Thursday, September 30, 2010

Oh September- Part 1

Ok, I'm going to try to get this thing going again.  Sorry for the hiatus, and thanks for still taking an interest in my life!

Anyone who knows me knows that it takes me 2 hours to write a very basic email, so the idea of trying to write a post that captures everything that has happened in the past month is a little overwhelming to me.  So in lieu of a novel, I've decided to break these up into the main aspects of my life right now: work, dance, and NYC exploration. 

So the reason why I haven't updated in almost a month is because a got a job!  I am officially a waitress at Hillstone Restaurant-- if you've ever gone to Houston's Restaurant on Kirby just south of 59, it's the exact same restaurant, just a different name.  The process has been bittersweet though-- I went through 2 weeks of intense training.  I had to memorize a dense BINDER of information-- the ingredients of every single item on the menu- down to the salad dressings, the names and prices of our extensive wine and alcohol list, which way the lemon faces on a drink, phrases you can and cannot say to a guest, the history and origin of every hot tea we serve, the title and artist of every painting in the restaurant... just to name a few things.  I was given a test every day at the beginning of my shift, so any time that I wasn't dancing or training, I was studying my binder and making flashcards.  When I was actually at the restaurant, I spent 6 hours a day being told everything I was doing wrong by every server and manager working that shift.  Throughout the entire two weeks, all I wanted to do was quit.  I had to fight back tears at least once a night, but one night I lost it.  My boss sat me down to tell me that I needed to smile more: "Every guest interaction should begin and end with a smile."  He asked me if I was enjoying the restaurant and if I still wanted to be there.  Tears started rolling down my face, and I explained to him that this job made me feel like I was incompetent. 
Anyways, long story short, he was really nice and told me a story about how he struggled when he first got into the restaurant business.  In the end, I stuck it out, and finally got my official certification by waiting on one of the managers.  He drilled me with a ton of specifics about the menu and the restaurant that I didn't really remember all the answers to, but I smiled like it was my job... ;) and everything worked out.  So far, I've had 2 days on the floor as a server-- the money is good, and now that people aren't watching my every move, I'm enjoying the place a lot more.  This whole situation has been really tough, but I learned a lot about myself and I know I'm becoming a better person.

So thank you so much for your prayers during my unemployment period!  Despite the challenges, I'm excited to finally have a job, and like I was hoping for, it's one with flexible hours- so I can still enjoy exploring this new city, spend time with visiting friends, and when necessary pick up more shifts at times when I need a little extra cash.  Now I just ask for prayers that I can balance all of these work hours without it taking away from the quality of my dance education.  It's been really hard to leave a lunch shift where I'm going non-stop for 6 straight hours, and then still having the motivation to walk into a dance class right after and give it my all for 3 more hours. But I have to remember that I moved to New York to dance, not to wait tables, so I have to find a way to make sure that is a priority every day.  I'm also asking for prayers that this NY experience will teach me the art of financial self-control and discipline-- a huge weakness of mine. 

So as I am sure you are gathering, this whole job/money situation is basically my beautiful rose with its painful thorns.  It's easy to pick out things to complain about, but I know that this is all part of my journey.  Throughout this month I've been holding on to this passage for encouragement:

Romans 5:2b-4 "And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."