Rough Days Don’t Seem so Bad as Long as I Have You (12/15/18)

Today was the day where I had to head back to work. Last night had been amazing, and it was such a blessing to wake up and see the beauty that was this amazing girl next to me, but we had to begin the day at some point. Elle was hoping that we’d get up and moving by 11AM, maybe noon, and start the day off at a regular time, but that did not happen. I mean we did wake up to my first alarm at 11, and I leaned over to turn it off and check my emails when I saw I had received something from my manager Sara. It just plainly said “Hi Michael, Please come in 15 mins before your shift so we can have a talk. Thanks. -Sara”. Now Elle woke up and I told her what was going on, but she was still sleepy and passed right out. Unfortunately for me, I could not fall back asleep for the life of me. I mean I tried over and over again; lying there, closing my eyes. But my brain raced at a thousand miles a second, wondering what in the hell this email could mean. I tried pretending that it was something positive, or nothing to worry about, but I knew that was all bullshit. The only thing I could hope is that I wasn’t losing my job, or getting demoted.

Elle and I finally decided to get up and start moving around 1PM, and I hopped in the shower and got dressed before we had to head out. Before we left, we put in an order at Pick&Eat, which I was hoping to be able to pick up and eat there, but after seeing that the food wouldn’t be ready until 2:52, I resigned myself to the fact that we would have to eat it on the subway. I got my usual turkey BLT with avocado on a panini sandwich, while Elle went for the healthier choice, and went with a Tropical Mix salad on a wrap. We headed out of my apartment at last, got our food, and made it to the subway station and onto the A train by 3PM. Elle knew I was stressing the entire way. It didn’t help that the train was crowded as all hell today, so we were standing and couldn’t eat our food, and the train was running local stops until 125th street, which got me even more stressed. Honestly I’m really grateful she was there, because I might’ve had a mental break otherwise. She kept me relatively calm, and kept reassuring me the entire way.

We finally reached 42nd Street and we had to say our goodbyes. Elle needed to take Metro-North back to her school, so it was a quick, but bitter sweet goodbye. She made the last 16 hours or so, so incredible- even if she didn’t let me know if she would be my girlfriend yet. I mean she assured me I knew the answer already, but she said we needed to go on one more date, which I honestly really get. Seriously though, I am insane, and yet she puts up with me, and makes me beyond happy. I am beyond grateful that’s she’s in my life; plus she helped me not completely freak out this morning, which was really amazing and wonderful. We kissed goodbye and then I was alone on the train, on my way to an unknown fate. The only good side to the subway ride was the fact that a seat opened up, so I was at least able to get some food in my system before I had to change trains. After switching to the F and making it to Carroll Street, I headed into Emma’s Torch, just two minutes before 4PM.

As I walked in, I was greeted by some of the staff, including Sara, who were all sitting around eating. I got a warm welcome and set my things in the back, working to mentally prepare myself for whatever came next. Sara told me to grab some food before we sat down to have our little chat, so I did that; I mean yeah I just ate, but food is food, and the family meal at Emma’s Torch is always amazing. After I grabbed a bowl of vegetarian couscous, Sara and I sat down to have a talk. She had a list of 5 or so things she wanted to discuss, and went down the list, basically telling me what I needed to improve. The big thing was when I mopped the floor on Thursday, the mop was dirty, so the floor didn’t get clean. As such, Chef Alex needed to clean the floor when he got in, which isn’t fair to him. Sara also told me that I need to stop asking people if they need help, because even if I am coming from the purest and kindest of intentions, it still may come across as me believing that they cannot do their jobs. The third big point that she went over was that I just need to be faster overall, which I understand. As she went down the list, I was completely silent, let a few “mhm”‘s and nods. I used to interrupt Sara in an attempt to defend myself and my actions, but after she yelled at me for doing that, I haven’t done it since.

After she finished, Sara asked me if I had any thoughts. I was a bit speechless after taking everything in, but I defended myself, saying that I believed that I was very good at my job. I will admit I am new to this and that I need to improve, but I am good at what I do. She countered that if I can’t even clean floors properly… Touché. Sara said that she believed that I am a very, very good salesman, but I am lagging a bit when it comes to the labor part of the job, which is fair. She had me sign the paper, so I agreed to have heard everything she had said and so we hopefully would not have to have this conversation again. A bit relieved that it wasn’t anything worse, I got to ready for service.

As for Dinner, it actually went very smoothly. There weren’t any issues, and the customers were kind as usual. The issue was that we had two tables that sat and chilled the ENTIRE NIGHT. We are open for 5 hours. Almost all our tables got in by 7, and two of them stayed for almost 4 hours. The last table to leave was an older couple who only see each other once a year, and they left at 11:15. WE CLOSE AT 10. We were putting up chairs and mopping by the time they got up, solely because we just wanted to get home. But as the man went into the bathroom before they left, I took up a quick conversation with the woman, since they mentioned that they meet once a year. I asked her if they live on different sides of the states, since they only see each other once a year, to which she replied that the gentleman lives in California, and visits his daughter here several times a year. She on the other hand travels abroad to war torn countries, trying to help. She just came from a place- I think it’s in South Africa- where she was trying to help girl soldiers. Like now I feel like a complete piece of shit.

The couple finally left and we quickly finished cleaning up before getting out of there. I was starving so I went to the rite aid right down the street and picked up a Cliff and a Reese’s bar, before heading on the train to get home. The F didn’t arrive for a good 7 minutes, and then I had to wait another 9 minutes for the A at Jay Street, but I was on my way home; I put in my headphones and tried to get a little rest after devouring the food I just ate, as I zoned out to some solid tunes. The issue with having headphones in, however, is the fact that you cannot for the life of you hear announcements on the train. When we got to 168th Street, an announcement was made, but all I heard was that another A train was coming up right behind this one, and would be making all local stops. Most people got off, but I assumed that the train would be skipping 181st of something, and going to 207th Street. Unfortunately I soon found out how wrong I was as we sped past 178th, then 181st, then 190th. We finally stopped at 200th Street, where I had to get off, switch to the other side of the track, and wait another 10 minutes for a train to take me back downtown to my stop.

By the time I had gotten on the train and made it back to my apartment, it was already 1:15AM and I was EXHAUSTED. I heated up some leftover couscous before sitting down and enjoying some of The Office. At least I was, until Elle FaceTimed me. Honestly she instantly made me feel better, because even if my day was shit, I got to see her, and she made it all worthwhile. We planned to chat for a very brief time so we could both get some sleep, but like late night talks do, we chatted until 4AM before calling it a night. I love talking to her, but I was definitely going delusional by the end of the conversation. We finally said goodnight and I got ready for bed and passed out, unsure if I was going to be alive for the Brunch shift in the morning.

Until next time,

-Michael

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