On the Lighter Side

I went to get my hair cut on Monday. Who knew it had been over a year since my last cut. I don’t keep track of these things. I’m truly not a girly girl. Anyway, I love chatting with R. the woman who takes such great care not to shock me with any drastic changes. Although, I was sooo close to becoming a blonde. Julia Roberts looked very cute on the cover of Allure. I almost said, “Go for it, what the heck!”

Anyway, R. had mentioned being sick of deep chick flick movies that make you feel. Later, I told her about this journal and then I realized that possibly too many of my articles were deep. I needed to lighten it up a bit like my hair. (almost) I was going to write all about the Gasparilla race in Tampa but then last week there were complications with Elle being able to race in high school track meets (again) and that has now added to my need to lighten things up.

So, today’s Writer’s Block asked ….What was your worst job? My answer is absolutely positively being a waitress. I failed twice.

My very first job was at Tropical Treat in good ol E-town. I was sixteen or seventeen. Tropical Treat was a truck stop. Now, why I ever thought I would be good at waitressing, I have no idea. First of all, I didn’t talk to anyone I didn’t know. I preferred writing. If there had been texting back when I was in high school, I would have had a lot more friends. Second of all, I hated to cook. Still do- my idea of lunch is an ice-cream cone or pre made salad. It’s too much work getting all that food ready, eating, and then cleaning up. I’d rather create a story, plant a garden, or clean my entire house.

I have two memories of my job at Tropical Treat. I remember wiping counters. Notice how I blocked out all cooking or taking orders. And I remember the day I was fired. I was scheduled to work, but something came up. I don’t remember what it was. But I do remember calling the owner of Tropical Treat and asking for the day off. She was from Russia and spoke broken English. Her reply was, “You no come to work today and you no work here no more!” I said, “Okay” And that was my first job. When my friend Amy heard the story she was in hysterics. For the rest of the school year and maybe the next , Amy took great pleasure in practicing her best Russian accent and reminding me, “Hey Krista, you no come to work today…you no work here no more.”

Did this stop me from waitressing again? Nah, jump ahead three years and I’m living in LA trying to pursue acting but surviving as a leasing agent. When our buliding changed owners, my apartment manager and friend invited me to live with him and his partner at his new building. I graciously accepted. We moved to Sherman Oaks and I applied at Denny’s. That was the biggest mistake of my life! It was horrible. From the ugly, itchy green uniform to the thirty five cent tips. Once a co worker didn’t feel like serving so she sat all the customers in my section. People were giving me their special orders and telling me to hold the onions. I had no idea how to convey such things to the cooks. I tried to write it all down…but I was a writer at heart and would want to flower it up. ..He would prefer his eggs sunset yellow with the consistency of a cheese fondue so his toast can properly absorb the correct amount of yolk.    (not really)

Don’t even get me started on milkshakes! If you go into a Denny’s and order a milkshake be very kind to your waiter or waitress. It’s a big pain in the you know what to make one. One customer screamed at me because we ran out of those giant silver metal containers that hold about a gallon of shake and I put the milkshake into a glass. Come on, this was California where everyone was a size two. Actually back then it was six but who’s noticing. Who would have thought screaming would ensue over a little less shake? I made a bee line for the bathroom.  I’m not much of a cryer but that woman scared me!

Thank goodness I was offered my own building to manage… Overland Apartments, right near the West Side Pavilion. I miss that glorious mall. The West Side Pavilion was actually the location of my very first job in LA….The Gap. That was before I had my Yugo and rode the bus from Korea Town. One day  at The Gap, while I was standing-and folding (they frown on sitting) I saw a singer recording a music video on the escalator. I turned to my co workerand said, (another huge mistake) “Who’s that?” I got a look. “Tom Petty” What can I say? I had just attended AMDA in New York. I was all about musical theatre at the time. Boy do I love the song Free Fallin!

My days at Denny’s were over and my new job entailed wearing my own clothes and taking the elevator to work. To this day every time I go out to eat with my husband I ask, “Did you leave a good tip?” I have nothing but respect for waiters and waitresses especially if they have to wear ugly itchy uniforms!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. poetstegner
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 13:47:51

    Truly enjoyed what I read
    Hello, Krista! How fun to see you are also a writer! I clapped out loud, when you spoke of working at Denny’s, with a writer’s urge to creatively describe what is meant, even for an order of eggs! I certainly laughed. I can’t handle rejection very well, so I’ve decided to avoid it all together by rarely looking back after I write something. I often have a specific audience for my poetry, and will distribute it for the affect I hope it creates, which is never money, or feedback, although I love both. I would rather cling to the faith that once the seeds are planted, they will eventually grow, so I am like a “Johnny Appleseed” of poetry. When I was shot, recently, and waiting for paramedics to arrive, I was not afraid, even though it seemed death was a very real probability. One of the reasons for my peace was that the notebook I was writing in when it happened was on the floor, with the poem “Among My Medic Memories II” visible as the front page, now spattered in my blood. A Toastmasters agenda lay next to it, and I felt confident that even if I died right there, there would be no mistaking who i was, and how much love I have for humanity. It is tough being a writer. We need all the pats on the back we can get! Paychecks are the pats on the back for most workers, and WRITING IS WORK!!! It takes Time, CONCENTRATION!, and physical discipline to sit and focus as long as it takes to get the job done . . . all the elements of any “real” job. When I was still a paramedic, people would tell me what a cool job I had. When I say I’m a poet, the response is usually less appreciative. “What’s your real job” is often the response. Well, what a pleasant surprise to see Eric’s partner is also a writer. Cling to your faith, and keep writng good stuff. So far I’ve only read two entries on your blog, but I truly enjoyed them. Cheers! W. Joseph Stegner, Jr.


    • kdrausin
      Apr 15, 2009 @ 15:37:40

      Re: Truly enjoyed what I read
      Thank you for your post. It’s great to hear from you. It’s been a very long time since we have seen each other.
      Eric told me what happened to you on the bus. Your bravery astounds me. You did what was right and paid a price, but it seems as though you are still alive due to your faith. I admire what you did for a stranger. You’re a good man.
      It’s so nice to know someone on LJ. I hope you post your work here as well as your website. I am looking forward to reading your poems.
      There are many successful authors here on LJ. (published and unpublished) When I’m alone it’s comforting to know others are a click away, living a similar life.
      In regards to telling people I’m a writer. Here’s a good reply, “I’m following my passion and living life to its fullest. Life is too precious to take for granted. Every moment counts.” How’s that? (I just made it up a second ago…but it’s true)
      Please keep in touch, Krista


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The Picture Book Review

Reviews of Children's Board Books, Picture Books, Activity Books, and Graphic Novels

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