Monday, August 18, 2008

have hands, need job

i mean...

there are few things in the restaurant industry i can not do.  there are many i WON'T do, but i like to think that i understand the general way a restaurant works.  i much experience does a girl REALLY need?

i want to serve.  i think i'll be good at it.  i daydream about it the way other people daydream about cleaning or gardening(though i do daydream about gardening every now and then and i DO know people who daydream about cleaning).  i'm saying that while most people might not want to do such a job, i think i'd be good at it and find my way to enjoying it.

i just need more experience before i can go for the good jobs.  

tonight i worked my first shift at reza's mediterranean restaurant.  i'm supposed to be learning the menu right now.  of course i chose a restaurant with foreign names and food i don't generally eat...not that that matters because its not like i get a discount or even a free meal or a FREE APRON.  yeah that last one's gonna cost me $10 once i pass the menu test hopefully tomorrow so mama can start makin' some buy my...apron.

i'm figurin' i'll stick with it so long as the money's good and it gets me enough experience to get my foot in the door elsewhere.  what have i got to lose, right?  well...maybe a little sanity as the dining room is not divided into sections...rather, you get tables in rotation, which means that your tables are never going to be near one another so you run around the entire night just doing laps around the HUGE dining room.

why am i complaining?  i am...i need to stop.  i was wanting a job so badly two days ago.  this is one.  tomorrow's another.  

egads! gotta get to bed.  i've a menu to learn and a shower to take so as to be fresh as a daisy for the first day of the second job...and the second day of the first job.


Saturday, August 16, 2008


i don't know why its easier to say wone-wee than lonely but it is and i almost am...

its a new everything.  I don't have a job.  it seems at the moment i have less than not a job meaning two failed interviews.
i always thought interviewed well.  maybe they smelled my desperation.

regardless, i need a job.  i do have one job working as a server at a nearby mediterranean restaurant, which is fun, as i 've never served before.  i'm just feeling so overwhelmed by it all.  there are so many restaurants in chicago that i don't know where to begin...well, i mean, i did BEGIN...its just now how to continue when i'm so tired and feeling so uphillish...

interview #1: at an evanston cafe where she serves 90% organic food. its just her making all the food and serving it up.  i'd be perfect for it.  but she hasn't gotten back to me yet(i'll be penning the follow-up email as soon as i'm done lamenting...i think better once i've evacuated my whine energy)...downside: she can't pay me the wage i need...but i'm willing to patchwork around it because it sounds like just the right thing...the other downside is that its in evanston and not here but i'm halfway between downtown and evanston ANYWAY...

interview #2: SUPER FANCY restaurant in lincoln park called me up for a "stage".  that's where you go in and essentially work a shift in the kitchen and they see if you "fit".  its sorta the weirdest thing ever because its not like you know their menu ahead of time or how they do things.  you basically spend 6 hours(or at least i did) picking up their recipes on the fly...and trying not get in the way...while still looking like you know what you're doing.  i peeled more cherry tomatoes than i care to mention...but i did peel them all AND cut up a bunch of other stuff EXACTLY the way they wanted it AND plate about 5-6 different things...its not easy...but its not hard...its just complicated...and complicated further by the fact that i didn't go to culinary school so i have no idea what exactly is expected of me NOR do i have my own knives...CORRECTION: nor do i have my own fancy knives.  just a couple ikea knives i keep around for my own enjoyment.

whatever, i totally represented.  and it would pay well...though it is about the same distance away as evanston...and the exec chef kinda drove me crazy.  i wonder if i'd be happy in a job where there seems to be almost no positive feedback or recognition.  Nor is there any moment of customer interaction where they can openly appreciate you.  for some people all that crap might not matter but it does help to motivate me if i know i'm being successful in satisfying someone.

they'll let me know in a week. *sigh*

i'm going to, i think, go to a temp agency on Monday and get signed up.  i don't have office experience but i'm smart enough to run a copy machine and stuff envelopes.  and i know how to type, obviously.

i know it'll get better, i know it'll be ok.  i know i'll meet people and have just the most enviable fantastic life soon enough.  right now, i feel like the city itself is my friend.  the people in the city barely see me.  but the city seems to be on my side.  the energy of the place embraces me...even if it can't give me a job.

special moment of the day: For the first time ever i was about ten feet away from public masturbation.  Man on the El, wearing sweat pants...sits down at the front of the car where no one else is...holds up a newspaper and starts casually touching his junk through the sweat pants...a few  moments later, it develops into full-on rhythmic stroking...i sneaked a peak and saw the movement...but i could hear the movement as well.  and later, when other people boarded our car and sat in his area, he got off our car and walked up the platform to board another car.  i know this because i didn't see him on the platform as the train passed...he, apparently, needed his privacy.

oh Chicago...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

the job hunt

Today i got a job.

