Being the author of my own misery

Let’s go back to  late December of 2018. I had moved to the Richmond, and was quickly wondering why.

I was also wondering what the fuck I was going to in Richmond. When I first arrived in Richmond I immediately began with the usual job application process, similar to what I was doing back in the DCMA. Now, I hadn’t been in Richmond very long, but I pretty quickly had the though ‘if this shit didn’t work in DC, what reason do I have to think that it will work in Richmond?’.

That was a pretty good question. Whether I wanted to admit it or not, the fact of the matter was that I needed a job as soon as humanly possible. Sure, there might be a really great job somewhere in Richmond, but finding that really good job would take time. But right now I wasn’t working at all, and it wasn’t so much that my savings were disappearing rapidly as that, when you aren’t working, any rate of disappearing money is too fast.

In DC I was living with the horrifying realization that I needed a better job. In Richmond, I had upgraded that to ‘I need any job’. While those two are pretty similar, the latter has the advantage of feeling slightly more actionable.

In one of those moments where I forget that I live in the 21st century, I hit the ground with a bunch of CV’s and walked from place to place, my actual hat in my actual hands, and asked for jobs. The reception to this action ranged pretty wildly. Most people were politely nice about it (while having no job for me), though a select few gave me the most incredulous look, wondering why I “just apply through facebook like a normal person” (that’s an actual quote). It was enough for me to learn about the errors of my ways.

Yea. It might have been an actual waste of my time. But I am pretty glad I did it. It flexes the courage muscle, and kind of geared me towards getting ready to do this shitty job.

Said shitty job called me for an interview, and the first red flag came up when that interview was scheduled for New year’s Eve at five in the afternoon. Weird, but maybe forgivable. When I got to the interview and no one seemed to know who I was or why the fuck I was there, I just assumed that there might not be a job to be had at all. This assumption was partially on the fact that, when I walked into the restaurant, five servers were huddled around the host stand, desperate for something to do.

But not only did the interview happen, but at the end of it the person interviewing me said that if I wanted the job, I could have it.

I didn’t want it. I took it anyway.

They gave me four days of training. This wasn’t my first job waiting tables, but the training was pretty necessary. That’s also a red flag. It means that the place is so god damned complex that you aren’t really going to get it just with whatever skills you had. At this place, the point of sale system is needlessly complex, as is the alcohol menu. The place really wants to be a bar.

I made less than minimum wage. Even with the $2.13 per hour added to it, I didn’t even come close.

But I guess that is better than making no money, right?

My second day working I made $11 in six hours. I am pretty sure I spent more time polishing silverware for the fucking place than I actually did waiting actual tables.

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