Working on finishing my last pack of cigarettes. I’m really resentful of quitting right now, despite that I really need to. This post is a reflection of why I’m quitting, and it’s going to get pretty graphic. If you don’t want to read about disgusting bodily malfunctions as a result of choices I make, stop reading here.
It takes me a long time to take a full breath in the morning. A ridiculously long time, intermittent with wheezing and coughing and spitting. Oh, the spitting. Feeling a lump of phlegm right where my windpipe and sinuses meet is like folgers in my fucking cup. It’s terribly irritating, especially because the only way to dislodge it is to make a horrible Felix Unger-ish noise multiple times, until I’m able to rid myself of the phlegm, which immediately replenishes. It’s almost like drowning sometimes. I know that I swallow a lot of mucus at night, and resultingly, my throat is constantly sore and my stomach constantly upset. My chest aches and seizes and my breath literally halts.
I smell fucking repulsive. I’m embarrassed to go to my tables and know that they can smell that I smoke. It’s unappetizing, I’m sure. I try to keep my habit under control when I’m at work and not smoke while I still have tables, but I know that they probably notice a residual smoke smell about me.
The taste in my mouth is pretty abyssmal in between brushings. There’s a definite film that develops over my mouth and teeth that can only be eliminated by a thorough brushing.
Anyway, /smokers rant.
I’ve been doing yoga, and it makes me feel better. I find an almost exponential increase in my flexibility and relaxation on a frequent basis.
I’ve also been trying to schedule according to my priorities, and it’s really helping me improve my time management. I accomplish more of my tasks and use my time more wisely. As a result, I’m very optimistic about this semester.
I’ll keep everyone posted on the quitting of the smoking, I’m sure that after a diatribe such as this, you’re all on the edge of your seats.
And darling dog of mine, please also stop farting in your mother’s face.
I start school tomorrow. I’m actually excited. I look forward to the structure of a classroom, to the necessity to study, to homework, of all things. Fucking homework. Math, Sociology, and computers for Brietards.
I’m excited for lots of reasons. It’s my last semester at community college. My very last one. This venture off from university started as a small idea I had. I was sick of Radford, I was sick of the pretense of living the university life. I needed something…simpler, somehow. Something easier. Without bells, or whistles, or prestige. I just wanted not to feel like I was wasting my time anymore. I found what I was looking for at New River. I found out that I’m proficient with languages. I found ASL, and a propensity towards spanish, and towards education. I found the love of my life, and most importantly, I found a small piece of myself that I had lost touch with. For so long I felt like a failure, that my education was getting me nowhere and that I wasn’t doing what I wanted…just what I had hoped that I had wanted.
I’m excited that I’m graduating in less than six months. It’s not with the degree that I had hoped to have had by now, but thinking realistically, an English degree and a theatre degree would have done little for me professionally. I also feel that I would be completely burnt out on these matters by now, and that I would not only not desire to have them as my job, but would not want them anywhere near me. I still kinda want to vomit when I read British romanticism…
By March-ish, I will be Austin-bound with aforementioned love of my life and our pups. Ready to start our lives together and go onto bigger and better things. I’m slightly scared, moving 1400ish miles away to a new city where I know no one (aside from a few stragglers I hope to drag with us) to wipe the slate clean. I can’t fucking wait.
There’s also the pang of sadness I feel when I realize that I’m leaving my home of nearly the last decade; that I’m moving away from my dear friends and those that have grown to become my family. I guess that I’m just ready to start this new stage, and I’m willing to pick all my shit up and move it. Again.
Each had a shell.
A fucking shell. Like a ninja turtle. Or a hermit crab.
I love it when my manager calls me and tells me that I have too many hours to work one of my shifts. It’s like Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one.
Don’t get me wrong, I really like my job. The only real downside is the public.
Allow me to shed some light on the subject.
