Apr 28, 2005

sweet and sour frankenmonsterblog

You get a free eggroll with this order. And maybe some dumplings.

Two things have happened. Actually three. The first thing breaks down into two pieces:

a) the end of my career as a waitress (cringe as I say career)
b) the start of my career as a designer (career, this time without cringing)

I start my new job in the middle of May. This surprised me (even though I had just had an interview) because I had very cautiously not allowed myself to develop any expectations about this new, better, altogether wonderful design job.

I have wondered many times what it would be like to give my notice to my boss where I work as a waitress. He will say: Oh, now, FINALLY a smile! Where was that smile the last TEN years..?

Verbatim on Saturday. Mark my words.

It was like I was waiting to graduate from waitressing school. Four years went by. Then another four. I believe I now have the equivalent of my MA in waitressing (with a minor in bartending).

Though, if you can believe it, the whole putting waitressing behind me isn't the thing. And I always imagined that it would be a very big deal, that it would be fodder for many jokes, and colorful stories. But it isn't the thing. The other job. That is the thing.

They were on the fence about a putting anyone in a permanent position. When I got the message from my sister-in-law, I was ecstatic. I had been telling myself that there were other set design jobs out there. But this was the one I really wanted. I believe my previous posts about that job attest to this (and read nearly like Valentines). The word love was used more than once. And I know that I spoke of the prop room as one might speak of Moscow, or Paris.

I'm just a little nervous. It's such a 180. Last winter, when I first asked with my sister-in-law about openings at her company, I had already been avoiding all things design related for some time. I had been out of school for too long. Too many strange things had happened where I couldn't concentrate or get myself started. I stopped reading the trade magazines. Fabric. Pattern. Furniture. All of it was lost on me. Even color. Sure, I still talked about color, but it was rote, as if I was reading off of a page. I felt like such a fraud.

But now? Now even my colored pencils no longer make me sad. That is, the pencils (literally a thousand pencils) that my dad gave me when I first went back to school. It wasn't that long ago that being confronted by those pencils (and they're impossible to miss) was the product of guilt. They (there in their lucite containers, all sharpened, all pointing east, all color catagorized by my dad) seemed to mock me silently. Like ever present reminders just collecting dust. Waiting to be used. Not being used. It was a real waste. But now I hear myself reintroducing myself, ..hi pencils.. remember me..?

Relationship with colored pencils >RESTORED<

Part 2 now funnier and more vague:

So that's good. All good stuff. But, then, just as the interview/jobs stuff was going on, I received a phone call about a case that I'm involved in, which necessitated that I go to a police line up. Which was ridiculous, in terms of the timing. Here whole days could go by where all I do is sit around and watch the Batman reruns marathon (for example). But apparently, (and I don't believe in astrology) every important thing that was meant to happen to me this year, was scheduled to happen to me all at once on Tuesday afternoon. And I had no idea.

Actually, this was not totally unexpected. I knew a month ago that there might be a line up. I just wasn't about to hold my breath. This incident occurred eighteen months ago, and I've found it best to try to accept that it might never be resolved (at least in the legal sense). And to never, ever believe the police when they suggest that there's about to be a Crack In The Case! Because they tend to suggest such cracks forming in the case all of the time.

Still, I wanted to be as helpful as possible. They have no case without me, in my case (this person has several cases against them). So, before I was found to be officially useless as a witness (due to memory loss, something they could have determined long ago) I went to the line up. I felt ill at ease but I had my wits about me (though nothing even remotely resembling moxie) and quite a few (three or four million) police detectives around to protect me. Not like anything was going to happen. I just felt very much like leaving the building. I had a strong urge to leave. That was what I was thinking the entire time. The cops seem to know that this is going to happen. They just keep offering coffee and bottled water and leading you back to your chair. I think they do this because they feel helpless. And because they really, really want you to stay in the building.

Ultimately, I couldn't identify the person. Not in the way that was necessary. The minute you say, I think.. it's over. Think is an opinion. And when you say, 90% of me thinks.. it's really over. There is no 90% at Area 5 Police Headquarters. That is what Detective B explained to me (though I kind of knew this already from other experiences I've had in this case). If only there could have been a line up within an hour of the criminal activity. Or, a week.

The next day Detectives A and B came over to (gently) issue me a verbal waiver where, until something changes with my memory, I am no longer to be considered a witness to what happened to me. Then Detective B leaned in and told me in a very serious (now serious, because before it was quite laugh packed) tone that they know (for reasons he couldn't disclosed) that the person responsible for what happened to me was definitely in that line up. He was identified by someone (with the preferred certainty of 100%).
I was assured that, with or without me, this person will eventually be put behind bars. He has so many cases against him.

Sometimes I try to imagine what being in that kind of trouble would feel like. And for some reason I gain no satisfaction from the idea of this person being brought to justice.

And being waived as a witness leaves me ambivalent. It's both a relief and failure. It's confusing. I'm at least three different people when it comes to what happened to me. I'm (1) pathetic-vulnerable me, (2) emotionally-removed-numb-I-don't care me, and (3) intrigued-by-the-ugliest-most-gruesome-things-likes-to-turn-over-the-rock me. And that last one, though it sounds gross, is actually quite good.

So, Detectives A and B and I all finally said our loud goodbyes (their loud goodbyes, cops talk really loud) and they left. For good. Forever. For now. But not before Detective A forgot his police radio on my kitchen table (that crazy Detective A!). We all had a good laugh about that later (that is, a few minutes later, when they came back to get their radio). I'm going to miss Detectives A and B.

And I genuinely hope to never see either of them ever again.


Tonight I'm going to give my boss my notice. I'm not sure what will happen. He will either say, ..That's nice, now immediately leave the building..! (and I kind of need to continue working right now, though a vacation would be nice). Or he'll be cool, and let me work the remainder of my two weeks (then assign me my trainee).

I must say, I'm a little jazzed.


  1. Again, I am very excited for your new job. Not that being a waitress is such a bad thing..it just didn't sound fulfilling. i hope your boss is lovely to you..and really, why wouldn't he...i imagine you are a model employee.

    and regarding the waiver..it sounds like such a state of flux. moving on yet painfully so, though probably it's good to be moving on in some fashion. i'm sorry if i offended/upset/etc. you. thoughtless.

  2. blog ho,
    Thank you. I'll probably post something about about it (giving notice) soon, as I do so enjoy writing in my little blog (so whatever my boss says, it better be funny).

    And, here I thought I was so vague. That's ok. Not you're fault.

  3. Fab news about the new door opening!

    So happy to hear your pencils never held a grudge at the distance that grew between you. They are very brave and obviously forgiving.

    No Boss in their right mind would boot you out the door for giving them notice. That's a kindness not often seen in food service. Usually staff just never show up again, assumed disappeared. Abducted by Aliens? Swimmin' w' the fishes? but *YOU* are there, and able to pass on your vastly accumulated knowledge onto a new acatering staff member, green and nervous, entering into this new door; for them.

    lavish your wisdom upon them. The karmic return will be sunshine bright when you walk through your new door.

    Okay, now I'll take off my Trelawney costume.

  4. lyvvie,
    Thank you, and (I laughed!) the "green and nervous person" that you described so sweetly is either a thirty six year old ex-owner of a bar (who has been waitressing for nearly twenty years), or a twenty nine year old with a similar story. Both so NOT green, both so not nervous (both so greedily waiting for me to leave). Not to suggest that they aren't nice to my face, they are.

    Alas.. only five shifts left to go!

  5. hi, i found your site through blog ho's. Love your writing. :)

    Good luck on your job. I will come back to read more from you.