friday night with all the bullshit from Allan. And it continued last night. So by the time I got home last night I was furious. And today started okay. Well sort of. I didn’t get enough sleep. Which is always the case on the weekends so I’m somewhat used to it. The best part of the morning afternoon was finally seeing Chuck again. We have not seen each other since the evening of the party last Sunday. He works days, I work nights, etc. etc. We hadn’t seen each other. So we played catch up and then it was time to go to work.
Of course I realized that tomorrow is my friend Lisa’s birthday. And the past couple of years I’ve sent flowers. So since it was Sunday and I didn’t think I’d be able to find a florist open I called 1-800-Flowers. I’ve only used them once before but it worked out okay. So I get through three pages of “press 1 for this, press 3 for that, press 7 if you speak Japanese.” And finally someone picks up the phone. And we go through the process of ordering the flowers. And I tell him what I want and he gets all my information and we are just about finished when he asks for Lisa’s phone number. And in trying to pull it up on my phone I accidentally disconnected us. Fuck. And so I wait for him to call me back, because one of the first things he asked was, “Is there a number you can be reached at?” And I wait. And I wait. And he never calls me back. So I call 1-800-Flowers back and this time I get a girl who doesn’t have a great command of the English language and what little she does have, she speaks at an insane pace. And I try to tell her what happened and she says to me, “What is your name?” So I tell her. And nothing. “What is your phone number?” followed by “I think you make mistake. You no in system. We must start again.” I ask her to repeat herself. And she says to me that my name isn’t in the system at all so we need to get my account set up before we start.
How am I not in the system. I was in the system when I spoke to the first guy. Not only was I in the system, they had my address, my phone number AND MY CREDIT CARD. So how, six minutes later am I not in the system. And she says to me, “Clearly you are mistaken. We must start again. What is your name please?” And so not very friendly I tell her that she’s insane and I hang up. Actually I don’t say that but I do say that perhaps they need to take a look at their system. And so I hang up and I call back. And I get someone who is not much better. And we start over. What is my name? What is my phone number? Yes, you are in the system. But we have no flowers ordered for you. Do you have a confirmation number. IF I HAD A CONFIRMATION NUMBER I WOULDN’T HAVE HAD TO CALL BACK IN THE FIRST PLACE. Well I’ll need to have a confirmation number to help you. She’s really no better than the first. She finally starts paying attention when I tell her that if she can’t tell whether the orders been placed then I’ll be happy to place the order with another company but if indeed 1-800-Flowers delivers the flowers that she’s unable to verify, that I’ll call my bank and tell them the card has been fraudently charged and will happy to report the company to the authorities. Can I do this? Who knows but I’m pissed at this point. So she tells me to hold on. And I hold on, and hold on, and hold on, and hold on. Every three or four minutes I make sure she’s still there. And finally what do you know? She’s able to pull up the order and yes indeed it’s been placed and is there anything else I need help with. To which I replied, YES. I’d like to cancel the order. I think I would rather call a florist directly tomorrow that has a little more of a handle on what they are doing.
By this time I’m 25 minutes late getting ready for work and I’m in the mood to end all moods. I actually consider calling in to work, but I promised Ken, one of the managers that I’d actually work this Sunday. So I tell myself that I won’t call out, but if there’s the chance to go home I’ll take it. And of course there’s no chance of going home so I’m stuck working. And I don’t want to be there, and it shows in every fiber of my being. And so my shift starts and I resign myself to the work. I tell myself that I’ll do a good job, do my thing and just get through the shift. And so I seat myself the first round of tables and everyone is happy. (One of the great things about waiting tables is that I set the pace of how fast things go. I can’t explain how that happens but I can be fast and moving or I can be slow and methodical. And it’s really up to me. I wait on everyone just as efficiently and sell as much food and make as much money). Today is a slow and methodical day. And so my first couple of tables get up and I go to get more people from the lobby and when I stop to get menus I’m told that Samantha wants to see me. Fuck. What now? So I seat my people and I go in search for Samantha. And she tells me to make sure that I get the people’s names taken off the wait list when I bring them in. It really wasn’t that big of a deal. Except for how she said it. And her tone. And my mood. Mostly it was my mood.
But at that point I said fuck it. I’m going to work cocktails just like everyone else works cocktails. So I didn’t seat myself again the rest of the night. If people found themselves sitting at my table I would wait on them. But I didn’t go in search of them. My chairs at the counter were empty for most of the evening. And I stood in the wait station drinking Diet Pepsi trying to stay out of everyone’s way. And that was my night. I didn’t run around. I didn’t stress. I just wanted to go home and while I was there I was going to do the least possible work. And here’s the funny part. The other person in cocktails ran around like crazy all night and she sold 200 bucks more than I did. If I’d been hustling I would have come close to doubling my sales. And I still made money. Not as much as I could have. But more than most of the people around me.
And once my shift was over I started feeling okay. My not working is kind of my Fuck You to the restaurant. It’s my way of saying “See, I can work just as hard as everyone else. I can stand around and do nothing all night, still make okay money and not have to stress, or run, or be slammed.” And what’s great is they really can’t say anything about it. I don’t break any rules, no one complains and I basically treat my station like every one else who works it. And I think having my fuck you to them has helped me with my mood. Of course it is sort of saying fuck you to me as well. I would have almost doubled my tips tonight if I’d just tried. But sometimes you just have to say what the fuck and let it go.
Now I hope the bad mood is out of my system.