I’m a server. Yes, this is one of those rants. The rants that you’re all so tired of hearing. “I’m SO underappreciated. I’m SO underpaid. The public is SO unbearable, blah blah blahhh”
All of these statements have some degree of truth to them. Largely, it’s a thankless job. I work in what is considered “The Entertainment Sector,” which means that the luxury of going out to a restaurant and have dinner is just that— a luxury. I’m glad that I can take part in the experiencing of a luxury; that people may or may not be able to treat themselves to a great meal that they themselves do not have to prepare. It’s incredible that amidst emotional and financial turmoil people can still treat themselves to what we can consider “the little things.”
That being said…
Give us a fucking break. Appreciate that you’re able to go out to eat, where so many are not. Appreciate your Steak and Chicken Tender combo (well done, no pink of course) with Asparagus and a Caesar salad. Don’t pitch a conniption fit because your salad came out five minutes before your steak did. Realize that you are not the only table in the restaurant, and bigger than that, realize that you’re not the only table your server is caring for.
I speak only for myself, of course. I work very hard to make sure that everyone enjoys their short time with me. I don’t just slack off because I don’t want to work. I want to make sure that your experience is excellent— but sometimes there are circumstances beyond my control. I may have been double-seated, which means that I have to give the same level of service to two tables at the exact same time. This is difficult, because ultimately, one of the tables may suffer to a small degree. The kitchen may not take as much care as they should when preparing your food— but remember, they’re preparing food for potentially hundreds of people at one time. When was the last time you prepared a meal for 60+ in 12 minutes or less? Exactly. You haven’t. It is NOT my fault if your burger is undercooked. But please let me know, and I will be glad to fix it for you. My manager will be glad to remedy the situation and to make sure that you are ultimately satisfied with your experience. Please do not punish me because your steak is tough, or your salad is wilted. As long as I do everything in my power to fix the problem, I still deserve a tip.
Remember that your server makes $2.13 hourly, and that we rely on your tips. I’m not saying tip every server 20%. Some do not work as hard as others, and do not deserve an A+ tip. But recognize that most corporate restaurants require that the servers tip a percentage of their tips to another member of the front of house staff, such as bussers, or hosts, or food runners, and that when you tip your server poorly, they are paying to serve you.
So, I’ll give you a guide.
1) DO NOT stiff your server. It is rude. “Stiffing” means leaving small change or nothing at all as a tip. Not only is it rude, it is unbelievably unacceptable.
2) For poor service, 10% is acceptable.
3) For average service, 15% is acceptable.
4) For outstanding service, 20% or more is encouraged.
Thank you for your time.
Today, I woke up. I got in the shower, lamenting the fact that I was awake. After emerging from a steamy bathroom, I traversed the six feet to my room and gathered my work clothes. I adorned the proper undergarments (another lamented sigh at this fact) and paused in front of my mirror to check out my physique. I’m not vain by any stretch, but I am definitely confident that hell yeah, I look good. Then, I turned around to get a view from the back.
There, hanging where my ass should be, is my mother’s ass.
I should have just gone back to bed.
And there are
1012 bilingual and/or ESL special education positions open in my district.
FYI for prospective teachers looking for a speciality.
Makes me feel so much better about my chosen profession, don’chaknow?
I’ve been quietly replaying the events of Sunday in my mind since then, and thinking about ways I can improve on myself to prevent these things from happening again.
My car wouldn’t start. Correction: wouldn’t even turn over. Monday, July 25th, I got my car back from United Muffler, after a hefty $500 dollars was spent to replace the alternator and battery. And here it is, Sunday, July 31st, and my car already doesn’t start? I was a mushroom cloud-layin’-motherfucker. I was already running behind and was blocking in the only other mode of transportation, so I called work to let them know what was going on. They graciously understood, didn’t put up a fight, and I kept them updated of the situation from that time on. So, I call AAA. They tell me that within the hour, assistance would find me, and that I would be fine. But oh, wait, “This is your fifth service call this year. Is this correct Ms. Jones?” I begrudgingly answer that it is indeed my fifth service call this year, meaning that I had used my four free calls, and that it would be $50 for a jumpstart. Feeling rather lumpy in the throat, I authorized the $50 charge to my debit card and got comfortable.
