|This word you're using... It seems familiar, somehow.|
Last night I had one of those hellaciously awful shifts, that make you just want to run away somewhere. Or maybe hide in the walk-in freezer. I mean, at least that's where the ice cream is, so I could sit back there and have myself a good cry, while I shame eat 5 gallons of soft serve.
|I'll just grab some hot fudge on the way...|
Sometimes when you walk into work, it just feels wrong. As if everyone is in a bad mood, the customers, the employees... For whatever reason, there's a icky feeling in the air and you just KNOW something bad is going to happen. Whether it's you dropping a tray full of food; spilling a drink down a customers back; getting a $2 tip on a $100 tab; or the kitchen losing three of your tickets in a row. Whatever tragedy that happens, when it occurs, it really is no surprise.
|Excuse me while I bask in my sadness.|
For me, last night it was just someone being unexpectedly nasty. After a shift fighting the end of a cold and having my little hiney handed to me on a platter, I really didn't know how to respond to her anger. Did she have some reason to be upset? Undoubtedly. When you have seven plus tables at a time, one table is probably going to suffer. But did she have the right to be nasty? To make me want to cry? Decidedly not. And how did I want to respond?
|Hold still, so I can smack you again.|
But the truth of the matter is: she is just a human. And like all humans, some days the world just pours so much excrement down on you, you can't HELP but pour out some negativity on someone else. She responded wrongly, but for all I know, her reaction was completely excused by some event in her life.
So here is my plea. Just like I beg any potential customer to recognize the fact that their server is a real life human being (and not some food serving robot), and thus prone to sometimes making mistakes. I also say this: as hard as it is, sometimes we servers need to remember that our customers are just as human as we are. As flawed and sometimes nasty as our own selves. Maybe it doesn't make that initial moment of conflict any easier to bear.
But at the end of the shift, when we just want to rest our aching feet and nurse our hidden hurts, lets try to remind ourselves: We are all humans, and we all can sometimes spill our nastiness out onto others. So take a deep breath, and move on. And hopefully, it will only get easier.
Until then, I'll see you in the walk-in. Promise to save you some ice cream.
Oh, and here's an adorable kitten to brighten your day.