Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I knew I was never really destined to be a "lifer" as we call it in the restaurant industry. Such a title describes someone who, for whatever reason, never leaves food service. It is not a judgement against those who do, as long as it is what makes them happy. For many people, the freedom and income that comes along with a serving job affords them a lifestyle that they could otherwise not attain. Kudos to them.

That was NEVER me. I hated it. I hated every second of it. From the minute I had to get ready and don my "mansuit" as it as called by my loved ones, to the minute before I clocked out and left the building, I LOATHED it. I dreaded 3pm as it meant I had to start getting ready. I especially hated the customers who thought you were their servant and failed to recognize it was a living, breathing human being that they were speaking to as if she were a mangy dog lunging for the family jewels. And I'll not even get into the unwelcomed sexual advances by bloated, intoxicated male customers who assumed a blonde head of hair and manners meant that you wanted to give out blow jobs because they managed to eek out a 20% tip. To top it off, the presumption was that, if you were waiting tables, CLEARLY you were too stupid or lazy to do anything else. There was NO way you could have a neuron firing in your brain if taking orders was your profession of choosing.

Waiting tables financially sustained me throughout my 20's...I would never have been able to pursue my painting if I had worked an 8-5 job...that was the good part about it for me. But today, as I was looking around my studio space, I glanced up at my "effigy" to my former life and I realized that I will NEVER wait tables again. I've kept my little incarnation of a former self up just to remind me that I am here for a reason. As I sat in my apartment until 3am working on thumbnails for Sylvia, cursing myself for being so poor at time management, I could look up and appreciate that, at the very least, I was not getting off a shift at the restaurant. When I got up for Hank's class at 4:30am, bleary eyed and semi-psychotic from sleep-deprivation and struggling to try to figure out what in the F@#ck he was talking about for hours on end, I was relieved to know I wouldn't have to ask anyone how they would like their petit filet cooked later in the day. It's been my little reminder that I have a purpose, that I have a mind, that I have a talent and that I am here for all of those reasons.

Today, it comes down. Forever. The name tag goes in the trash. The tie. The grease saturated apron. The stupid button for "Bowl Baton Rouge"....all of it in the trash.
I am nearly done with my book and I just got offered a fantastic job at Brighthouse. From the moment I heard of this company, I have known that I would work there...I could not imagine a company more perfect for me and I couldn't have planned my life out any better if I had tried, but that is the thing. When I finally *got it,* and I really put my energy, passion and consciousness into creating the life that I wanted, I got it...and that is a fine thing.


minus five said...

a. that's hilarious that you kept your uniform up like that. is it bad that i still like and wear and will never throw away or destroy my cashier shirts?

b. i'm glad you didn't have to go through any of the painful job search downtime. it blows. and i'm very happy for you. that you finished. that you got a job you really wanted. that you get to stay in the city where you wanted to stay. that things seem to be working out so well for you.

c. maybe now you'll be a more frequent blogger.

UIW alumni said...
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aud said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aud said...

you deserve it all mare. I'm so happy for you. Can I borrow your steakhouse apron and vision goggles now?

ps. sorry about previous deleted comments. I can't spell.

a/ok said...

Congrats, Miss Mary.

Roger said...

Congratulations mary. Your intensity is always inspiring. Good luck with the job, and with finishing up that portfolio.

debbie millman said...

I am so thrilled for you! Congratulations!!!!! xxxxx's