Monday, September 25, 2006

Double your pleasure, double your fun

I just got back from work.

Not day job, which I do not write about on the internet. (Haven't we all learned that lesson by now?)

Which I will.

Other job involves me wearing a very unattractive suit that would melt if lit on fire and which makes a rustling sound that makes a girl feel as unattractive as it gets. The pants are tapered, the jacket has shoulder pads are too boxy, and the shoes like that of your dippy middle school English teacher who liked sensible shoes with long flowy skirts. The pockets in the blazer are long but not deep, which doesn't make carrying a lot of necessities a good option unless you like to rock a mean cellphone bulge. The button-down shirt is tight around your neck neck and short at your sleeves. There is ring-around-the-collar on it like you wouldn't believe. No matter the amount of bleaching I put forth, it's still 3 years of sweat.

Catering is a serious business.

There are people who take it as such. People who get into the power of telling hundreds of lemmings (many of whom are college students) where to go, what to do and "HUSTLE". They know the way to lay the knives
just so, that your way which was .5 millimeters off is just SO WRONG. They walk faster than you and heave deep sighs when you might not jump when told.

There are people who do this on the side of day jobs, because those jobs don't pay them enough money. There are two types of those people.

1.) young people who work for non-profits or are just starting out in the workforce and don't have much money. Apartments and beer and clothes not from H&M sometimes need to be paid for, but not when you make a laughably low starting salarty.

2.) people who don't understand why you would pass up the opportunity to make more money pretty easily (you carry things, walk around, get fed, clean up and go home). Many of these people were born outside the US and cannot believe EVERYONE doesn't hand people plates of food for $17 an hour. In some of these peoples' faces, is where you see the most gratitude for living in America.

There are other people who do it because friends of theirs do it, and why not get paid a very decent hourly wage to whisper your gossip into their ear than yell across a smoky bar.

There are people who do it because they are newly 21, and need to fuel their new relationship with alcohol now that they are finally out and proud.

And then there are people like me. Who just spent an irratingly high amount of money at Ikea and who might have to buy some leopard print new shoes. I have money in my budget for things, but not for EXTRA things. I spent all my recent savings on Gilbert chairs and Expedit shelves. C'est la vie when you move.

I've had this job since 2004 on the sly. It's always been good to me. It's there when I want it, ignorable when I don't. Tonight was one of a handful of "mandatory" dates. I went, begrudgingly.

Now there are a handful of people I enjoy seeing there, and our numbers are dwindling because people move on. It was more fun in the past when my roommates in college and I did it together. Out of 4 of us, someone was usually working with you, and it was fun to unwind together after being on our feet unaccustomed to that much action.

That is the main drawback. When you get home, it's impossible to shift modes. You just carried plates and trays and tables and chairs for hours. Always more than 4, never more than 12 hours at a time. Your hands hurt from heavy decorative plates topped with delicate china, and having to pinch them so other people can grab them from your shaking hands while balancing a handful of silverware and being told to smile. Your back hurts from lifting things; your shoulder blades from picking up trash and your lower back from picking up heavy boxes. Your legs hurt from walking so swiftly around people milling about, eager to catch a glimpse of DC celebrities and show of their biggest diamonds and smallest appetite. Your feet hurt because your heinous shoes cost $12.99 at Payless in 2004 and you are too stubborn to buy new ones.

Your pride hurts, just a wee bit, because you still need that second job.

I don't know when I can get rid of it exactly. The money is too good and too necessary. I have student loans and expensive taste. That's a dangerous combination.

Much like being very awake at 2am on a Sunday, with your feet in a tub of hot water and two advil swimming in your stomach.

On the upside, they usually let us take home the flowers.

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