I am not a good waitress. I SUCKED as a waitress.
I’ve never waited tables before, and they kind of just threw me to the wolves here. I basically taught myself everything I knew by asking people questions
- because nobody ever bothered to teach me.
Story of my life though.
I knew I sucked all along, but as in everything I do,
I knew I could get better.
The problem arose when I realized it was taking me much longer than most people. When I became convinced I was a problem to the restaurant, and it would be better for me to just leave.
This... ‘revelation’ if you will, came to me when the lady who hired me began suggesting other jobs where I’d “make more money.”
“Working at a grocery store, or in the mall; the CVS or Publix…”
I wanted to say, “So what your saying is.. I suck.”
But no, I stood there and took it like a man.
I told her I knew this was coming and that I had already started looking for jobs elsewhere. (which wasn't a complete lie. I had applied to Toys-R-Us, but they were quick to shut me down via e-mail saying that according to my résumé I’m not what they are looking for.)
So at this point I was just feeling thrilled with myself. Full of positive feedback SURE of my success.
So anyway, she wasn’t firing me, but she sure was pushing me towards the door.
So I did what any red blooded American would do. I sued.
no just kidding - I quit.
And my LAST WEEK THERE one of the girls decides it’s time to start helping me be a better waitress. Like, really? Four months after I started. Two days before I quit. And you think now is the right time?
She came up to me and said, “We need to talk.” She took me to a table, “So I know we don’t get to work together a lot, but when we do, it looks to me like you could use some help.”
I was like, uh, yeah.
She said, “I think you could be a great waitress. When people tell you what to do, you do it fast and you do it good. But the problem comes when people don’t tell you what to do.”
“Correct.” I said. “Because I don’t know what to do.”
As the day went on she continued helping me until I was doing "great" on my own. And even though it was almost my last day and I knew I had no future there, the fact that this girl had faith in me and was willing to help me was inspiring.
It seems like all my life I have been fighting for people to accept my failures by saying:
“OKAY I’m not good at this, who cares.”
or “We can’t all be good at this!”
And rather than have them encourage me to succeed, I’d always prefer they simply sit by and encourage me to move on.
“Don’t worry, you can’t be good at everything."
"There’s plenty of other things out there you are great at.”
But then I realized how wrong that is. We need people in our lives to be hard on us, to encourage us to stick with things. People who are willing to say, “No, you can do this!” - and if you’re lucky, someone who is also willing to help you.
After realizing this, unfortunately I became upset that I quit. I wanted to take it back and continue trying. I don’t really quit a lot of things - no matter how bad I am.
But I read this quote:
“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” -Oprah
It helped me get over my failure. My failure, you should know, is not that I didn’t succeed as a waitress, it's that I quit my job.
I can't stand the fact that I gave up. By giving up, we hold ourselves back. But this quote reminds me that I can still try again.