You may be wondering what I've been up to since final exams.
Or maybe you're not wondering.
Either way, I'm going to tell you.
I've been looking for a job!
My degree is in math and I am 8-12 certified to teach in the state of Texas, so I am looking for a job, preferably near Fort Worth so Matt can stay at Southwestern.
Each job application takes me roughly 1.5-2 hours.
And that's without an essay!
It's just entering the same information over and over again. Like references. I'm going to make a document with all of that information on it so I can stop looking things up every time I fill out a new application.
I've emailed principals at almost every school/district I've applied at.
I've only heard back from one principal - he said he would keep my information on hand.
That's not very promising.
I heard back from one district - "the position you applied for has now been filled. Thank you for your interest."
I've also heard from quite a few people that I should avoid the district I currently live in at all costs.
One guy told me his wife left the HR department crying and said if she had to teach there, then she wouldn't teach at all.
So that's what I'm up to - searching, emailing, applying.
My last post was May 2nd...just a week ago but it feels like forever!!
I finished up my final papers of the semester (a few small ones and then two large ones: an exegetical paper on 1 Peter 3:13-17 and a research paper on Arab/Islamic contributions to mathematics), took my final exams, and got busy working some more!
I picked up a second job about a month ago, tutoring math through a local agency. So far I only have one student for one hour a week, which is fine by me!! And this weekend I worked 44 hours at the restaurant from Thursday night through Monday night. I would have worked more (on Friday) but I did a favor for another server by working her food-running shift instead of a floor shift (meaning hourly pay but no tips and less time) so that she could go to the Mavericks game.
My legs felt like jell-o this morning from being on them so much this weekend.
With the extra Mother's Day business I think we all felt the same. Customers had a two hour wait on Sunday afternoon! I got in at 3 and stayed until 11, but many of the servers arrived at 10:30 or 11am and stayed until 9:30 or 10pm. If I hadn't had church, I would have been one of them. They said that by 11:30 the restaurant was already packed, and when I arrived at 3 the patio was FULL of customers. Most of us made a lot of money (I fared pretty well, averaging $20/hr) but some servers were sorely disappointed. That was me last year, so I was SO very thankful for my successful Mother's Day shift.
Now I've got two days to rest and work on wedding preparations.
Task 1: Guest lists.
Task 2: Shower lists.
Task 3: Invitations.
Task 4: Centerpieces.
Task 5: Bouquets.
Also, I'm applying for teaching positions. YIKES!!
With all the budget cuts, right now is a tough time to find a job teaching in Texas. But thankfully, I'm bilingual and I'm math. The two things they need most.
And I can hardly wait to start SEWING again!!
I bought a sewing machine last fall and have made a table cloth and a shirt and a half, and I've got what I need to get started on two dresses and a skirt. I'm dying to let my creative juices flow!!
In other news, our photographer posted some of our engagement photos:
Every time I go to work I have to remind myself that God is the one who provides for me.
Going into work this weekend I knew, "I need to make a lot of money." Rent is due, health insurance is due, I recently paid my car insurance, I'm going to the optometrist this week, I joined a gym (my seminary gym benefits expire this week and LA fitness was having a promotion), and the list goes on.
Sometimes being an adult just isn't fun. Everybody wants to take my money away.
Working as a waitress has been a test of faith, a challenge, and a reminder to trust God for even basic necessities.
I worked an extra 8ish hours this weekend and made about $100 less than I do on an average weekend.
On Saturday, one table left me $0 on a $87 tab.
Regardless of whether or not a table tips me, I still have to pay 3.5% to tip pool.
Every other table was just in a 10% kind of mood. If I had given them poor service, I would have understood.
But it was a SLOOOOWWW weekend, meaning I gave GREAT service, because I had less customers vying for my attention.
It was just one of those days.
Then to top it all off, my last table tried to get out of the mandatory gratuity.
I passed out the tickets and she said, "excuse me miss, but I see the gratuity is already included here."
"Yes ma'am, there is a mandatory gratuity for parties of 8 or more."
"But there were only 4 of us when we got here."
Which, by the way, is not true. There were 5 of them when they got there.
"Yes ma'am, but there are 12 now. Would you like me to get the manager for you?"
"No. But why should we have to pay gratuity when there were only 4 of us?"
"The reservation was for 10 ma'am. Would you like me to get the manager?"
"Yes, I think so."
She then tried to convince the manager that despite having 12 in the party, and despite having made a reservation for 10, they were really only a party of 4 (but actually 5) because their friends arrived late, after they had already ordered their food (she said after they got their food, but actually they had only ordered when their friends arrived). Their friends only came because they called them and told them to come here instead of Razoo's.
