Working in the restaurant business, you get the chance to meet and interact with hundreds of people a night, whether it be your coworkers or your guests. I have had the privilege of working with some insanely interesting people at my time in this business, and have also met some people who, for unknown reasons, scare the living crap out of me. It is a fun way to make money because aside from the mundane rituals of serving someone a cheeseburger and coke, there is always someone there to make you laugh, someone to share insight into the future, and someone there that makes you thankful you don’t have their life.
As for the customers, I try not to get too involved with them. If they are fun, I go with it. But most of the time all they want to do is eat. And I am just a person with the power to make that happen. I try not to let guests bum me out too much, and definitely don’t take it to heart when I don’t get a “20 percent tip” (gasp!)
But the other day I had the strangest interaction with a couple dining at my restaurant. They were my last table of the night, and getting out of there was the only thing on my mind. I was tired, I smelt as if I bathed in French fry oil, and my body odor was starting to repel people. I dropped off their check, ensuring there was no rush for them to close out with me, even though I prayed they would put in cash real quick and leave. As I started to walk away, the man asked me “Hey, waiter. What exactly are you waiting for?”
This question stopped me in my tracks, and although he was trying to be, I don’t know, humorous, it struck a nerve in me that made me contemplate my existence for hours after my shift was done. I did a polite laugh, shrugged my shoulders, and replied “Besides the last installment of the Harry Potter franchise, the future”.
For the past few years I have been struggling to get out of Florida, with a degree in my hand, and it has taken me longer than expected. Don’t get me wrong, I love it here. Well, I mean I like it here just fine. But lately I have started to have the growing-up-itch in me and I have yet to scratch. I want to move somewhere different and start my career, whatever that may be. I want to travel to places I have never been. Ireland, Greece, Pennsylvania.
I feel that these next few months will be the hardest for me. I am going to cherish the time I have left with my amazing friends down here and take every opportunity I can get, because I know that my time here in Orlando is coming to an end. And until that time, all I can do is wait.