Worthy of its name, this morning was full of bright hopes and happiness. Woke up before my alarm, drank coffee, did stretches, and got ready to go to work. Was scheduled to arrive at 8:30, knowing I would be late if I walked, I chose to walk anyway. I knew it would be a very slow day at the cafe, and there were plenty of people there already, so being late was not so big a deal. Last year I would have made sure I arrived on time. Last semester I was almost 100% punctual. It was also the worst semester of my life! I had put so much life and energy into the cafe, to the point that I was carrying much more than my share. It was breaking me. I was picking up the slack for so many coworkers and trying to stay happy at the same time. Being one of the managers, and the main floor manager, I had to make sure all details were in place, whether others were doing their jobs or not. It was so difficult!
I thought I would be much happier when summer kicked in…
My work load, though easier, I was doing more than my share. I found myself ever more angry… That’s when I knew I had to pull myself out. I let my bosses know, and for an entire heartbreaking month, I thought I would not be continuing at the cafe the following semester. They asked me to let them know when my last day would be and I could never decide. Where was I to go next? What place is better? After thinking of all my possibilities, which included bartending, I realized that the grass was not greener anywhere else.
The new manager, who is a girl I was training, took charge and was doing so good! Still is doing good.
On a side, and somewhat abstract, note, I feel like I went into Manndible to get all the nourishment I needed from having been wounded so intensely at previous jobs, as well as help them build their basic management infrastructure. There was none when I got there. My bosses (the owners) took my advice and began having regular meetings to get everyone on the same page. We hashed out so many things in those meetings! What works, what doesn’t work, what problems are we facing, what new thing is coming around the corner, etc.
I always spoke. I always knew what needed to be changed/improved upon because I was in the trenches constantly.
Then they asked me to write the procedure manual so everyone could be on the same page. Every aspect of the cafe has to be written down so newbies could have a reference guide, and more seasoned staff could have a reminder. Everyone needed to know where the lines were, and with that there would be much better flow.
Implementing it was a different story. I found some people rebellious and other people unteachable. Others were flat lazy while and others just couldn’t see or wouldn’t remember no matter what. I felt very alone in my battle, and that’s when I woke up.
Gabriela, you gotta take care of yourself! Your own life is waiting for you. It was a heartbreaking decision to say I was walking away. My dream of transforming Manndible into a new animal was not going to come true. It was sad to realize I had to let go. I loved it like it was my own.
Back to the present moment and my glorious morning. I never did decide to go work somewhere else, and, as my steam began to slowly blow off, and as the new manager entered with fresh energy and worked just as hard as me, I began to feel a lot in natural relief. My happiness came back. I began to love my job again.
In the last couple of weeks, I really really love my job! The beauty of working there snuck up on me and entered my heart. I fell in love with people again.
My bosses still needed an answer. I gave them one– I can work part time and only in the mornings. Those are my favorite shifts! I would like to be off by noon or 1pm. Definitely no later than 2. On Fridays I can stay until 3 because no one else knows how to handle Fridays like I do (with our Indian cuisine special, it’s the ultimate madhouse).
Today is a glorious morning because it’s the last day of an era. It is the last 8 hour shift I will ever be scheduled to work. I may work extra in emergency cases, but I won’t be scheduled to be on any 8 hour shifts. As a matter of fact, I don’t think anyone should work 8 hours in a day! And definitely not 40 hours in a week. This work culture is inhumane!
Starting Monday (because I’m off Friday…3 day weekend!!), as we roll into the new semester, everyone is going to be bracing themselves for the imminent storm that will hit us. Starting Monday, we will begin to see the storm clouds form, but they won’t rain on me. I’ll be doing what I love to do best, which is work with food. Just touching food makes me happy! And when I can feed others good stuff, I feel like I need nothing more in life.
I won’t be overseeing anything or making sure others are doing their jobs well. I finally trust that the next generation is going to do a damn good job. With that knowing, I can relax. And if that’s not good enough, I’ll be done by 1pm and still have lots of time in my day for painting, bike rides and study.
3 day weekend. Last day of an era. Waking up to that knowing? What a glorious morning it was! I walked to work in no hurry, didn’t care that I was going to be late, stopped to admire how the sunlight fell on the flowers, took pictures of them. It was all so beautiful. And I was happy. Happy with such a deep level happiness. I still am happy 🙂
PS–The pictures above are ones I took this morning.