23 Life Lessons You Get From Working At A Restaurant

Thought Catalog

1. If you don’t have a thick skin and complete abandonment of political correctness, don’t go near the kitchen. You will immediately learn there that what you consider to be off-limits is just the baseline of someone else’s sense of humor.

2. Bad tippers are the worst kinds of people, and are often terrible in many other ways than just being cheap.

3. Correction, the worst people are those who don’t tip or tip very badly, and accompany their financial insult with a snarky note left on the receipt.

4. The pain of a bad seating chart is a real one, and not a single customer will care or understand that you got slammed while someone else is totally dead.

5. The difference between the people who have never worked in food service, and the people who have, is always clearly visible. And a lot of time it has to…

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There’s a bridge a few blocks away from where I live- I’m not sure why it’s there, or what it’s been used for in the past, but as of right now, it has been located over the train tracks in my town. I’ve used it to cross to the other side of those tracks because fighting through the wild brush and broken beer bottles as a child was too much for me. I didn’t want to risk any poison ivy, possible cuts, and of course the possibility of getting run over by a train. Now that I’m older, I chuckle at that notion. 

I committed suicide ten years ago. 

Riding my bike down Glover Avenue, I passed 7th Avenue, 6th Avenue and came to Atlantic. I left my bike, one that my father had made me for Christmas one year (a blue boy’s BMX racing bike) at the foot of the steps before climbing them. Rusty and old, I am struggling to remember if all the shaking was coming from my nerves or the oncoming train. Standing on the platform, I can see it- as if it was perfectly scripted from a book, one that “misfits” from all over the world would talk about, though it is a bestseller. Catcher in the Rye anybody? Slowly, I drifted out of myself and soared straight down to the ground, my head colliding with the tracks before the blaring of the horn. It was too late to stop now, Mr. Conductor. 

I walked back down the stairs and jumped onto my bike. I headed back to my home for dinner, around 6:00 pm. I sat, eating what was probably some sort of pasta dish before heading up to my room to stare at my new self in the mirror. The deceased version of myself.

This version of myself has been to my proms and graduation. It has been through deaths and weddings of loved ones. It has worked minimum wage jobs in the hopes of pleasing everybody around itself. It has been exactly ten years since I committed suicide, at age 12. 

I am dead and I haven’t seen God.

I am alive and I haven’t felt God. 

In fact, I haven’t felt much of anything.

Self Deprecation

It’s been months since I’ve written. Not just here, but anywhere. Falling into an adult routine of growing up has sucked the creativity out of my mind. That’s just an excuse though- I could go outside, I could recall past emotions, I could skip a few days of my medication. I could do anything just to write. So why don’t I? Perhaps it’s because I already have lines and lines of words tossed together, but they still don’t have a home. Perhaps I’m just lazy. Do you want to know the real answer though? It’s because I am my own worst critic. I believe that happens to all of us, especially if we identify as artists. We study the painters, the writers, the musicians before us and try to mimic them- this is the downfall. They paved the way without knowing that they would change the world. Or maybe they just took a lot of drugs. Probably both. 

The downfall to writing (at least for me) is listening to other things as I’m writing. Even now, I’m listening to music (but that’s okay since these aren’t lyrics), but when I attempt to write for my own band, the same words that I just listened to spew across my page. I just wrote down lyrics of another band like a fifteen year old stuck in math class. 

Maybe I’m scared that nobody will like them. I think I’m more scared that won’t like them, because ten out of ten times, I don’t. Why does it matter if I like them though? Aren’t they expressing how I feel? My emotions, my thoughts. 

I have big dreams, but the only thing standing in my way is…me.

Anger.

A number of therapists I’ve gone to have told me that writing helps with anger. 

Years and endless drafts of stories, poems and lyrics I have found that it does not. The anger intensifies with every stroke of the pen. Then I get to see what I have written and nine times out of ten it has made me angrier. Perhaps it was poorly written and didn’t execute what I was trying to say. Perhaps I just drew a blank and it doesn’t make sense. The majority of the time though, it just makes me focus on the issue that is angering me. 

Not more than a half-hour ago I admitted to myself, out loud, that I was still angry about something that had happened approximately around the end of December beginning of January. I won’t dive into details, but it involves a number of people I love (my family and my significant other) as well as myself being taken advantage of and disrespected. 

My many therapists have also told me not to hold on to the anger or to “let it go” as well as “don’t regret”. I detest both of these phrases. Some things I cannot let go and that is one of my many genetic flaws. I regret not stepping in sooner when I saw the people I love being mistreated. I regret not stopping things sooner when I realized how poorly I was being treated. There was a catch though. 

I allowed this to go on because the perpetrator at hand had a mental disability. I will not openly disclose which one but I will say that it involves the 15q11-13 chromosomal region.

I am made up of nothing but bones and anger. My heart only beats when I’m fired up. The blood in my system has dried out and been replaced with a fire. 

 

 

Observations.

It’s weird, the way people view writers. We’re viewed as brooding, substance abusers, and arrogant. Other writers though, those that write reviews for films, albums, and even food, are viewed as some type of god. Almost as if what they say is the last word. 

I’ll admit, I enjoy a nice drink every now and again. I also enjoy getting drunk some nights. I also enjoy going to school and work because I know I can’t make a career out of writing. I don’t typically write like this, I’m more of a lyricists. I’ve only recently started writing fiction again. My problem with fiction though, I never know where it ends. 

Everything I write, whether it be lyrics to a song or a story, is all told from my perspective. But does that make it non-fiction? Some nights I can’t tell if I’m dreaming or if I’m actually living in reality. The technology we have today, I don’t remember having as a child (to be fair I was born in 1991). 

As soon as I typed in the year I was born, I could feel your facial expressions change. Now my knowledge is limited due to me being 21. I receive this a lot, more often than one would think. Even in classrooms. The place where I’m supposed to be learning and expanding my knowledge, ridicules me for my young age.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this. I just know I had to write it. 

Crooked

There was a noose in the house up the street. Nobody lived there. My dad said when he was younger the house was empty as well, but that noose was still there. It never bothered me until one night.

I had gone up the street with one of my friends, Eddie. I’m not sure what we were doing that night, probably getting into some trouble as most kids do growing up. We reached the doorstep and Eddie twisted the knob, opening the door. I didn’t think that was weird at the time, but looking back…

We went inside the house. It didn’t smell like death, but it didn’t feel too welcoming. Eddie ran off somewhere, I could hear him laughing faintly. I took my time in the foyer, studying faded yellow paint on the walls. Making my way to the kitchen, I noticed that everything was clean. Recently clean. I didn’t think anything of that back then…

The kitchen was where the noose was. I remember reaching up and touching the rope, envisioning my own head sitting in it. Would it work the first try? What did loosing oxygen feel like? Would I like myself better if I was dead?

So I did it.

I remember watching Eddie from above, finding my body and screaming. I remember viewing my deceased physical body hanging, floating. I only regret one thing though- I left the noose crooked.