Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Why I Need a New Job

On Saturday at work I cried.

At a table.

In front of the customers.

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.


When the waitress has something IN HER HAND, please don't snap at her that you still need it.

She's aware.

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."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

102 Days!!

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!

That's it for now. Time to work on some Greek!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

SunBelt Football

My fiancee, Matt, recently started a blog about SunBelt Football.

Last week he had a phone interview with the head coach of Middle Tennessee State University, which he posted on his blog in two parts. Tomorrow, he's going to the UNT Spring Scrimmage and will be writing about that on his blog.

Check it out at sunbeltfootball.blogspot.com!

Mice Mice and More Mice!

Remember how I said the mice were gone??

Well...not quite.

I left out some mouse traps just to be safe.

Then I had to go buy some more.

In the past two weeks, I think we killed 5 mice.

Every time it's so pitiful! They're kinda cute, actually, so it's pretty traumatic to watch them die.


We finally got the white one!

That elusive, mysterious white mouse finally got himself trapped!

So we called pest control again and it they found some holes in the baseboard below the cabinets and filled them up, then found another gap in the water heater closet and filled that up.

However, my guess is that there are holes somewhere else and we're just not yet aware of it.

So I'm keeping the mouse traps out.

And I'm buying more.


Monday, April 4, 2011


The cutest thing ever happened yesterday.

And sadly, I don't have any pictures to prove it. :(

Matt stopped by my apartment to hang out for a while. As I was walking him out, a little Nepali boy came running up the stairs.

"Lala!!!" (that's code for "Laura!!!")

He flung his arms wide open and gave me a hug. Suddenly we were surrounded by 5 little Nepali children, speaking rapidly in Nepali followed by "Okay?"

It's a good thing Matt speaks Nepali!

After Emily gave each of them a cookie (Girl Scout - Thin Mints) they walked Matt and I downstairs and I pried the children off of Matt and the hood of his Jeep so that he could go home.

Before I knew it, they were climbing on me!

I had one child in each arm, and several others climbing up my legs, trying to reach my arms.

I told them I had to go, because I needed to study. Does a four year old understand what it means to have to study??? Does a four year old Nepali child with an English vocabulary of 50 words know what it means to have to study?

Not in the least.

Among all the yelling and laughing, I heard one small boy saying over and over, "ABCD! ABCD!"

I said, "you want to sing?"

"Yes! Yes! ABCD!!"

So I said, "okay, let's sit down" thinking we would go sit on the steps.

But they just plopped down in the glass covered grass (there are always broken beer bottles and all kinds of dangerous objects hiding around our apartment), so I said, "the heck with it!" and sat down too as we began to sing the Alphabet Song.

I sang, and they sang along, throwing in letters where they knew them and interesting sounds where they lacked the letters. Most of them couldn't say "Now I know my ABC's..." so they just mumbled something and cheered and clapped when we finished.

Next thing I know, half of us are singing another song and the other half are running around trying to play "Duck Duck Goose."

Of course, I was the goose, but what could I do?? A child sat in my lap! I couldn't get up and run without throwing somebody off of me.

Next thing I know, there's a tiny little boy on my shoulders.

Then P*, my 4 year old neighbor, decided she wanted on my shoulders, but in order to climb up there, she had to get the first little boy off.

Meanwhile, someone is singing and another child is still trying to continue playing "Duck Duck Goose."


Finally I say, "Okay, it's time for me to go home."

But not just yet.

Little boy wants to play another game. He explains to me the rules of this game in Nepali, as he puts his hand on a tree, points to another tree, and then points to his toe.

What was that, sweetie?

I didn't quite catch that last bit.

Again, more Nepali, pointing, and then he puts his hand on his toe.

He wants to exercise? We did some jumping jacks a few minutes ago....maybe he's wanting to stretch now?

So I put my hand on my toe.

Then he says, "ready set go!"

AAAHHHH....I see.

"Race! Race!" the other children yell.

Homework can wait.

I touch my toe and wait for him to say "ready set go!" and take off running with the other children.

We touch the tree, I run back and touch the other tree only to see that all the children ran to the big rock instead.

I guess I missed the part about the rock.

So I ran and touched the rock, and then the kids all run back to the other tree again.

All the while, a neighbor from across the parking lot is watching, and laughing.

From his seat on a couch...next to the dumpster.

I took this picture of him after I went inside. I didn't want him to see me so I had to be sneaky and quick...


I love life at Lavender Pines!!