It was strange...yesterday i busied myself out of a job hunt by spending all day on the phone with India(yes, the country) trying to fix my not broken printer...yes, its just a confusing as it sounds.  A quick summary:

Me: My printer won't talk to my computer.
India: I'm going to be honest with you.  Its a better value for you to get a new printer exactly like your old printer with this special phone offer.
Me: Does it have free shipping?
India: No.  That is $11 extra.  Or you can get a printer/fax machine/copier/scanner!
Me: Is that the same price?
India: No, that is $149.99...but shipping is free.

45 minutes later...

India: So what do you want to do? I'm going to be honest with you, i have this same printer at my house and i've never had a problem.
Me: is your warranty out of service like mine?
India: No, i have a three year extended warranty.
Me: Well, there that is...

a half hour later:

Me: Look, i don't have the money for a new printer.  I just moved so i have even less money than normal people. I'm trying to print out my resume so i can get a job.  I DON'T WANT A NEW PRINTER, I JUST WANT A JOB.
India: Do you have a usb cord?
Me: no...
India: I'm going to be honest with you. You get a usb cord and you connect directly to the printer and you print the resume and then you get the job and you can buy as many new printers as you want!
Me: Great!
India: Yes!

then autumn and i went dress shopping (its lovely)
and then there was a birthday thing with homemade indian food(also great)
...then we had to go to bed.

so...i got out of bed today, went out for an hour in the middle of the afternoon, dropped off 5 resumes and the last place i went to(only not the last place i was planning to go to) was reza's, a local mediteranean chain.  I interviewed with the owner, Reza.  He looked at my address and asked:

my age
where i was from
what kind of place my home was (urban or rural)
was i single
am i generally positive person?

he then informed me of his two rules:
1)no matter what happens, leave with a smile on your face.
2)no dating any fellow employee.

got it.

then he said i had a job.  be back at 5 pm monday.

i have another interview tomorrow...just in case...i think it'll be pretty in line with the new chicago life.

there are no bad experiences, only good stories....right?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I watched Apollo 13 for the first time in years two nights ago...and then re-watched the good parts in rerun yesterday. 

i don't know what it is that was so fascinating to me...

but i had to see them survive
had to see them finish the task and then walk out of the helicopter in their coveralls with their brand new hats(as i thought to myself "did they change clothes in the helicopter?" and "aren't their legs all wobbly from being in space for 7 days?")

I'm in Portland right now.  Have been for two weeks now.  Last week was a workshop.  Now i'm just vacationing.  Someday i'll go on a more traditional vacation to a more picturesque location where i either lie on a beach or sit in a lodge and do nothing but for now, i sit in my sister's basement apartment doing nothing...and watching maury povich.

SIDEBAR: yes, i watched Maury today. It was kind of AWESOME.  "Today on the Maury show: My daughter is in the seventh grade! Is she a prostitute and a pimp?" All these girls were professing  things like "you don't know me!" and "i don't care who my babydaddy is, so long as i get a baby." then, OF COURSE, they have an angry "wrong side of the tracks turned right side of the tracks" fella show up to scream in their faces and then escort the young harlets to the slammer where they get to have their personal space invaded by ladies who have been there.  the end result, OF COURSE, is that the girls change their slutty ways and apologize to their mothers.  I only wish there wasn't so much yelling.  also, why do these girls want babies?  why did no one ever ask them that? not once did anyone question that logic, they just told the girls they were too young, too young too youngtooyoung. hmmm. 

back to apollo 13: what i'm working toward expressing is the countdown nature of these last few days in portland.  I came here 3 days after moving to chicago. its rare that you are truly homeless in the way of only being home in the exact place you exist in that moment.  i'm sorta homeless right now.  i've unpacked some boxes in chicago, but i've done more grocery shopping here. and now, as i wait to start my life in chicago--which includes finding a job, a gym, an improv class(those two i've picked, i just need to sign up) and a community--i'm counting down.  

I also get the "on my own" nature of this part of my life. i'm spending A LOT of time by myself, whether i'm physically by myself or at the workshop last week where i was surrounded by people all day but still felt very alone. i get the message, universe.  I'm swimming on my own for a while. no company, no community.  a pod of friends...but a lot of this new chapter heavy lifting has to happen with me and me alone. and while i was sad and lonely last week, i'm kinda enjoying the anonymity of it now. 

there are no bad experiences, only good stories.