I realize it’s been quite awhile since I have blogged again, and as uplifting and cathartic as the first was, one would expect I would write more often. Let me share with you why it is I have not written: WORK. Since my last blog I have worked 9 days, 5 of those days being a double shift which, in the language of restaurants, means 12 hour days with no breaks and no sitting. Which is fine. No problem. It has given me a great opportunity to catch up on bills and to start paying off some debt. However, my body has begun revolting. I wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning with swollen knees, or throbbing joints, I get to work and halfway through my shift arthritis-type pain starts playing chopsticks on my spine. Further, I’ve begun to be abused by fellow workers and random inanimate objects while on a shift. Let me explain more…During one of my double shifts, about halfway through the morning, I was standing near the salad bar in the alley, attempting to do something
for my guests, because that’s the thing about guests- they’re always needing something… and I turn around to reach for a tray. At the same moment, a fellow server picks up her tray (a solid piece of something solid, loaded down with even more pounds of solid things) and turns to leave the alley. BAM. Right in the temple. My head rebounds away and I fall over. I saw black for a split second, and then stars…lots and lots of stars. Not the cool ones, like the ones you watch at night on a blanket in the middle of a field with a cute boy and some hot cocoa. No, no, the weird bright-white ones that leave you dizzy, unable to focus, and a little nauseas. Awesome
. It takes me a full 2 or 3 minutes to regain my composure (including getting the tears under control) and attempt to finish taking care of my tables. My temple was sore for awhile, and after an hour or two, the headache and dizziness went away, so no biggie. Then, later that night as I was reaching for a salad bowl in the exact same place
my manager accidentally manages to slam my hand in the refrigerator door. WOW. It hurt even worse than being boxed in the side of the head. I immediately yank my hand out of the door, and cradle it against me, crying for the second time that day. This was no ordinary fridge. This is one of those heavy, stainless steel fridges that keep salad bowls cold for guests- the door is a heavy, sliding-type door that’s mounted on top and meant to hold all sorts of different weighty things. It plays no games. My hand immediately began bruising, and I just could not believe my luck. I still had 3 more hours to go before I could escape to someplace safe. And yet, on I went. ON I WENT.I finished that shift out, no more problems, and I made some good money, so I just chalked it up to “one of those days” and went home, exhausted but pleased. The very next day I head in to work once more. I breeze
through my shift- it was fantastic! As I am preparing to do my final side work of the night before I go home, I place my hand on a wooden computer station and lean down to pick up a check binder. Horror of horrors, my hands slips and a PLANK of sharp, jagged wood jabs itself deep underneath my nail bed. And I’m talking about all the way
underneath my nail. Not a baby splinter, a TREE. Immediately I think, are you kidding me??
and I race to the back office to get a manager to get it out. I can’t do it myself, of course, because I am a wuss. So he takes a pair of tweezers and prepares to hurt me even more (because contrary to what parents tell their kids, YES, YES IT DOES HURT MORE THAN WHEN IT HAPPENS TO BEGIN WITH. Meanwhile, I’m sure my finger has swollen to the size of the Sears Tower, and the pain is radiating up into my elbow. To make a long story short, I hop around for about 5 minutes, holding my finger and begging him to chop it off instead of try to get the splinter out before I finally let him just do it. And it does hurt. SO BAD. I screamed for a split second (literally a split second- like AH! not AHHHHHHHHH!), but still the entire restaurant hears me, and I am in so much excruciating pain I can’t even force myself to be mortified. Of course, looking back on the experience, I can say now with a level head that it didn’t hurt that
bad…but you would never have convinced me in the moment.Now, after several more doubles, and 3 more days to go before a day off (including one more double and 2 closing shifts), I can safely say this week has been a roller coaster of emotions and pain tolerance. I’m not really sure how so many things could have happened all at once, but happen they did. I can only go forward from here, and hope that no one decides to keep a bowl of hot water near the salad bar, because you can probably count on me finding it and tipping it over on myself, or perhaps tripping and falling face first into it. Whatever the injury, I’m certain it will find me.
And that is what I have learned at work this week.