One of my mom’s favorite things to say when she’s angry with me is that I’m a horrible person who is going to die alone. Rotten to the core! Mumsie fights dirty and goes for the jugular so after a lifetime of that, hearing this isn’t as dramatically wounding as you may think. I blow it off or, when I see her gathering steam, just say it for her and leave the room. But lately, I’m starting to worry that she may be onto something.
Ew so why am I telling you this? Because I can’t afford therapy. In totally related news: I fucking hate the person that my job is turning me into.
There are lots of awesome things about being a bartender: meeting tons of interesting people, access to shitloads of That Drank and great food, getting to sleep in all the time, flexible schedule, instant monetary gratification, etc. etc. etc. While society often looks down upon working class type jobs such as mine, I actually have it a lot better than your typical desk jockey.
But basically, I’m her now:
Misanthropic, tired, resentful, terse, crabby, impatient, constantly talking shit and even sometimes downright mean to my coworkers are all accurate descriptors for my behavior as of late. I’m sometimes truly horrified by the thoughtless and rude comments that roll off my tongue in the heat of the moment. In those moments, I absolutely despise myself.
I’ve always been a tough cookie but this is just ridiculous.
Tending bar is extremely physically and emotionally exhausting, particularly lately as I’m getting older. I have a tendency to take on as much responsibility as is humanly possible when starting a new job because I have a near-phobia of losing it. I “yes” myself into a tight corner and then feel forced to fight my way out of it, even though getting there was completely my own doing. I worry about crap that it isn’t my job to worry about because I have this misappropriated sense of justice where I feel compelled to make sure everyone is doing what they’re supposed to and, if they aren’t, take it onto my own shoulders. I care about that stuff waaaaay too much, because I’m there waaaaaay too much, since I’m afraid to take any time off or say “no” to a shift because anxiety about running out of or losing access to money rules my world. I always feel like it’s only a matter of time before I’ll get fired so I had better work as much as possible until that happens. I’ve never been fired from a bar job but this is just the way I think.
I live with an ongoing fever-pitch anxiety that everything is going to fall apart at any given time and I’ll be totally fucked. My dream is to wake up one day and be one of those people who just assume that everything will work out because I always assume it won’t. I used to balance all that stress out somewhat with some element of softness. Being crazy in love with my cat or being sweet to my boyf (neither of which are things I currently have in my life) provided respite from the frantic worrying.
Fro-yo helps sometimes.
This situation is starting to rob me of the joy I get from watching people and hearing their stories. I mean, my college degree is in anthropology which is the study of people. I literally spent (borrowed, whatever – same diff in the USA) 50 grand just to talk about, read about, think about and write about PEOPLE. Now, I’m tired and resenting the fact that I don’t have more time to hustle and write. Customers are rude to me and I take it, because it’s what I get paid for. My toughness and physical sturdiness seems to make people think that I never need help, ever, thus making my job exponentially more. Other people’s sometimes difficult personalities bring out the WORST in mine and it’s like, once you flip that switch, I can’t seem to always get back to myself. It just feels like a clusterfuck at the moment. Y’know what? I really hate “clusterfuck”. All those in favor of striking that from the general lexicon say aye.
Anywho, It’s not that I don’t have a life outside of work and that I’m too sucked in at the job – that’s been a problem in the past but not now. I do have a life, that I really enjoy. It’s not perf but it’s way better than alright. Writing makes me happy and after two years in LA, I have a group of really wonderful friends. I spend more time laughing than talking. There are parts of myself that I actually like, which is kind of a new thing. My Walgreens has a sushi bar in it. Jake Gyllenhaal talked to me once. So why is it, the second I step into my workplace, I turn into a miserable, raging cunt? How oh how can I solve this problem before I burn the last of my work-related bridges?
I don’t “hate people”, as so many service industry people love to say. I like basically almost everybody. Maybe I’m blunt, sometimes brutally honest and run without the same filters as everyone else but I mean well. I am inherently kind but kindness is vulnerability and I’m terrible with that so it isn’t always totally apparent.
In sum, stress is making me act like a dick. Stress about acting like a dick because I’m stressed is keeping me up at night. Treating people like crap is not my jam. Treating myself like crap is my jam but I should probably stop that too. How do I relieve myself of the unnecessary life and work-related burdens so that I can stop all the ugly negative feelings swirling inside of me and pouring out of my mouth?
Wait, don’t answer that. I’m too sensitive to accept criticism at this juncture OK good talk bye.