There’s a joke about English majors. The way you get the attention of an English major is to hold up your hand and yell “waiter”. \
And… well, I have a new job. No more cubicle. Instead, a restaurant full of hungry people. This is a return to a familiar world.
Two-and-a-half years ago I quit working at an upscale Japanese steakhouse to move abroad. I thought I would never wait tables again, and that was fine with me. And for a while I avoided it. But, now I find myself here again, working in an upscale BBQ restaurant (the concept seems to work somehow. Apparently rich people like barbecue too, only they like a $45 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to go with their brisket).
And yet it’s strangely comfortable-the ragged, worn-out pants you put on after wearing a suit and tie all day. Slipping obscure literary references into inane banter with customers is always exciting-especially if catches it. And it’s a bit empowering for someone to ask what the hell you’re doing waiting tables with a college degree. I makes me feel like an idealist again, which is maybe just a bit self-indulgent.
It almost feels as if everyone I work with now is more real than before, sharing some sort of adventure. You know: wait tables by day and write a groundbreaking novel at night-the characters based loosely on a cast of regular customers. But the truth is, I don’t know of anyone doing that. All they do is come in the next morning saying “I really don’t want to be here right now… I can’t believe I had that many drinks last night. I was so f***ed up”
So much for the struggling artist.
So there’s just this real tension between romantic-bohemian-starving-artist existence and I-don’t-know-what-the-hell-else-to-do-other-than-get-drunk experience. Definitely different than my last job, but enjoyable enough.
At least my mornings are free.
The Calico Rebellion