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feelings of a self diagnosed loser

March 12, 2010

Good story-telling, consists of telling facts about what happens and not dwelling on how one feels.  In hearing this recently, I felt the usual terror I feel on a regular basis about my inadequacies, as I realized in my writing I talk about my feelings a lot. But after years of therapy, that’s kind of all I know how to do.  I can tell a funny story to friends, take pictures and talk about how I feel.  Anxiety or embarrassment about the details of my life often render me ineffable.  Sometimes I have difficultly organizing my thoughts, so I refer to how I feel. this leads me to wonder why I am posting an online blog about my current life when I feel I should be in a better place in my life.  Like, if it were in the future and I was perfect, then I could look back and write about how silly I was.  But all I have is the present moment, where I torture myself  and keep dwelling on and talking about how I feel. The “feeling” situation is exacerbated in certain situations…like graduate school.

I felt worse in my last waitress job though.  My boss didn’t like me at all and he and his bloated manager treated me like I had a lobotomy. They would sometimes follow me around ranting about inane things like how awkwardly I put something in a to-go container or tell me to go pick something up off the floor when I was running around trying to keep up with the job.  I guess they did it to other people too and most the time they weren’t even there. But when they were, I was acutely aware of their opinion. Both were about 10 years older than me and probably partied hard when they were younger, just like I did .  But they both came from money. My former boss was handed this business, a building in Soho and a bunch of money from his family.  He felt guilty and was way paranoid that he was going to ruin his father’s business and get ripped of by employees. He was incredibly socially awkward too, which is can be charming in my book. Many of my friend’s are socially inept, so I get it, but then find it frustrating by the misinterpretation of my personality peculiarities of those equally bizarre. The money I made was fantastic, so I guess the mistreatment was almost worth it. I knew I did a decent job even if I was stressed out.  It was an impossible job though.

There were only two waitresses on any shift and you had to do everything yourself with no help. That meant taking orders, running food, making coffees and sodas, desserts, cashiering, taking water, taking to-go orders, seating people, dealing with endless lines of tourists and getting things for the kitchen and bartenders.  A section had between 10 and 15 tables and they would be all full at once with lines of people on a wait. Most of the incredibly humorous and good-natured kitchen staff were from Bangladesh and were the highlight of the job.  Plus some of the girls I worked with were examples of grace under pressure and an inspiration. They seemed to deal with the job better, or could at least not show what they were feeling on their facial expressions.  Maybe they weren’t dwelling on how they felt so much. I know I wasn’t the only one who sometime snapped at an unruly customer but stood out because of my formidable demeanor. But I ask myself, “When did New York City join the rest of the world in deciding that one had to be polite to jerks?” I’ve tried Zen waitressing and, at least for me, it’s difficult to maintain a positive attitude. Recently, I went on the reprehensible website Yelp and ended up looking at the review for my former employment and there were several complaints of rude servers long after I got fired.  I felt satisfied.  Plus I’ve been able to focus on how I feel in school and as an artist and not how I feel as an abused and misunderstood waitress.

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