I just had one of THE worst days of work on record. EVER! Well, almost ever. It pretty much ties in there with tipping a rock truck fully loaded across the main dam, anyway. I think I want to die. Pretty close, anyway. Or at least disappear. Into a small, dark, secluded hole where no one can find me. Among making monumentally regressive mistakes at work these past two weeks and getting called out on having my head up my ass (and being insulted about it, to boot), I practically destroyed the second computer, phone, a tray of rolled cutlery, and place mats as I lost control of an entire tray of drinks. And not just the small drink trays—but a PILE of filled glasses on the large food trays! ALL over. Bam. Like that. Massive tide of beverages cascaded down in a crashing deluge of liquid, ne’er to be saved.
I was the opening supervisor, madly dashing around a nearly full restaurant, alone, while a team of badminton players sat down at three booths in a row. I was doing pretty well considering the circumstances. Everything timed right, plates coming out of the kitchen on time. I was borderline panicked, but I was covering guests adequately, and reminding myself to breathe. I made the fateful decision to get the team’s drinks in one trip. I was right there. It made sense. Save your steps, I heard myself say. Hey, this is some inspired idea! Let’s get a BIG tray, put all the glasses on it, and make one big saving trip. If only I’d listened to that little cry from far within, “no! Don’t do it!” If only I’d heeded the sense to trade a little added inconvenience for the nonsense of putting fifteen filled glasses on a tray that I would be carrying with one hand... if only I had just thought a little further ahead...
But it was not to be. Down they all went, all the cups, all the juice, chocolate milk, water, iced tea, and pop. Down, down, down. Soaking the entire tray of cutlery, splashing the computer, dowsing the phone, leaking and dripping down the sides of things, ruining an entire stack of placemats, oozing onto cable cords, down the sides of the fridge, behind the fridge, under the fridge. A scream of sheer terror curdled deep within me that I could not release. And as my little spinning world came to an irreversible stop, I pulled myself up and tipped my head up just enough to see customers standing at the till...
As the pace of the morning compelled me to move forward, a deeper part of me went somewhere else. I shook nervously, I lurched into Cope Mode, I resolutely went through the motions of being a waitress out of sheer will, and became quietly manic while I tried in vain to clean up the mess and continue with service around me.
Then my boss came in.
And found the phone and the computer in the state they were in. Back in the kitchen he was looking at me funny, picking at his pants, and I couldn’t tell if he was trying to be funny in a wry kind of way, but I told him what happened. He said he knew. And then with this changed look in his eye, I knew something more was ever so seriously wrong. He asked me what he should do about it. Facetiously. What little recovery I had been able to manage from the incident itself now washed itself away completely and a number stood wretchedly between us, so stark and so jagged that it will probably forever more mark a searing scar on whatever working professionalism I ever worked for the achieve in this place. Twelve hundred dollars. That’s not a paycheck dock. That is a serious offense. A federal crime.
And now I am left wondering what to do. I finished the day with nary a word or glance between either of us and did my day cash-out quietly, trying desperately to slip out unnoticed. I just want to die. I still, as of this entry, have not processed all of angles of this. The fact of the matter is, both of my bosses are far more different than me and I could not, in all of a thousand or million years, begin to understand how this is going to unfold from here on out. I am just really, really sorry.