Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Writers Workshop (very long... but please read anyway!)

The Prompt I chose...
6.) Write about the event that was the end of your childhood(
I knew my childhood was over when... I got my first job. My first REAL job.
I was 16 1/2. I was tired of asking my parents for gas money, and thought I should earn some money of my own. My parents were catagorically AGAINST my having any type of job in High School, especially since I was on Dance Team and other clubs in school. So as a compromise, they allowed me to look for a job that would accomodate THEIR schedule they made up for me. Weekends only and an occasional weeknight if I was out of school for Spring Break or the summer.
So I set out looking for a waitressing job. I looked in the newspaper, and saw an opening
at a little restaurant one city over. I went on my interview, dressed all spiffy, typewritten
"resume", with the little work experience I had working the Snack Bar for my Mom at the
Little League Baseball Park, and a work experience gig for school at an Industrial Supply Co.
I was so nervous.
I walked into the restaurant, and it smelled yummy. The guy who greeted me
literally looked me up, and down... and up again. It was creepy. I swear I saw him lick his lips... ewwwwww!
He led me into the "break room", more like a closet...but okay... the break room and I waited, and waited and waited. The entire time...the guy... just stood across the room and stared at me in between trying to look busy "taking inventory". Did I mention he was creepy?
Finally, in walks the owner... Giorgio. Oh did I not mention it was an Italian Restaurant?
Come on... where else would I apply! Please!
He took my hand... kissed it, ewwwww! and asked me to "do a little turn" for him.
I stood there... refusing to budge.
He laughed it off, like it was a joke he was playing.
I sat down, and he apologized for the comment.
His first question was NOT my name, but "How old are you?"
I told him, and creepy guy said... "Awww man... you're JAILBAIT!"
That took me by surprise... I was mortified...
Mortified that that jerk even thought he had a snowballs chance in hell with me! Yikes!
So... Giorgio looks over my paper and tells me I am hired.
By this point... I don't want the job, and will be happy to leave asap.
In walks Lena. Giorgio's sister and business partner.
She takes my hand, leads me to a table, and sits down and tells me to
'nevermind' them, they don't hire or fire, and I would be working for her.
I was just about to excuse myself and thank her for her time, when she asked me to give her
a chance. She had been watching through a double sided mirror, and LOVED that I didn't do the twirl thing. She said I would be great at serving. She needed someone on the weekends and during holidays, when its busy, and she already had a steady server for weeknights who likes to party on the weekends. The only bad thing was my age... I couldn't serve any alcohol at all, you had to be 18 for that... but she said she would do it herself... she wanted me to work there.
Like a dummy... I say okay.
I started Friday night.
I took to it like a duck to water. My customers loved that I knew how to pronounce all the menu items and could speak Italian to most of the Italian family members they brought in.
I was having fun, and the tips were great!
On a good weekend, I would bring home $200 for 2 five hour shifts! I almost told them they could keep their measly $25 paychecks!
Well, the weeknight girl got wind of my tips and requested a change. This was a small, mom and pop restaurant, with 2 servers and bus boy, and the owner/chefs. I was in High School
and couldn't work weeknights. No way was I giving up my weekend shift.
But... the other girl... Amy, was sleeping with Lena's son, the bus boy, and they 'partied' together after work, and "she was there first", blah, blah, blah...
So, Lena gave her Friday night, and I got Saturday night and Sunday evening.
But Amy wasn't making the tips I was making. Customers were asking where I was.
They came in on my nights instead. It was great!
Until Amy threw another hissy fit. She lied and told Lena that I was serving Wine while being underaged. Lena knew she was lying, and told me so, but she wanted to keep Amy as her friend and future daughter in law, and had Amy and I work the same nights on the weekends
and told me I had to SPLIT MY TIPS WITH AMY!
I may have been 16, and a little wet behind the ears... but I was no dummy.
I said "No", that won't be happening. My tips are mine, and I will only share with her son, my bus boy (creepy guy).
Lena smiled... turned around and told Amy, I wouldn't budge.
Amy said... "Oh... she'll budge." and sweetly asked me to stay after work to talk
with Giorgio and Lena together. I called my Dad... and had him drive over to the restaurant and just wait in the parking lot after my shift was done. He did... and waited.
I went to the break room, and walked into a huge cloud of smoke. I coughed and spit and
knew they weren't smoking cigarettes.
They had mirrors out, and white powdery stuff, and huge glasses of alcohol, and a deck of cards. Amy asked me to play "quarters" for my shift. Lena, Giorgio, Creepy guy, Amy... all laughing and swaying to music, trying to 'get me on their side', so I would 'feel like part of the gang" as they put it.
They taunted me and said "Oh... she's Sandra Dee, she's a cheerleader... she doesn't do naughty things... she gets good grades, and Mommy and Daddy are perfect parents from the Ole' country"
They overheard me answering my customers questions.
I am 40 1/2 and to this day I have never smoked anything, or taken anything stronger than Tylenol 3. I won't let myself feel pressure to do things I don't want to now...and I didn't start then either. They were a bunch of druggies!!!
Jealous druggies!
Giorgio got out of his chair, and started taking his apron off and unbuttoning his shirt, while they all laughed. He said "Come here honey... let me make you a woman"
I kicked him square in the family jewels, he went straight down and out, they all laughed and spilled their drinks, I paid myself out of the cash register, and walked out.
I made sure not to give my Dad any indication I was upset...or I would have had to bail him out of jail that night, or worse... gone to his murder trial.
He asked if I was alright, and I told him my car was acting up, and wanted someone
to drive behind me.
I never heard from them again. I called the cops on them and informed the police that illicit drugs were on the premises and done and smoked nightly.
It occured to me just then, the reason they never had me close up, and wanted me to leave 1/2 hour before them. It was so they could "party".
After that... I feel like my childhood had left the building, never to return.
I learned a lot from that experience. I learned that adult are just as petty, jealous, and had low self esteem as do kids.
I learned why my parents were so protective of me, and I started to appreciate it from that day on. I learned I never wanted to be adults like the restaurant jerks.
I had NEVER seen any form of drugs in my entire life until then. I wish it could have been longer.
I learned I wasn't ready for most situations in the real world just yet... and I was thankful I had a safe, loving home to go home to.
I didn't have another job again, until after graduation.
The restaurant closed two months after I quit.
Giorgio died of an overdose.
What a sad life, and a sad way to go.


