Lately, more often than is really healthy, each day at work is one of those days. I keep feeling as if it's time to walk out, but at my age, and with this economy . . .
Of course I'm not going to walk out, but I've now worked at this place longer than at any other restaurant. There are so many other restaurants around where I work, the neighborhood in which I would prefer to stay, and there are so many things out there I could be cooking.
It isn't as grand as all that of course, but we do okay. The problem is that I don't really think I want to work at any of them. Of course there's the training and settling in period, a time I've come to dread. It's that time when you feel like you haven't got it all down yet, and you still don't know the servers by name for the most part. The managers are all displaying their personalities, but you don't know them yet, so sometimes you just don't know what to expect. You also need to be doing your damnedest in the kitchen, because you are being judged until you truly prove yourself.
I can handle all of that, though lately my ego has taken some hits, and there's that age thing again. I still feel sometimes as if I can whip anybody's ass in that kitchen. I can work harder and longer than any of them. I can lift more than any of them. I can chop and slice faster and more perfectly than any of them. I can even wash dishes faster.
Of course none of them make noises when they lift a case of number ten cans. They don't get almost stuck because they bent over to reach down into the cooler. And most of them will leave by the time they graduate and get "real" jobs.
But more importantly, as I reach whatever point I'm reaching, I have to ask myself how much longer I can reasonably expect to work as I am now, and when I can't do it anymore, what next? As of now there are no answers to either question, but as the need to at least consider the first seems to grow nearer, the second becomes the more worrisome of the two.
What it all comes back around to in the end is that I need to start investing in the lottery again. That thing seems like a pretty good deal, make a few million dollars then sit back and watch the awesome, fun times start rolling in. Plan B is to marry for money, but that's not happening in this state any time soon, so I won't push it to A status just yet.
I suppose there are other options, perhaps some even intelligent. Perhaps I'll think along those lines instead, or I could accept that I'm going to die with either a sautee pan or a knife in my hand, and the only reason people will know that something is wrong is that too many seconds have passed without me saying something hilarious and intelligent with just the heaviest slather of cynicism and ennui.