Thursday, February 19, 2009

Would you like stress with that salad? Or bleu cheese?

I had the most stressful "waitressing nightmare" last night.

For those of you that have worked in the restaurant business, you know what I am talking about. Particularly the stress-induced restaurant business, where you are constantly running busy with no breaks, and basically busting butt for hours on end.

My nightmare always starts the same. I am lingering around waiting for customers to show up, filling ice and stacking cups, when all of a sudden the whole place gets slammed. I am running around taking orders, filling up drinks, throwing down appetizers, and seating people at tables. Suddenly I can't keep up. The cooks are backed up, food isn't coming out on time, customers are glaring at me angrily, and I can't ever seem to get any one's orders right.

In my dream last night I was supposed to make Vanilla ice-cream smoothies for these two little boys, but I couldn't. There was no explanation why, I just couldn't do it and it was making me really upset.

I always wake up in a panic, sometimes almost in tears. It takes me a couple moments to realize I am safe in bed with my family, and not on the pinnacle of a breakdown at Pizza Bob's.

My friend still has waitressing nightmares, except she sleep walks through them all. Her husband will find her running all over the house taking orders and mumbling apologies to customers. One night he found her sitting on the couch, pouring herself a cocktail at the end of a rough shift--asleep.

I waitress'ed off and on at this same place for 6 years and it seems, whenever I have excess stress in my life, these nightmares are always here to haunt me.

I've heard that stress can bring up traumatic issues from your past, through your dreams. Was waitressing really that awful? It's kind of funny to think that,yes, i really hated it. And I will never do it again.

Is there "post-traumatic-waitressing-therapy" for these types of things? Or am I doomed to these nightmares forever?

Me spending a Halloween night waitressing at Bob's. October 2001


Hilary-Dilary-Dock said...

Oh Sally! This sounds exactly like nursing! You get on shift. . . kind of slow, maybe you only have 2 patients. Then suddenly everyone in the world is having surgery and coming to YOUR floor afterwards, and you end up with 5 crazy patients and they're all dying at the same time! So stressful! Being a mom is so much better than being a nurse, or probably waitress!

Philip, Melissa, & Summer said...

Fortunately I don't have waitressing dreams, but I do have reaccuring nightmares about school. I always dream that the semester is already started and I still don't remember which classes I am taking. I also dream that I have forgotten about a class all semester and am now about to fail it. Random I know.

Melodie said...

I think I could have written your post myself! I have waitressing nightmares on a regular basis and I haven't waitressed for over 10 years! The latest was me trying to serve a full restaurant AND cook everyone's food because the cooks had gone home. I wish I could just have some nice falling or being chased dreams instead! lol!

Sally Jackson said...

Isn't that weird that waitressing nightmares stick around like that? I mean, I've experienced many, many other stressful expereinces that are worse than serving food to angry customers! Oh well. Yes, Hilary, I like being a mom much better.