So in the middle of all my soccer madness I’ve managed to injure myself. Torn MCL the doc says. No soccer for a month. No weight on it for at least a week. So I’ve been forced to crutch my way around school and home and sit on the sidelines at soccer practice. Not so much fun.
The other thing that I’m not allowed to do till I get off my crutches is work. Waitressing doesn’t really work on one leg. And since I’ve had the week off of work, it’s started to make me realize what my life would be like if I didn’t work. I have free afternoons to put my feet up and get caught up on Doctor Who. I have an extra couple evenings a week to make cookies or blog or watch How I Met Your Mother on dvd with Lis. I can surf iTunes for new music, or message my bro in Universityland, or stay late at school to work on our school newspaper. It feels like freedom.
However, I’ve realized that I’ve become accustomed to being a working gal. The money is great to have, obviously, and I make a lot of tips waitressing. But it’s more than that. I like my job. I like the people I work with, like Kath, who’s nineteen and has cool tatoos and likes to listen to my rants about school. And there’s Abi, who is from the Phillipines and shows me pictures of her two kids to whom she sends money every month. My boss is also part of what I like about my job; he’s business-like, but he knows how to take a joke. Every time I come into work he asks if I’ve been away in juvie, and how did I like it? When we close up the restaurant, he makes a game of sneaking up behind Abi and shouting, “boo!”. He gets her every time and it’s always good for a laugh.
My job also makes me feel grown up. Customers rarely realize that I’m only sixteen; parents tell their kids to follow “the nice lady” and it’s always a thrill to realize that they’re talking about me! I’ve had customers ask me for advice about speeding tickets (I’ve only had my license for six months), job security (I work about eight hours a week), and mortgages (I hear those are expensive). The best part is knowing that people tip me because I do good work. It’s so satisfying to make a connection with a parade of strangers and know that you possibly just made their day better. When else do you get that opportunity throughout your week?
My job isn’t easy, and it takes up a lot of my time. But I feel so lucky having a first job that I actually like doing. Yeah, it makes my life a little more hectic, but it like it’s a part of me now, like the soccer-playing part and the Mustard High part. It’s weird being without it. I think I miss it already.