Monday, January 16, 2006

Relief-Bitterness-Relief

I have a new job! And it's about time because I haven't worked a day since December 21st. Okay, how many of you reading this have enough money saved up right now that if you suddenly had to stop earning money for the next three weeks, you'd still be in good financial shape? Yeah, that's right. Suddenly having to stop working for three weeks SUCKS.

And then imagine you finally get to start working and earning money again, but it's just a part-time job, earning you about 45% of what you were earning before, and you don't have a spouse or roommate or anyone else who pays rent with you, so you totally have to ask for money from your parents, even though you're almost 40 YEARS OLD, because the three weeks out of work drained your savings. Yeah, that's my reality.

But I AM grateful because if I had to sit around my apartment for another week, I was going to stop getting up in the morning. And it really is difficult to find restaurant work in Chicago in January so I'm very grateful that Restaurants America came through with a job for me. The restaurant is called Bar Louie and it's owned by the same company that owned Nick and Tony's. The menu has a lot of bar food (burgers, fried calamari) and different kinds of drinks, but they also have fish/steak/chicken dishes and salads. I doubt I'll get rich there, but I can be very patient and this job is part of my big plan to come out on top in the Chicago restaurant scene. I've never had a career that actually made me want to achieve anything. In my other jobs (as an academic, a secretary, etc.) I could have cared less about becoming a tenured professor, administrative supervisor, store owner, mother, etc. But I want to work this restaurant gig and wring as much out of it as I can.

My first day is tomorrow. I'm a Bar Louie server. I was a server at a totally cool restaurant that sold expensive bottles of wine, able to earn a $40 tip off of a single table, but now I work at a Bar Louie. I'm trying not to be disappointed about how this has all worked out. Maybe I'll like Bar Louie. Maybe it won't be too long before I'm earning enough to live on. Maybe I can work my way back to a cool restaurant I totally love, like I loved Nick and Tony's, and it won't be years and years away.

Yeah, maybe.

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