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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

The Waiter Chronicles (part 2)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Let's start with the broken glass count, which is now at a smashing 2. Luckily, this one went cascading off a tray right square in the middle of the dining room. In an effort to grab it, I knocked the whole tray over, sending glass bottles and silverware onto the floor. How they didn't break I'll never know.

I avoided eye contact for the rest of the day.

Here's what's good about a community: when you're a part of a community, you can do things like drop glasses and smear red tapenade on clean napkins, things that reveal you to be a hopeless clutz, and people simply accept it as part of who you are. Okay, maybe it's not that simple, but it's exponentially better than making a fool of yourself in front of complete strangers. Because with those people, what you just did is just about all they know about you. They have no reason not to think you're a jackass.

It occurred to me as I walked home this afternoon that I don't need this. Ten years ago I would have seen it as a test of character. I would have regarded the breaking glasses and the raging inferiority complex as a sort of challenge to be overcome. To ingratiate myself to those people by proving myself minimally competent, even good, at what I was hired to do would have become a measure of my abilities. I would endure it to prove to myself that I could. But I don't need to do that anymore. I don't need to prove anything to myself, at least not as it pertains to balancing dishes on a tray. I so don't need this.

Only I do. Because otherwise I'm unemployed, and somehow that seems worse than this. But not by much.


posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 3:54 PM


commented by Anonymous kairos, 7:08 PM  

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