Up with Caffeine and Down with a Shot
Sometimes I’ll be working at the bar and some customer will feel inclined to comment on my boobs or my tantrum-loving boss will throw a public conniption my way because, you know, it’s okay to do these things in a bar. And then I’ll think to myself, for the umpteenth time, why the hell did I quit my awesome-paying, cozy little cubicle job for this?
You know, the boob thing doesn’t even bother me so much. I expect that kind of behavior from drunk people and, if I’m going to be honest, I have nice boobs. And taking it in stride leads to much better tips. But the conniption thing? Why someone this prone to high blood pressure and stress-induced hissy fits and all-around bouts of purely childish behavior would ever, ever own a bar is beyond my comprehension.
When my boss is in the middle of a tantrum, I stand there and stare with disbelief for a few minutes because I honestly thought, at age 28, that my days of standing in front of a “grown-up” and enduring a verbally abusive rage of hysterics were over way back in my teenage years when I actually deserved it.
Then, when he finally stops to take a breath, I calmly ask, Are you finished?
Which is a little amusing to me because that ticks him off even more, and he gets revved up again with consternation and petulance, and his energy builds like the Little Engine that Could, painfully trucking his way up the hill, face turning red from the exertion of it all, only to putter to a stop at the top in an extremely disappointing and anticlimactic excretion of watered-down anger and spent steam.
It’s like emotional erectile dysfunction, and it’s exhausting just watching him.
Now here’s something you should know about me. I can get mad in certain trigger situations very, very easily. The trade-off is that my anger is ridiculously short-lived. So if you ever tick me off, don’t worry about it because we’ll likely be bonding over a couple of beers like the BFFs we were always meant to be in a matter of hours.
Which is how I’ve managed to continue working at this bar. I get mad at my boss for his asinine behavior, but then I get over it. That’s the nature of the food/beverage service industry, after all.
But anyway. My hard time.
When I ask myself why I gave up my career to revert back to my college and pre-college days of professional food distribution, I have to force myself remember how I felt when I wrote this post, and specifically, this paragraph:
First, let me just say that the hardest thing about going to work when you know you want to quit, is going to work when you already have quit. The gray cubicle walls seem a little… grayer… and the harsh neon lighting seems a little… neonier. It’s like the last couple weeks of a prison sentence. Except with coffee breaks and I don’t have to worry about my co-workers shanking me on my way to the bathroom. Usually.
That place is not where I’m supposed to be. This much I know.
But neither is the bar. Not by a long shot.
So. Where does that leave me?
I remember my 2-month adventure in Costa Rica and how it’s when I’m traveling that I feel the most alive. I remember the sinking feeling I had when a dear friend invited me to India with her next month and I felt like I had to turn her down because travel costs money, and I don’t feel justified in spending money I’m not actually earning. I want to earn money from traveling and writing, but can’t travel without money and can’t write without travel.
That’s not 100% true. I can write without travel, although the ability to say “yes” to these lofty excursions when the opportunities arise is my ultimate goal. (And another opportunity has arisen. It may not be as exciting as a trip to India, but it does involve a road trip and one of my favorite bands ever, but more on that as plans – or my typical lack-thereof – evolve.)
In the meantime, I’m going to jump into this writing thing with renewed zest. I know it seems like I keep saying that on this blog, but that’s because I get inspired to write a post every time I’m on the up-slope of this emotional roller coaster.
I don’t write as much when I’m down, because… well… it’s dark down there and it’s hard to see the pages.
But then, then I get an encouraging comment on this blog or an email from a reader, and it’s like I can breathe again. It makes me feel like I’m on the right track. So thank you for that.
You’re the best uppers ever because you’re free and just as addictive.
I’ll leave you with a question and some lines from Talk on Indolence by the Avett Brothers (hint, hint) because, as usual, they can express how I’m feeling much better than I ever could.
Question: Have you ever had an extremely shitty boss, and if so, how did you deal? I could really use some advice on this one.
Well I’ve been lockin’ myself up in my house for sometime now
Readin’ and writin’ and readin’ and thinkin’
And searching for reasons and missing the seasons.
The Autumn, the Spring, the Summer, the snow.
The record will stop the record will go.
Latches latched the windows down,
The dog coming in the dog going out.
Up with caffeine and down with a shot.
Constantly worried about what I’ve got.
Distracting my work but I can’t make a stop
And my confidence on and my confidence off.
And I sink to the bottom and rise to the top
And I think to myself that I do this a lot.
World outside just goes it goes it goes it goes it goes it goes…
And I witness it all from the blinds of my window.