  1. Wow! That was even worse than working at Orange Julius. What a story!

  2. The story sounded good (tip wise at least) inthe beginning and got creepy at the end. i am glad you resisted and stuck to your guns. What an interesting story.

  3. Oh my gosh..your story was so good and interesting!!

    Ewwww on the people that worked there! You really sound like you had a good head on your shoulders, and very strong willed! Thank God for that!!

  4. Wow, what a story. So glad you stuck to your guns! Kudos to your parents for raising such a strong young woman :)

  5. I understand what you are talking about-My sister and I were "good kids". We didn't drink until we were of legal age, and neither of us were about to smoke anything! To this day, I have never seen drugs...However-I guess they were around because I got together with old high school friends, and they were saying, "Remember when..." and I said, "Drinking, smoking, cocanine? WHAT? Where was I?? I never saw that.." and they all said they knew my sister and I weren't going to do that, so the things our friends got into were always after we left...
    Even if I saw it, I wouldn't have done it-
    but the funny thing is-my sis and I were the "good kids" who didn't have a curfew, and were always where we said we would be...because we respect our parents and would never had wanted them to be hurt by our behavior. I attribute it to my parents and how they parented us...I can only hope the same for my boys
    What a sad story!
    I also read your 13th Wedding Anniversary-Now I am crying! That is just the sweetest thing!!!!

  6. It is me again-sorry for the super long comment-why don't I write a book?? LOL
    I hope it is ok-I took and installed that widget to make other posts pop up on my blog-hope that is ok, if not-you know where to find me....

  7. ((hugs)) What a memory.
    Your Momma clearly raised you right.
    Those people were pigs!

  8. Go you on making such kick ass tips!! Sorry for the way it ended, those people sound like assholes. You do have a good memory, I wish I could remember things that well.

  9. Saundra,
    I'm still feeing nervous from that story. How scary. Wow, you are one tough mama.

  10. That was me Dee Dee.

  11. I pray that if my children ever find themselves in a situation like that, that they do EXACTLY what you did.

  12. That could have been a really dangerous situation. I'm just so thankful that nothing ever happened to you. You'e a tough cookie and likely even tougher from having gone through that.

  13. Wow, You are an amazing woman and an awesome story teller. I could not even imagine what I would have done in that situation. Petty jealous druggies. You were smart to have your dad waiting.

  14. WOW, what a sad and scary situation. I am so glad you got out of it OK. I guess you learned some valuable lessons that night. Too bad they never learned theirs.

  15. Oh my word! That would have done it for me too! At least the restaurant closed down so no one else would have that kind of experience.

  16. Wow that was some story!! I'm glad for you that it didn't end badly because it so COULD HAVE, so easily!!!



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