An hour passed. It wasn’t a bad hour, hanging out with Leigh-Ann, watching fine-ass Gerard Butler do action, feast. Pretty good Sunday morning, despite the ignorant bitch of a car. I called AAA again, to confirm that the service call was in fact being processed and that I would be going to work soon. “Ms. Jones, I have contacted the driver and he should be there around 1:15.” Cool. It’s now 12:35, I’m not worried. I’ve missed an hour of my shift, but that’s no big deal. If I can get there by 1:30, I should be golden and just be able to work straight through. Money isn’t totally lost here. So, I putz around for another 45 minutes or so, and the truck driver finally arrives to rescue me. Turns out, no where in this area is open on a Sunday, (fucking fundys, man,) and a driver had to come from Wytheville, which is about 35 miles away. That’s just ludicrous to me. I didn’t feel so bad being out the 50 bucks now, despite the fact that the driver would probably see none of it outside of his normal paycheck.
So, he fiddles around under the hood, hooks up a battery tester, and what do you know? The battery is at 100%. Everything is absolutely ship-shape (a term that I would like to use literally here, as the Lincoln is legitimately a barge) under the hood, except that the clamps around the battery terminals are loose. He takes a socket wrench from his toolbag and tightens the battery terminals, and away he goes. The Lincoln, of course, starts right up, purring like a kitty.
So, wait. I just paid $50 for a guy to drive all the way from wytheville to turn a socket wrench? I feel like ten flavors of fucking retarded. By this time, it’s nearly 2 pm, and I’ve already practically missed my morning shift. So, here I am, waging that I am probably at least $90 in the hole at this moment because of this problem, and I start getting more and more sheepish about the incident.
Mike Rowe, of Dirty Jobs fame, recently appealed to Congress for the need for skilled laborers, and that more than that, we each needed to be our own skilled labor. I’ve cited his testimony as a source, actually, and if you’ve got time, check it out. I’ve been silently musing about this since then, comparing my situation to what he described as being a part of a nation of people who don’t know how to do simple, everyday labor. We’re just willing to leave a check on the kitchen counter and hope that it’s done correctly by the time we get home. I’m slightly ashamed that I am so practically retarded. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I can turn a screwdriver. I can work a power drill, and safely too. If given the correct tools and a slightly more than advanced idea of how the item in question works, I can probably disassemble and reassemble something simple. But I couldn’t figure out that what was wrong with my car could have been fixed myself in about four minutes. I only would have been about ten minutes late for work, and I wouldn’t be $90 in the hole. I’m a freakin’ idiot.
So, those realizations I was talking about earlier are pretty apparent after this long-winded diatribe about the last “GD day of rest,” as I like to refer to it. I should really make an effort to be able to fix things myself. I’m going to learn how to change a tire, how to change my oil, and probably how to do basic maintenance on my MR2, if I ever intend to drive it at all. But more than that, I’d like to take up another of the “vocational” skills. Something useful. Not like construction, which is plenty useful, but more like plumbing, or electrical, or small engine repair. Or shit, all of the above would be pretty cool. I’m just constantly surrounded with things that have the potential to break, and I’m understanding more and more that I should know how to fix them when they do.
In addition, I urge everyone to sit back and think about the things that they use everyday. Electricity. Plumbing. Transportation. And wouldn’t it be nice if problems with these things could be fixed simply, without much hassle and having to “call someone who knows how to deal with these sorts of things.” Seriously! We should all be our own “someone who knows how to deal with these sorts of things.”
I guess I should take a class or something.
There is so much I want to tell you
But so few words come to mind.
I couldn’t even begin to scour thesauri
For adequate adjectives to convey your
Delicate, quiet beauty.
The best images that come to mind
Are coffee rings left on assorted papers,
Red wine dribbled on a white tablecloth,
Or the obtrusiveness of the dawn’s fog
rolling in from between the giant, slouching mountains.
It is here where you are most ethereal,
Cozy in the day’s warmth,
Wind-brushed and sun-glazed.
Your fingers, like soft stalks of wheat,
Graze the milky skin of my gently-heaving torso,
Traverse the plains of my creamy collarbones,
And guide your arms across my shoulders
Pulling me closer to you,
Deeper into the tawny breadth of the morning.