You know those days that we all have where from the moment you wake up until the moment you fall asleep, everything goes wrong? One of ‘those days’? Well I had one last Sunday and I have a few stories and lessons to tell as a result of it. First, let me tell you, I had to undertake a ten hour shift at work, which is harder than it sounds when you work in a very busy restaurant, on minimum wage and can only have a thirty minute break (in order of when you started and only after 3pm).
One of the stories I have to tell still provokes the same emotions in me (three days later!), whenever I remember it. Basically, in my section I was serving a table of 5 who were out to celebrate a 60th birthday party. When it came round to it, one of them asked me (when the person whose birthday it was wasn’t listening) to bring out the cake they had brought in a couple of hours earlier. I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to deal with the cake and that my supervisor would bring it out for me – don’t ask me why I thought this, perhaps it was due to the 7 hours I had gone without food, the stress of the job or my own stupidity. So I went to get the cake which had been put in a box by the family of the person whose birthday it was that had messages written all over it by various friends and family members wishing the man a ‘Happy Birthday’ etc. Now, if this were my cake, I would want to see the messages BEFORE I ate the cake as it would have more meaning. So I went on this and just brought out the cake still in its personalized box. Yet, when I got to the table there was complete silence as one of the women said, disappointedly ‘Oh…um.. you were supposed to light the candles that were in the box’ and bring it out properly. I felt horrible. I felt as though I had ruined the birthday party (though the man still seemed chuffed he got a cake) and it just made me feel that I was incapable of doing the simplest things. But then part of me thinks I wasn’t necessarily in the wrong because they didn’t make it clear, though they probably assumed I would do the whole extravagance properly. I don’t really know, all I know is that I still feel very ashamed, embarrassed and guilty about the whole thing. A lot of my colleagues said they’ve done similar things but that still doesn’t make me feel any better. It’s just one of those lessons you learn on one of ‘those days’, I guess.
To make matters worse that day I made another stupid mistake. I was serving the table of the owner’s daughter and her friends. They asked for a bottle of Prosecco and so I brought them one which I didn’t realise was the half full bottle we use for filling up individual glasses of champagne which are ordered. I don’t know why I didn’t think this through. It was 9pm, I’d been working since 1pm (having only eating soup and a bowl of cheerios) and was highly caffeineted. It was embarrassing to say the least. I dealt with it fine, by apologising profusely and correcting my mistake. But I can’t help think that, from the way she reacted, it will maybe be held against me at somepoint in the future, particularly since the owner’s daughter is one of my supervisors. Maybe I should just stay off the caffeine?