Nov. 8, 2019
Today I'd like to talk about work, how I got here, and the blessings and difficulties of working right now. (Part of this post is in tribute to the great people I work with!)
But this is my life, before surgery. After work I'm always completely tired, exhausted, like I have worked all day without taking a break. I only work the lunch shift and only a few times have I worked straight through. This has never happened to me in the past, feeling out of control. Right now my body is weak and controls me like never before. No matter how energetic I feel in the mornings and how many plans I have for the evenings, I come home and the only thing I want to do is lay down and go to sleep. My job is so important for me, and I love it tremendously. I work as a bartender at Longhorn Steak House in Manhattan, Kansas. It is a college town and this year I got a wake up call.
I thought that after graduating with my BA in Business Management and my extensive experience as a waitress/bartender, all the doors would be open to me and I would get a job right away in a management position. Well guess what? I did have the opportunity to manage a restaurant in town for four months before graduating, but the experience was not pleasant. This is not because of the work I had to do, but because of the management team. Every day I felt worthless, my boss made me feel incompetent even though everything was going great. I decided to quit. I learned the lesson that no one should make you feel powerless, no matter how much you need the job. Always remember that is better to find a different position, than to feel miserable. Please don't stay in a place that you are not valued, because trust me, better opportunities will come your way. You just have to be patient. It took three months of being jobless to understand that it was ok to go back to being a bartender and a waitress. Initially, to be honest, I didn't want to take that position again as I felt that instead of going forwards I was going backwards. So, I decided to look for a bartending job after never receiving a call back for a management position despite applying multiple places, and guess what? In the same week that I had my first interview with Longhorn, I got a call from a restaurant that was interested in me for a management position. Life is funny right? So for three weeks I had interviews with both restaurants and both looked very promising. I had my last interview with Longhorn with the GM (waitressing/ bartending position) and she gave me the job, but I didn't take it because I was completely positive that I had nailed the management job. To my surprise, I received a letter the following week saying that I didn't get the management job. My heart dropped. I couldn't believe it. The interactions with the GM from that restaurant had really made me feel that I had it. I remember that I started to cry and didn't know what to do. I had been jobless for three months, bills were piling up and I was completely screwed.
I was in a panic mode and it took me 2 days to get the courage to call the GM from Longhorn to see if I could still work for her. When I finally called (I was crying), she said something to me that I will never forget: "We would love to have you." Those words meant the world to me. She gave me a job without any hesitation, without any further questioning, without thinking twice or saying "Let me call you back." "We would love to have you" - those words changed my life. I understood for the first time that the universe has a different purpose for me, that no matter how much we try to be in control, we are not. We still have so much to learn and to understand. It is not about our timing, it is about when you are ready to be content with who you are and the life you are given.
I have never in my life appreciated a job as much as I do now. I love the place where I work. I have worked with so many restaurants in the past and I have never experienced what I'm experiencing now in the workplace. All of my managers are excellent, they treat me with respect, and they are very knowledgeable. They are funny, they work with you, and they are an excellent example of how to be a manager and how to run a restaurant. It is particularly impressive when you consider that most of the staff are college students. We are never judged by them; instead, we are celebrated by them. The balance of work in the restaurant is extremely amazing, something I have never seen or experienced. The team work is extraordinary. The managers care for their staff tremendously. With this letter I want to thank Katrina, Samy, Zach and Christina for taking their chances with me, for letting me be part of the Longhorn family, and especially part of their team, for showing by example how to be a manager and for understanding my situation with my condition and the necessity of having this surgery. I feel safe having my surgery because I know they care and support me. Thank you again and also to all the staff. It is a joy every day to work with all of you, listening to Bree sing and dance, having incredible conversations with the cook Butch (he definitely knows how to cook a perfect steak 🥩), Cip who is such a charm and so smart, the laugh of Beatriz that is so contagious, the super help of Brandon, the sweet Logan who always asks how I'm doing, Ryan who without knowing makes me smile (I still don't know why), Erin who is so professional and knowledgeable, Jess who is super cool, Jason who makes me laugh with the things he saids (especially when he gets upset), and to all the team: Thank you. No matter how tired my body feels because of my Chiari Malformation, you guys give me the energy to wake up every morning and have the therapy of joy.