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As I sat in class on Saturday barely paying attention to my microbiology professor while she explained glycolysis, I was surprised to hear her ask,

"Does anyone wait tables?"

Wait a second, what does this have to do with glycolysis? I raised my hand, hoping that since this was a college class at least 5 others would do the same. Nope, just me.

"Good then you can relate to this. I waited tables for ten years..."

I thought, "Me too... almost" (I'm sadly in my 9th year of serving)

Then she told us a story about how she used to serve at the Olive Garden. It was an extremely busy night and only my professor and one other pregnant waitress were working. As she was coming out of the kitchen with a HUGE tray full of food, an impatient customer actually threw a breadstick at her and hit her in the back.

Not only was my professor furious about this, but she had just completed her masters degree and was only waiting on this total bitch because she couldn't find work in her field. She eventually went on to work in the pharmaceutical industry making new drugs (among many other jobs that she had) before she became a microbiology professor.

So she did would I wish that I could do in that situation, but I know I never would. She picked up the breadstick, threw it right back at her and hit her in the neck.

Her manager was impressed and didn't fire her.

I can't remember how the story related to the lesson, but it did somehow. I sat there and felt really happy all of a sudden. I already respected the lady for having insane credentials and for being so knowledgeable about literally everything living. And now she's my hero for 2 reasons:

1. She threw the breadstick back at that lady and aimed for her face. How is that not awesome?

2. She's a successful woman who was once a slave in the restaurant business for 10 years. Do you know what that means?! That means she was just like me once. It also means that there is hope for me. Hope that I won't be waiting tables for another 10 years, and that some day I might enjoy a meaningful, rewarding (gasp!) career.

Sometimes when I think about how I've been working in restaurants since I was 16, I get this intense feeling of fear in my gut. It feels like I could vomit and pass out all at once. I imagine myself at 40 running around in some restaurant waiting on people and still kissing some customers ass. That's frightening.

I've worked with people who are in their 30s and 40s and married with kids. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's fast cash. But I could never do it. With each passing month I find myself wanting to quit more and more.

Hey if my professor can go from throwing breadsticks in the Olive Garden one day to being a microbiologist the next, so can I.

One Comment

  1. I'd let you throw a breadstick at my face, just saying

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