Sunday, September 12, 2010

What's A Girl Have To Do To Get A Little Service Around Here?

Apparently, the answer is "Call me."

This was my first weekend where I did substantial work on day off. And in the middle of what was a really great day off. I spent three hours calling customers, emailing the restaurant, and rearranging car services for Chef. I set up shop at the bar of a mom & pop chinese food restaurant, nursing a single can of diet coke working from my "virtual office."

Now, the first series of interruptions and phone calls caught me on a 30-block walk with a cute guy I had just had lunch with...but never one to try to impress, I of course took the call, wrote the emails and allowed myself to be interrupted. Fortunately for me, he later told me that he found the whole experience "fun." Score 1 for me.

In The Devil Wears Prada, the friends and lovers in Andy's (Anne Hathaway's) life resent her being on-call, give her grief for interrupting meals to take a phone call, ditching plans to do work for the boss. But to my mind, that's what she was paid for. And if they don't like it, they should offer to pay her rent for her.

And for the three remaining weeks I'm definitely working for this restaurant group, that's what I'm being paid for too. If they call me and I'm physically able to answer the phone, I will take it. I mean, I'm making more than twice what I was a cocktail server for the month, and I appreciate that the money is in exchange for my services. My services these days are no longer a smile and a drink menu, but rather my ability to have time to do things people more important than me don't. And props to my friends who have handled my frazzled interruptions with the same sense of humor I try to bring too.

I was feeling sort of stressed out by the time my phone calls and emails ended. It was sort of a wake-up call that my second attempt to socialize this weekend was thwarted by the blackberry. Friday night there was a big event that Chef was at, along with his first assistant. I had been instructed to be "on call," meaning reachable for the evening. When I finally joined up with my friends for a quiet evening of insobriety and Paul Newman flicks around 10:30, I was still theoretically on the clock. When the berry went off with an email from Chef thanking everyone for a successful evening, a great sigh of relief was exhaled. That was around 11:30 pm.

For the lawyers, paralegals and med students reading this, my plight seems small. Because it is. It's just that I haven't been asked to be so available to my work maybe since my last major collaborative art project in college. I'm getting used to it. Slowly but surely, my new life is making more and more sense to me.

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