Friday, March 5, 2010

death & taxes

Another Ani quote: "I was a terrible waitress, so I started writing songs." I waitressed for three days at a place called the Greenhouse in Harvard Square in Cambridge, back when I lived in Boston in 1989, in between colleges. It's the only job where I just walked off, failed to politely give notice and leave with bridges unburned. Charlotte, the unpleasant, mean ole wombat of a manager, yelled at me for letting the patrons crowded at the door sit down before the table had been cleared, and that was somehow it for me. I went back in the kitchen, took off my apron, collected my sad tips, and waved at her on the way out the door.

My bravada lasted until I got to the T subway. I was 19, and (although not yet consciously acknowledging it) on the verge of being fired at my other job at the day-glo spandex clothing store. I had no ability to get hamburger orders correct (there's a difference between a single and a royale) or sell flourscent pink socks, and it was becoming a problem. Scrabbling for change to buy a token, I burst into tears at the window, much to the concern of the old man behind the plexiglas. He asked me what was wrong and I blurted out my story, how I'd quit my job, how I couldn't afford it, how my boyfriend was going to be mad, how I was going to die in the gutter just as my parents predicted when I left college. He pushed a token through the slot, told me to keep my money, instructed me to go home, assured me that it would be OK.

And it was. A few days later, I interviewed at a jewelry and mineral store and got the job. I politely exited Day-Glo land, much to the immense relief of my manager. A month or two after that, I was promoted to Assistant Manager, my affection for shiny, pretty things finally being useful.

Today, I'm trying to keep the long view, that however circuitous, I am finding my way. And it is a scenic route.

1 comment:

  1. I like this, Cyn. "Mean old wombat of a manager" is especially goo. Btw, we're neighbors on blogspot -- check out "Sketch People" at -- TJ