should i stay or should i go now?
I blamed the management, the hours, the ambiance, and the underestimated title of “hostess” for my departure.
There were times I hated working there. Nights where I felt so ambushed by angry customers, waiting tables, dirty dishes and ringing phones that my stomach was in knots and my head felt like it was being stabbed by one of the chef’s sharp blades.
But not a night went by without laughter. Every night I walked home from the restaurant feeling strong and satisfied. Pulling off a busy night in a restaurant takes team work and the ability to hold your breath when you feel like cursing. I put my paychecks into my bank account every two weeks knowing I’d earned every cent I made.
Looking back now, I wonder if my main motive for leaving was change. I thrive off change. Change and fear of commitment is what moves me to pack my suitcases so often, and probably why every relationship I had has been short and fleeting.
After spending all of January dropping off resumes and feeling desperate for work, I was called by my manager who pleaded me to come back in for a weekend.
And so now I find myself, back at my hostess station, answering the phone, clearing tables, seating customers, and trying to keep the general public happy, even if they have reservations and I won’t be able to seat them for another half an hour.
The scary part is I like it. I can now do my job with confidence, slipping up less often, and keeping the crowds calmer.
“Don’t worry sir, I’m going to seat these ladies pronto then I’ll get you a seat at the bar.”
“Great, I need a beer. Can’t I get one now?”
“No, I’m sorry, you can’t drink while standing there waiting. But soon, I promise, you’ll be happier than you could ever imagine.”
“Want to come have some drinks with us?”
“No, I’m great. And look, the bar is free! Follow me sir.”
It’s all a game and I’ve started to enjoy playing it. I like running around for a few hours before sitting down to a free dinner, put together by a loving chef who forms smoked salmon into a rose on the centre of my plate.
And while I have an interview for a clothing store on Monday, they’ve asked me to stay and my heart feels torn. They've expressed that they need me, and it's possible that I need them to. Life is hard without free meals and regular pay.
Now the questions is: do I want a change, or do I want to stop running?
Maybe it’s time to start forming real relationships, to start making connections and building on what I have instead of starting something new.
I'm still thinking.