The manager explained to her that regardless of when they arrived, they were still one party of 12 and Laura took good care of them throughout the evening.
She then claimed that she didn't even know the other people at the table.
"Ma'am, you just told me that you called them and told them not to go to Razoo's. But regardless of whether or not you know them, you are still a party of 12."
Another lady chimed in.
"She over charged us. It says here, 'two large orders of alligator.' We didn't have two large orders of alligator!"
"What did you have, ma'am?"
"We had an alligator for an appetizer, and then he had an alligator for his meal. But it wasn't large."
"Ma'am, the alligator may be served on a small plate but it is a 7-ounce portion, and is considered a large."
"I don't even like this key lime pie. It's the worst I've ever had."
"Well ma'am, you're not paying for the pie because it is your birthday, but if you would like I can get you another free dessert."
In the end, the table paid the gratuity, but only after trying everything they could to get out it.
And the whole time I stood back from a distance, watching, thankful that I have such a wonderful manager who will defend me in the face of such selfish, stingy, and heartless customers.
Moments like that make me disappointed with humanity.
I had to go back to the table and take their credit cards. I had to smile at them. I had to wish her a happy birthday. I had to tell them to have a lovely evening.
After they left, I made sure to pray for them.
To be so cruel can only mean they lack the love of God in their lives. They love not, because they don't know true love themselves.
How can we, who have been loved by God so much, love others so little???
Today I deposited my money and after looking at my bank account, saw just how God, not those stingy customers, is the one who takes care of me.
I shouldn't have had enough money, but somehow I did.
Week after week, God shows HIS goodness, HIS faithfulness, and HIS generosity, even when my customers don't.
Somehow, it always works out.
Somehow, I always have enough.
God has been so good to me, and I'm blown away.
The whole time the humiliating episode was going on, I stood there thinking, "whether they end up paying it or not, God will take care of me."
I just stood there, biting my lip, tears running down my face, my cheeks turning red.
I said "I'm sorry."
They told me to sit down and have a drink with them.
I've cried at work before, but never in front of a customer.
But these customers...not the ones I cried in front of, but the ones at the table next to them, were making my life very difficult at that moment.
And let's be honest: it was that time of the month when I get a little emotional anyway.
So let me vent a moment, and take this as an opportunity to learn about customer etiquette at a restaurant.
The table of 7 sat down.
I took their drink orders. Almost everybody order an alcoholic beverage and a water.
I said, "okay, I'll get those drinks right away for you."
The computer to ring in the drinks is right next to that table, and there is also ice and water and tea, but the bar is on the other side of the restaurant. My plan was: ring in the bar drinks, get them each a water and say "I'll be right back with your drinks from the bar", go get them, and pass them out.
The whole ordeal should have taken approximately 3-4 minutes.
But as I was ringing in the drinks, each person at the table took a turn calling me away from the computer to ask me questions.
Now, keep in mind, as this is going on, I'm always standing within 5 feet of the table.
Then this guy says to me, "can you get me my water?"
Now, when you see that your friends haven't even allowed the waitress to leave the table to get drinks for ANYBODY, it's not really reasonable to expect that she's going to have your drink.
That was the story for the rest of the night.
Before I would even leave the table, they wanted to know where their: drinks, bread, bread plates, appetizers, extra butter, tartar sauce, drink refills, entrees, etc were. I would set something down in front of them and immediately they would say "we're going to need some ___". Usually it was in my other hand, or on the tray next to the table.
For example, at one time (close to my breaking point) they asked me for some tartar sauce and butter.
I came back with it in my hand, on a tray with their drink refills as well.
I reached the table, they complained that they were missing a salad (why didn't they tell me that when they asked for everything else?? They were already aware of it!) and then the water guy snapped at me that they still needed tartar sauce and butter.
It was in my hand.
IN MY HAND.
When the waitress has something IN HER HAND, please don't snap at her that you still need it.
That's why it's IN HER HAND.
He had just asked me for it two minutes earlier. Which is why I was GONE for two minutes...I went to GET THE THING YOU ASKED ME FOR.
And now it's IN MY HAND.
The WHOLE night was like that. Over and over and over again.
And to add to it, one lady flat out didn't like her food, the trainee delivering the food didn't read the ticket and forgot the salad and several other items, and another lady said her food was overcooked, so I had to get it recooked.
Now, if your food is overcooked, that's a valid complaint. Your food should be perfect when you're paying $35 for a single entree.
But don't get mad at the waitress when the kitchen isn't cooking fast enough.
