A few bloggers had noted a dearth of blog posts from me the last couple of months. There was a reason for this. I had taken a job at a restaurant in downtown Chicago, which at first turned out to be great. The money was great and I loved the people I worked with. Then things started getting difficult. They had a series of great reviews, which is good and bad in the restaurant business. Good in that it brings in new business. Bad in that it brings in waves and waves of new people. The restaurant struggled to keep up with it. I was being scheduled for two and three consecutive double shifts, as was a lot of the rest of the staff. I was working 50-60 hours a week, in addition to school. All the while, a very hostile management atmosphere was developing. I was exhausted all the time, frequently being scheduled for double shifts without a meal break. I'd get home from a 14 hour day and have dinner at 1:30 in the morning. And then get up at 7:30 to do it again. I was getting worried about making sure I kept up with school, and particularly spending time with Kim and the kids, which was not happening. And of course, I was too tired and uninspired too blog.
A couple of weekends ago, I ended up working a double on a Sunday, despite having requested that day off. I started early, so I didn't get to make my kids breakfast-- a tradition on the weekends. I was scheduled for a day shift and on call for the evening shift. The day shift was very busy, and of course I ended up having to work the night shift. Kim had to drive Adam to my ex's house, and I got zero time with him or my stepdaughter that day. The night shift was hellish-- the place filled up after the Bears game, and I was "in the weeds" as they say in the business, the whole night. And of course, I hadn't gotten a meal break in between shifts, so I was so hungry I was dizzy. I seriously thought about quitting that night.
Two days later, I had an incident with the General Manager that was truly the most bizarre moment of my life. Seriously. I mean, that includes run-ins with nuts and drunks on public transportion in Chicago. The restaurant and I came to an abrupt and unpleasant parting of ways. That's all I'll say about it.
The good: to be out of a job situation that was increasingly chaotic and stressful. The bad: to be looking for another waitering job at the second-to-worst time to be doing so. It's difficult because all of the restaurants are closing their patios with the end of the summer, and have sufficient, or even excess staff. The only worse time would be after Christmas, when business plummets for a couple of months.
Fortunately, I kept my part-time gig at Jury's. It's keeping my head above water. A lot of people have suggested more shifts there, but the problem is that it's a small mom and pop place where people never quit-- I worked there four years before I was finally not "the new guy." I've been picking up shifts here and there, but there's really no chance to go to full time there.
In the meantime, I've got a lot of lines in the water. I'm at a point that I may have to do something drastic, temporarily, like work at Whole
So, after a couple of months of being too busy and beat to blog, I've been too worried and irritated to blog much, and didn't want to say anything about my situation. Enough of that. I'm spending time every day job-hunting. Sooner or later, I'll be working full time again (hopefully sooner). Aside from underemployment, things are good. I've got a lovely wife, whom I'm sitting with, watching Guys and Dolls with, something we'd long wanted to do. My kids are well. I'm enjoying school. Things will be okay. As my mother is fond of saying, "This too shall pass." We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.