The Penultimate Word

Posted: September 10, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

Recently I posted a post entitled, ‘The Final Word‘.  I was responding to a writing prompt about those unused conversation-stopping ‘zingers’, and I admitted that between being blessed with a quick mind and cursed with poor impulse control, I had no unused zingers.  ‘Damn the torpedoes!  Full speed ahead!’ is pretty much the way I live my life.  Two more cases to prove my point…

Nightclub #1: Ranger Station … In space, no one can see you dance...

Nightclub #1: Ranger Station … In space, no one can see you dance…

I’ve posted about my coworker ‘Natalie’ before, although damned if I can remember what name I used and I’m too lazy to go back and try to find it.  The snapshot bio is that she is a very good waitress- almost as good as yours truly- but a bitch to work with, because she covers an insecurity complex with dogmatic assertiveness.  Natalie and I clash a lot.  Natalie is a high-functioning OCD, determined to do everything ‘just so’ and to make sure everyone around her does it the same way.  My serving style is much more fluid (i.e. chaotic!) because I believe in reading the customer and tailoring my serving style to that read.  Not only do I not wait tables the same way Natalie does, I don’t even wait tables the same way I do from table to table.  Also, if I get bored, I push the buttons of people around me so I can watch them react.  Natalie has very easily pushed buttons.  Have I mentioned we clash a lot?  Jonas has given her a little authority, made her the head waitress at Giovanni’s.  (And yes, we’ve made all the obvious jokes that she became the head waitress by being the head waitress, although I’m 93% sure that rumor is actually unfounded…)  As head waitress, Natalie actually works a smaller station then the rest of us, but Giovanni’s compensates her for the reduced tips by giving her a higher hourly rate and by requiring the waitstaff to tip her out and pay her a percentage of our tips for the evening.  Natalie does help us all, but she doesn’t believe in keeping us in the loop on how she is helping us or in working with us in how she helps us.  So several times any shift we work together, I greet tables only to find ‘the other girl’ is getting their drink orders or come by to take up their payment only to find they already gave their credit card ‘to the other girl’.  Also, I’ve polished my shmoozing to ensure I sound friendly and get optimal tips.  Natalie is abrupt- not because she dislikes customers or wants to be rude, but because she is briskly multitasking and courtesy falls below efficiency on her list of priorities.  But Natalie is being abrupt with my tables and making me look dumb for not knowing what she’s done.  I feel like her assistance is causing me to get smaller tips, and then I’m required to reduce them further yet by tipping Natalie out a percentage of my tips to repay her for her ‘help’.  So yeah, we really clash a lot.

The other day, as I was making salads for two of my tables, Natalie was taking a carry out order on one of the phone lines in the kitchen.  Listening to her half of the conversation, I realized that Natalie’s phone style was a lot like mine.  We both have better diction and a slightly more formal vocabulary on the phone than we do face-to-face.  We both are more courteous on the phone than we are in person.  (Natalie is, as I said before, brisk and I am snarky and sarcastic.)  We both take pains to say please and thank you in our phone conversations, and rarely say either in face-to-face conversations.  In short, we’re both professionals and we put our individual natures aside to provide proper carryout service.  I could have complimented Natalie.  Probably, in hindsight, I should have.  But we were both working doubles, we’d been clashing all day (I did mention we do that a lot, right?), and those impulses I control poorly were all geared towards maximum snark.  What I actually said was, “Wow, Nat. You sound a lot friendlier on the phone.  Have you ever thought about a career in phone sex?”

Nightclub #2: The Castle … elegantly naughty.

Nightclub #2: The Castle … elegantly naughty.

Then there was yesterday morning.  I’ve said before, I’m a better person when I get good sleep.  My A.D.D. doesn’t act up as much.  I have more patience for dealing with the people around me.  (More patience for dealing with customers, which in turn means better tips, better income.  Also better patience with co-workers means less time wasted on activities like clashing with Natalie, less needless drama, etc.)  When I’m well rested, I make fewer inappropriate or counter-productive statements.  It’s partly that after a good night’s sleep, I have better (still not good, but better then otherwise!) impulse control and partly that I have nicer impulses when I’m well rested and patient.  Unfortunately, two things factor against me.  One, I have an awful lot on my plate.  Two, I know I need about eight hours of sleep from night to night, but I also know I can cheat and get by on less for one night with very little side effects.  So each night I tell myself, tomorrow I’ll get that good night of sleep, and I end stringing together night after night of only almost-enough sleep until I’ve wrung out my energy stores and I’m operating at about 50%, getting through my days on energy drinks and ego.  But there is no better feeling then the morning after I hit the wall.  Two nights ago, I barely made it out of Giovanni’s.  I feel sorry for Katie, who was closing with me and pretty much had to do her portion of the close and then a goodly chunk of mine.  I did make it home, but I never even ate, just wiped out on my couch, still in my dirty uniform.  I woke up with the television screen flashing a message about what did I want to do now the DVR recording was over, so apparently I fell asleep after I started the playback.  The crash, hitting the wall because I’ve worn my energy to a nub, that scratchy feeling on my eyeballs when I’m to exhausted to stay awake and don’t yet have the option to sleep- those parts aren’t fun.  But that first post-crash morning, when I wake up recharged and hungry.  When I have drive, and knock a few chores off my to-do list.  That’s wonderful.

Instead of barely making it into work on time, I cheerfully sauntered in with ten minutes to spare.  I had already done some overdue laundry, been to the library, cooked a real breakfast and cleaned up after myself rather then just shoving the dishes into the sink for later, handled a few bills on line, and cleared up my schedule for later this month so I can take a road trip to see my brother at Base Albany.  I was whistling some Green Day and Billy Talent as I came in to work.  Brenda, a gossipy older waitress who works mostly lunches, immediately drawled, ‘Well you’re extra chipper this morning, Emily.  What have you been doing this morning?”

I’ve known Brenda long enough to know she was looking for some juicy tidbits about whether I had finally developed a love life she could speculate about.  On a different morning I would probably told her it wasn’t any of her business or told her a salacious lie to see how long it took to spread through the restaurant.  I might have given my generic answer, a dead pan claim that I’m living the dream, usually followed by “and trying to wake up” or “or maybe I’m living the nightmare.  It’s a thin line sometimes.”  Instead, I just grinned, twirled once before I set my purse in the cubby, and told her, “I just spent the morning being awesome.  I’m a Marik; it’s what we do.”

Nightclub #3: Saints & Sinners Biker Bar… bet you only need one guess which I am...

Nightclub #3: Saints & Sinners Biker Bar… bet you only need one guess which I am…

Of course, there is something else this Marik does, namely fill out a style card for every blog post.  Today is not the day to end that trend…

  • Shape: Pregnancy5Milania from Alady Island.  (Between the corset and the mesh, you can’t tell how pregnant I am, but I’m just starting the third trimester of my sympathy pregnancy…)
  • Skin: India High Caramel M6 from Angel Rock.
  • Tattoo: Bad Girl by -UtopiaH-
  • Hair: Lucy in Sable from Truth
  • Outfit: Kairi Denim Jumper and matching Purple Corset from Sugar & Cyanide.
  • Accessories: SC-Lime piercings from K-Otic; Nerdy Glasses from Envious; Super Stilettos from Grumbe, Grumble.

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