And don't ask the waitress why she doesn't have your drink yet when you just sent her to the kitchen with the food that you didn't like and didn't mention that you wanted another drink (a non-refillable drink, that is).
All the while, I had a table of 10 high school and college kids that just could not coordinate when they wanted their beer refills (for the over 21 college guys). Every time I went back to the table, somebody else needed a refill.
At least they weren't rude about it.
I finally delivered the re-cooked food to the first table, only to face the glare of a very unhappy woman who waited too long to get her food that the manager was already giving to her for free.
I was sweaty and tired. I had been running back and forth across the restaurant for over an hour for these two tables, and putting up with the most extreme impatience I have ever seen from a group of adults.
Then the college guys flagged me down.
They asked for two shots of Patrón.
I started crying.
I think I scared the high school girls silly. It must have seemed so out of nowhere. They had no idea what was going on at the other table. But they were the ones who had to watch me cry.
I stood there for quite a while trying to get myself under control. They told me to take my time, they were so sweet.
I went and put in their order, a manager yelled at another server to get me a glass of water, another manager brought me the lady's entree that she now wanted boxed up (they flagged her down, of course, because they couldn't wait two minutes for the waitress to stop crying) and she put in the massive food order that was still looming over me for the group of 10. I went to the kitchen, wiped my face, drank some water and cried my little eyes out.
Then I boxed up the food, put on a fake smile, and delivered the drinks and the boxed entree.
They were suddenly very apologetic.
Both tables left me an excellent tip.
I was thankful for the money, and how God provides even when the circumstances appear dim.
But I also look forward to the day when I can say "I used to be a waitress," and not "I am a waitress."
That's right, in 102 days Matt and I will be getting married! We're almost into the double digits...
Wedding planning is...over-whelming. I'm so thankful to my mom and sister for all of their help. It wouldn't be so much if I didn't also have to work at Pappadeaux, continue with my school work, look for a full-time job (teaching math! yay!), and maintain some degree of relationship with my soon-to-be-husband, family, roommate, friends here at seminary, college friends, friends in Spain, etc. Sadly, many of my relationships have suffered as a result of a never-ending ridiculously hectic schedule. It breaks my heart to miss out on so much of their lives, and know that there's not much I can do about it. Life in Spain wasn't like this. Distance and time zones were the only things that separated me from my friends here in the US, and maybe their busy schedules, but in Spain...ahh...life was so much less stressful. I mean, they have a two hour nap-time built into their day! They stay up late, they go out on the streets, they talk to their neighbors, they have a MILLION work holidays! They don't live to work in Spain. They work to live.
Enough about that. It's making me sad.
I only have two papers left and then final exams, and I will be finished with my last semester (for now) of full-time seminary! As much as I would love to continue being a full-time student, somebody's got to pay the bills! And, my time has run out to fulfill the requirements of my college scholarship, that is, to teach in a high-needs public school in Texas for 2 years within 6 of graduation.
So, I am pushing forward and writing my Greek exegetical paper today! I've done almost all the research (which I will finish in about 30 minutes right now), and all I have left is to put it all in writing! I don't expect it to be an easy task, but at least it's not as terrifying as it was last semester.
I've lost 10 pounds! I downloaded an application for my phone called "MyFitnessPal" and started using it about a month ago to keep track of my calories each day. I tell it basic data about myself, and it tells me how many calories I should eat each day to reach my goal, losing no more than 2 pounds per week. And it has worked! Each week I've lost right around 2 pounds!
The only sad part is that the jeans I bought about a week before starting this are now too big. But so long as I use a belt, they will suffice until I can pick up a few extra shifts at work to buy a new pair (after finals, of course).
Also, I bought a book called "Taking Charge of Your Fertility."
I won't get into all the details of it in this post, but I will say that I HIGHLY recommend it to all women, whether they are sexually active or not, trying to get pregnant or avoid pregnancy. It will teach you so much about your body and how it works, and how to read the signs that your body gives you every day. It's a huge book, but it's a surprisingly easy read. I read all the parts that interested me (which was most of the book, but specifically how my body works, how to read the signs and keep track of them, how to not get pregnant without using birth control) by reading for just 30 minutes a night over a period of about a week. The rest of it I'll pick up to use as a reference when needed.
I'll probably put up another women-only post about why I'm choosing not to use hormonal birth control, but not now. I don't have the time to dedicate to it, and I don't want to scare away any of my male readers (all two of them).
I'm super excited about everything I've learned in the book, but Matt is a bit grossed out by it all. I guess I can understand that. It made me say "eek" at first, but now I recognize it's just part of the beautiful and amazing way that God made our bodies to work!