20 January 2009

Hurling M & M's

I'm really not that into... ANYTHING. (Right now.)

Everything is pissing me off! And why is that? I haven't got a hot clue in hell reason for why. Unless, that is, of course, you consider Post Menstrual Syndrome, which doesn't even exist yet (so far as the medical community has registered, anyway) and that grinding M & M's fiercely between your teeth means SOMETHING.

Noise pollution/overload? The fan from the downstairs bathroom is driving me to a fist-slamming mode of frustration because it is one of about a trillion other things in this house that works like it was from the fifties. Oh wait, it WAS from the fifties. Okay, maybe not the actual fan assembly. More like the 80's and the house was built in the fifties. But whatever. The main problem is: it's loud and it reminds me of all the other little projects that are forced into a semi-existing priority list between my husband, me, and the house. The humming carries upstairs, vibrating the living room floor, and creating this overall drumming underlay of sound that makes it difficult to focus on the important sounds--my girls' voices, my husband's voice, and all of the horrible, ear-peeling, window-shattering voice auditions that Simon comments on during the beginning stages of American Idol.

Then there's work. Usually, I can separate work from home and leave it there, shake it off, and go to the next thing; but I have found myself unusually irritated today. How hard can it be? Just take the order, punch it in, serve it hot, make sure the drinks are flowing, and follow procedure. For some reason it was in the air today that 'higher ups' (i.e. a more experienced server) felt their need and purpose in life was to show me how I was NOT doing what I needing to be doing via the Babysitting Method. In other words, proverbially taking me by the hand and showing me via the visual demo how to do something I had, for all intense purposes, simply forgotten to do. Something that can be funny if it`s made to be funny, but is something I find, in any other case, virtually and pragmatically insulting.

A better way? Just point it out in words, tell me I f***ed up and go about your business. In other words, tell me what I did wrong and then leave me the hell alone. It`s a respect thing. And it goes both ways. I don`t need you OR your dog telling me what to do if it`s not going to be delivered in the same respectful way I would deliver to you.

I guess I can abide in that method insofar as it being one I would use, without intent to insult, to ensure that what I was saying was being heard and understood. There is and always has been a teacher at the root of my soul. But for some reason, when it is the other way around, I find it belittling and even laced with sarcasm. Why would that be?

Perhaps this is it. The sole reason for my irritation when all is said and done (and the rest of it only adding the the mix, rather than being the cause)--coming into this kind of attitude once more--this superiority complex. I am half inclined to say that if this is how it's going to be, then change my shift now, because I won't put up with it. Another B. Another small- or narrow-minded small town dweller whose ambitions to be superior do not rise above the local level or personal level (as in to become better than they are even within their surrounding, but simply content to make everyone else seem smaller.) Another batch of simpletons content to carry themselves as a self-perceived big fish in a small pond. Or better yet, a self-perceived better fish in THE (any) pond.

Like it or not, I do understand and have known for years that these kinds of attitudes do exist and I`m going to run into them no matter where I work, what I do, or where I go. So why the big deal? Why does this entire situation, which seemed small and easy to shed, warrant this entire diatribe of a blog? It really is something that this whole unit of spillage came from something that seemed so relatively insignificant in the whole of things.

Maybe just because the manner in which this is all brought out seems so very condescending. I mean this is not to say that I am above them, myself. I could say that it's not really that complicated a job, that a well-trained monkey could do it, etc., etc., but that's a lie. You have to have a certain amount of finesse juggling coffee cups, drink trays, dish trays, handling dishes when clearing, and most importantly handling trays of hot food, coffee pots, and other various juggling acts around babies in highchairs. You also have to have the willpower and brain to punch in exactly what was ordered, missing nothing, keeping track of multiple tables of multiple orders, pouring drinks, serving soup, putting steak knives on steak orders and dipping sauces with the chicken nuggets, and figure out how to kindly ask the cooks to fix their mistakes or help you fix yours.

But it doesn`t take a degree or any amount of formal training to be good, or even mediocre, waitress. A lot of things get missed and no waitress in the world is exempt from mistakes. You forget to bring table 2 their glass of water and table 4 hasn't ordered yet. You come back from the kitchen, forget what mission you were on, and get sidetracked by another customer who flags you down for napkins. Meanwhile, table 4 is still waiting, they have kids who are screaming, the phone is ringing, another order is buzzing in your pocket, and the touch-screen till is causing you flustered grief. It happens to the best of them. So what makes any one of them think, especially when they`ve never even left their surroundings to attain new life experience, both within and out of work-related situations, that they are somehow better because they can snidely `show you` the right way to do something?

Considering I've never done this, I think I'm doing pretty good. I try to greet everything and everyone with a smile or at least can-do attitude, and maybe that makes me appear ditzy, but I get what the customer wants, I fix their orders, I work for their satisfaction, I get the job done, and every waitress experiences scenarios like that every day. Just like I have done with any other job I've ever had.

Quite honestly, I think I irk the shit out of *her.*

And quite honestly, she irks me, too, with her `specific` ways of doing everything even though it`s not her restaurant. For me, though, her quirks are not problematic. Life goes on and I ignore her for the most part. Nod my head and smile and do it my way anyway.

It just lends itself to the theory and further philosophy of moral fiber, personal belief systems, self-psycho-analysis (not to my degree, of course, because I take it too far, usually) and most of all, ability to cope, to adapt, to modify, to see change as growth and not loss of control.

But, I digress. That is not my problem and I absolutely refuse to deal with her. I am not her problem. She is not mine. I do everything that I can to make the job easier for everyone else, because that`s the way I work, and then I just keep on moving. I had much difficulty getting away from conflict or tension daily with the other job, getting away from that person, getting away by means of discussion or distraction with others, but in this new scenario, there are plenty of scenes to bounce off of and thusly, find recovery (both in the mistakes I make and in getting breathing room from that other person.) I will not allow this woman, no matter how much she tries or how little I know to talk to me, treat me, act towards me in the same manner as the dictator of yore. I just find it difficult to walk around intention to avoid confrontation and sulking when they have been confronted. Life is life, people. Confrontation happens all the time. Too little is as unhealthy as too much.

That being said, then it`s really time to get off the defensive side of the board and create an offense. I really need to not care if she likes me or not (which I don`t think I have to this point---working with the other guy really made me realize that I really, REALLY don`t give a flying s*** about what the other one thinks because I`m doing the job I need to do and the jobs that need to be done and doing them well, with a competent, capable mind, and doing enough to help others out, too) and I need to just go about my job like I have been, not giving a shit. I guess it just boils down to control and no one will ever get mine.

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