on the banks of the river willamette I sat down and wept

The last two days at work have been difficult.

I have cried at a job once ever in my life.  It was 1991; I was waiting tables at the Sheraton Hartford.  I hated my job, but health benefits to this single mom were like gold and I had to stay.  The kitchen was 100 yards from the dining room floor.  I wish I could say I am exaggerating, but I am not. Every time I had to get food I had to walk the length of a football field and back. As the kitchen was so far from the floor, wait staff were given small pagers which would buzz when orders came up.  Remember, this was twenty years ago…cell phones were rare and cumbersome, technology was fair at best.  The pagers sometimes buzzed, most times not. So we, the waitstaff, spent our shifts running back and forth.  I weighed a solid 2o pounds less than I do now.

The day I cried I had run that long hallway dozens of times.  The kitchen was ridiculously slow and guests were impatient and unsympathetic.  After a too long wait for my table of six order my food was up.  As I entered the long hallway to begin my trek back to my angry party, I got slammed by a another waiter running hopefully to the kitchen.  My long awaited for meals were on the floor…I cried…

The head food and beverage guy, who’s name I remember clearly but will leave unwritten, was about two feet from me and had witnessed the the sad affair.  As I cried he came up to me and I yelled ( for this I feel badly) “I hate this place.” I then cried harder.  I think he was scared I might do something unpredictable, so he ushered me aside and very kindly told me to take a break and he’d take care of everything.  “but they’ve been waiting FOREVER,” I wailed….”Just go..” he offered kindly…and I did.

I calmed myself down, the shift ended and I felt like a freak.  How I hated that job.  Easily the worst job I ever had, hands down, no hesitation. But it only brought me to tears once.

Today, at a job I really like, I wanted to cry. The kids were particularly mean, to themselves and staff. I got yelled at just one to many times.  F Bombs flew like fruit flies around summer watermelon. I wanted to cry, but I didn’t I had intended to have a great day.  I even did yoga for pete’s sake and recited a positive mantra.  I can change nothing outside of myself.  I want to believe otherwise some times.  Good begets good.  But it isn’t always the case.  The only heart I can change is my own. The only mind that keeps me from the person I want to be is my own.  Perhaps I am too directionless at times.  Perhaps I worry too much what others think. Perhaps I am just tired and too gullible.

I will not cry at work again.

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