Between it being very close to my time of the month (and thus rampant unbalanced hormones) and my inability to think outside of my immediate stressful situation, I find myself in a situation where self harm was the first thought that popped to mind.
An hour ago, a table of 5 that someone else had taken cared of since 3.30pm just left the restaurant. The group had been sitting in my section for 7 whole hours. I had gotten them from 6.30pm onwards when the previous server cashed them out and informed me that the table was still going to sit there and chat. She also informed me that they just needed one final round of drinks so I obliged. We closed at 10.00pm and at 10.30pm, this group of people finally got the hint as I had been sweeping around them. I had, up until this point, been without a single table for an hour and wasn’t about to wait until 11.00pm or more before I finished my cleaning duties. These people had taken up a table in my section for 7 whole hours – definitely a record if I’ve ever seen one.
If they hadn’t been rude to me and other customers, I dont think I would’ve been so angry or stressed out. Unfortunately, they were rude. They not only kept putting their dirty dishes on clean tables around them but sat in such a way that my two other tables could not be sat for the rest of the night. I went from having a 5-table section to having only 2. When we finally squeezed some folks on those two tables, this group would loudly and obnoxiously talk and laugh. I caught one of my tables shooting them dirty looks each time they loudly laughed.
When they got up at 10.30pm, they knocked over silverware from two other tables which meant that I not only had to clean up the mess but also reset those tables and rewash all the silverware. Again, this would all have been fine had they not have been rude to me all night.
I like my job enough to do a really really good job. In fact, tonight, a customer went up to my boss and told him how great of a job I did. He wanted my boss to know that he had a great worker in his team. I was pleased. So, clearly, I am not writing this just to be mean. I can never be mean to people without first having a reason to anyway.
To add insult to injury, the guy who paid left me a $4 tip on $40, after taking up my table and preventing me from using it to make some money tonight for 7 whole hours. It felt like a purposeful stab at me. It might not have been but it sure felt like a dick move to me.
I made 50% less than everyone else around me because my section could not be utilized and my tables just couldn’t turn. All night, I walked at a decent pace because all I would have was one or two tables at a time while everyone else sprinted around the restaurant because their section was full.
At 10.40pm, when I was done cleaning up, I waited for my husband to pick me up from work. As I waited in the office, I thought about the incidents of the night and tears sprang to my eyes. I had to pretend like I was yawning and that I was particularly interested in a chart on the wall so I could turn away as someone walked into the office just then. I wiped away the tears as I can never cry in front of coworkers or friends. The only people who have really seen me cry have been S, my husband and my parents.
I contemplated suicide as my husband drove us home. When we got home, I contemplated the X-Acto knife in my art box. I wanted to cut because I was so overwhelmed by negativity, anger and sadness. I felt a strong sense of injustice as I thought about the events of tonight. Long gone were the positive affirmations from one of my customers tonight. Instead, all I can think of (still as I write this even!) is how I had been mistreated by the group of 5.
“Do people not realize that their words and actions have consequences towards others?” My mind angrily asked. “Do people not realize how much it hurts someone when they treat them with such contempt?”, “Do they not realize that had I been less stable, that their very actions could’ve caused me to die by suicide?”, “Why do people not care?”, “How can anyone go to a restaurant, sit for 7 hours and not even leave a 15% tip?”. I make $2.13 an hour plus tips. It’s a horrible industry to work in and I’d much rather get a decent flat rate and have the tipping system abolished. I don’t need the contempt from customers.
Anyway. I was angry. I was upset. I was irrational. I was not able to get myself out of that stress. I feel weak as I am unable to fight the stress in a positive way. My struggle with self harm is not always a struggle because most of the time, I give in to the urge to cut. I didn’t tonight but I’m still awake so it means that there is still time for me to reach for my knife and cut. I want to cut. I want to.
Maybe that’s why I am writing this instead. Maybe it’s my cry for help.
So after I wrote this post, I took a shower and had a very long cry in it. I cried and cried and cried. I couldn’t control it and didn’t even really know what I was crying over after the first 30 seconds or so.
Well, the good news is that I didn’t self harm. Now I’m just exhausted after all that crying. So I’m just going to go to bed.
Interestingly, my eyes and nose didn’t get all puffy and weird the way it usually does when I’m crying. I guess crying in the shower helps reduce facial swelling from crying? *shrugs*