Monday, April 13, 2009

Individual seeks full time humiliation

Job hunting in NYC. There's nothing like it. After eating a sleeve of Peeps, I spent a portion of Easter Sunday on craigslist with the hope that there would be less competition responding to ads on the holy of all holy days. This is exactly where my life has found itself. It's not a pretty place. My relationship with craigslist is an abusive one and I keep crawlin' back for some more mistreatment.

Don't get me wrong, I located my current roommate and apartment via craigslist rentals and I enjoy them both immensely. I responded to the Writing/Editing post that The Printed Blog put on craigslist and found myself legitimately published a handful of times this year. There is good stuff out there to be had! If you want the sex, you can get the sex---if you want to learn how to play theramin, someone out there on craigslist is offering lessons! There's even free stuff and who doesn't love a dresser missing a drawer!

My main gripe is going after restaurant jobs in NYC. It's outrageous. I currently have one job that is part time and not a terribly realistic amount of income. Actually, it's not cutting it at all so here i am all day responding to stupid posts on craigslist trying to sound peppy but also relaxed in my brief little intro as I then PASTE (note: potential employers HATE attachments and will NOT consider you for work as they so adamantly write in their bullshit ads) my resume into the body of the email, thus encountering all sorts of formatting problems and making my resume look even more embarrassing than it already is.

I've encountered a few obstacles with this job hunt. I refuse to work in Manhattan ever again and I know I am not the only server who feels that way. It makes the Brooklyn competition an absolute show-down. Cue E.L.O.

So I scour the pages looking for jobs in my surrounding neighborhoods which are few and far between, compared to the breakneck speed of turn-over in the city. I have found myself showing up for a restaurant "audition". Yeah. That's what I said. Nope, not an interview. Some of these places have "open calls" where you can make it or break it in the service industry. You would think it was a try-out for American Idol the way people get all decked out, line-up for this crap and try to sell themselves in less than 5 minutes. How do you sum up ten years of grueling, thankless work in the service industry in less than 5 minutes?! Like that I guess. It's a business for clowns.

Other places have you "guest bartend" or "guest serve" which is an absolutely assinine thing to put someone up to if they've never worked with your menu, customers, co-workers, kitchen or staff. I know now that a place like this does not care about the quality of their product if they are unwilling to train someone. But before I knew better, I showed up for one of these "guest jobs" in the West Village.

It's a waitressing nightmare come to fruition. You know the one---nothing is where it should be, you keep forgetting to bring things to the table, you can't read the writing on your own tickets all while the dining room keeps expanding in size and filling up with more people.

I showed up at this little cafe and was literally just thrown into the mix. I wanted to die for 5 hours as I was working with a server who was beyond pissed that she had to work with a "guest server" so she was passive aggressive towards me and when I would ask questions she would just become exasperated and say "I'll just do it." WOW. I certainly learned alot that day but it wasn't at DOMA. May you rot in hell, provider of murky coffee and stank attitudes.

Then there is the situation of the manager who never gets back to you after you've dropped off a resume and they say to "check back--But don't call." Great. So then you have to play the guessing game of "how many times do I casually drop in to chat before crossing the line into full blown stalker territory/ and/or will they even be present since I have no way of knowing because they said not to call."

I felt like I was in the beginning stages of dating someone. "Should I wait 2 or 3 days to see him again? I don't want to seem depserate, but I definitely want him to know I am interested." Clearly I wasn't stalker-ish enough because the job slipped out from under me the day prior and I walked out of there scorned. I sort of glared at the current wait staff who I had fantasized to be my new summer server friends and had made easy conversation with in the prior weeks. They were dead to me now and they averted eye contact.

It's never been a problem to just pick up an extra side gig as a server. But man oh man times are tough right now and I really don't want another one of these jobs as is!

I promised myself that the place I work at currently would be my restaurant swan song. I love it there, it's a great job with good hours, and I intend to have to quit because I finally have gotten some financial stability out of my other endeavors. I don't want to quit because I am sick of it, or because they are sick of me, or because I am 70 years old and still a server and broke my hip while hauling around a bus tub. I want it to be over and done with on adult, positive terms when the time comes. That is my fantasy for saying goodbye to the service industry and I'm being messed with, goddamnit.

But what's worse than not wanting to get a crap job on the side is that I CAN'T get one. I got turned down after an interview at a pressed sandwich cafe! Competition was much too fierce it turns out in the field of serving people dinner that was made on a Panini grill. Now my ego's taking a a beating right along with the bank account.

A Gentleman's Club on the west side called SCORES is hiring. They promise alot of $$$$$$$$ in their craigslist ad. I mean, why have dignity now? Yes, sure, I could at least handle being turned away because I am horribly pale and have been told I look like Debra Winger. But not being hired to serve people 3 dollar side salads and free coke refills because someone is MORE qualified than me to perform this embarrassing job? Well, That's just vulgar, and I have got to draw the line somewhere if I am going to be a self-respecting, and above all, employed individual.


Chesley Calloway said...

I can't tell you how much I feel you on this post...

Anonymous said...

i very much love your writing type, very attractive,
don't quit and also keep penning considering the fact that it just simply good worth to follow it,
impatient to read more of your current content articles, enjoy your day :)

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