Look, I’m doing NaBloPoMo right this year. I’m using a prompt: What did you think was the coolest job in the world when you were younger? Do you still feel that way now?
When I was a childlike creature, like most juveniles, I was an idiot. My career of choice from ages three to seven was “waitress.” This ironically had nothing to do with my love of the food service industry (primarily because I don’t have one) was yet again a manifestation of my obsession with office supplies.
I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on one of these:
One time my family ordered Chinese take-out and the delivery bag arrived with like 5 pages left on a Guest Check pad. Instead of calling the store to let them know they’d accidentally dropped a critical piece of the order-taking process, I insisted that my parents let me keep it. This could be nothing other than divine intervention–a serendipitous gift that indicated that my prayers were heard and my dreams answered.
But it wasn’t just the Guest Check pad that lured me into thinking that waitressing was the best job on the planet–one that I imagined paid a living wage and wasn’t too exhausting-hah!–it was my exposure to some pretty cool fictitious waitresses over my formative years.
First there was Carla. I knew Carla before I can remember knowing Carla, having watched Cheers with my dad and laughed at jokes I couldn’t understand at all. Carla had an especially cool job because she didn’t have to deal with greasy food. She got to carry classy drinks to well-dressed people and insult Cliff Clavin all day long. Sometimes she even harassed the customers and no one ever had a problem with it. Plus, she was a barmaid who managed to buy a gigantic house as the primary bread-winner as a single mom of like 4+ children. With literally no knowledge of economics or personal finance, I thought this job sounded like a dream.
Then there was Alice. Alice was okay, but my personal favorite was Vera. She was a total idiot. Yet no one ever fired her and she still made a living. So it made seem working in a restaurant seem like a laid-back, nurturing environment where the other waitresses are your bff’s and never try to steal your tables or pocket your tips.
I even briefly considered a return to my original passion after I was Waitress with my long-time idol Keri Russell. It was the pies and the cute outfits that clouded my vision, but I quickly snapped back to reality and got a college degree.
And then I graduated and every entry level job required 5 years of experience and I rued the day I chose not to get any waitressing experience.
But hey, I definitely know my way around a Guest Check pad, though sadly I know there are many other requirements.