It is day 2 of the first and newest month, of the newest year, of the rest of my life. Today has been a great day if you set aside the fact that I slept half of it away. The first thing that my conscious brain processed was that I was being spoken to. Who is this person? Am I still dreaming? Do I actually have a phone in my hand? Bla Bla, Mutter Mutter... Yea someone is there. I wake up to the sound of good ol Tabby Moore. Holy Crap, its Tabby Moore, shes on the phone, that only means one thing, Its not morning anymore, its afternoon. I missed church, it was 12 30. With the lack of sleep I have recieved from the social event on New Years, I desperately needed to catch up last night.
At first I did not think i would have a good time going to the new years party. I would feel like an outcast, be set aside, and watch the others have a good time with their significant pairs. What a busy night it was at work on top of things. New Years is another way to say " National Hangover Day." So many people came to Laredos strictly to drink. Well, the ball drops at midnight, so I had to be out of work fast, and the place was packed tight. New Years Eve is one of those special days at work. It is a day that everyone on staff is scheduled to work at some time of the day. We are never sure if it is going to be completely slow or slammed, so this is a precaution that makes pretty good sense. Fortunate for me that I had a partner to work with, being as busy as it was.
Despite all the people working, we all had to work at racing speeds to meet the demands of the customers. Everyone on staff was working in the kitchen, all waitressed were on the floor, and there was no time for simple chatter, too much work was needed. We have no bus boys. I had to sacrifice my position as dishwasher, in my neat little section of the building, seperated from the public, left by myself, and now i was out on the floor with all the consumers... a place i did not want to be. Packing around a bus tub that smelled something terrible, i was forced to pace the floor picking up dirty dishes and relaying them back to the dish tank where Bill waited to wash them.
Busing tables does not really bother me for 2 reasons: 1. I get tipped out by all the waitresses 2. It is a change of pace from the normal work environment and makes time pass quicker. The night dragged on forever though. Everytime I would clean a table, I felt constant paranoia that the people eating were looking at me. I just kinda felt dirty. Another thing that bothered me was when a tip was left on the table. I made extra effort to announce to the girls that I would not be touching any money left on the tables, but I would leave it lay for them to take themselves. I do not like handling money that does not belong to me, especially from so many people at once.
I gathered up a lot of dirty dishes, cups, beer bottles and other unmentionables from the dining room and carried it all back to Bill in the kitchen. I did not believe what I saw. There is Bill leaning against the wall in a zombie like state, nearly drooling on himself. He hasnt touched anything, he let it all pile up. "Hey Bill, they are making me bus tables, I can't be back here washing dishes, thats your job for now." Bill then tells me that I have to watch out for him tonight, that he wouldn't be himself. Which basically means, he just bought some sort of pill or pills from someone, and is on his way to a downward spiral. Great. Now i have to babysit.
Between busing tables i had to come back to the kitchen and wash all the dishes that I brought in from the dining room. I also had to clean all the crap that come from the cooks and the stuff from the meat room. As soon as I was finished doing what Bill was supposed to be doing, I had to make salads for the new customers. The boss came in and told me that there were several tables that needed to be bused.People were waiting in a line all the way outside to be sat, they couldnt get a table until i bused it. I was beginning to get irritated, but I realized I didnt have time to get mad, that wouldnt be very professional. Bill was getting worse, and it seemed like nobody could tell but me, that is no surprise because nobody has to deal with him except me.
The night dragged on and on. The garbage filled up over and over, it was my job to take it out. So i had to make another special trip to find the manager to get the back door key, unlock the door, and remove the trash. The dumpster was full. All remaining trash was to be thrown in from above. I had to find a picnic table sturdy enough to climb with a heavy trash can and carry it to the dumpster. Lock the door, return the trash can with a new bag, return the key, clean myself up, time to do everybody elses job once again. This was a never ending battle, until 11:30 when people decided to leave. As it slowly came to an end, the dishes were still piled and Bill was still standing there, getting paid to lean against the wall in another world of his own.
I didnt have to bus tables anymore, so i had a little more time. Then i got mad, it finally set in what was going on. So what do I do? Tell on the co-worker for being drugged up? Maybe just mention that he is not working? No. I am not sure if this is morraly right or wrong. I just tell the boss that it is time for Bill to go home. If i am to do my job, I cannot do it while tripping over a 200 pound slug. "Bill needs to go home, just take a look at him." Those were the only words I said. The boss looked at me, took a look at Bill, looked at me again, and frowned. The boss then relieved Bill of his duties for the night. Bill glanced at me and said "Well Nate, I'm off, Can't Help You Anymore Tonight." Oh i couldve said so many rude things to him, but i managed to keep to myself. Just let him go, better to be without him on a night like tonight.
I had only a half hour to finish all my things, start closing, and make my way to the party. 11:30 it was too close. I had a 10 minute drive ahead of me if I drive like a madman. I got out of work at 11:53, Raced to my car and hit the interstate. The party was not important enough to get a speeding ticket or endanger the lives of others, but i was beyond the perception of rational thinking. I had a mission. I did not work this hard, put up with druggies, and NOT GET TIPPED OUT for my extra efforts for no reason, i had to make this party. I hit the interstate, speed limit 65, not fast enough. Let's start with 75, 90 on a straight stretch with the brights on, to see hidden police officers waiting for speed demons.
Theres my exit. I get off, make my turn, it is a straight road from my objective.
I had 2 minutes left. There is the house, all the parking is full. I
drive 2 houses down and park.
My watch read midnight but it is always off a little.
I go inside, down the stairs to cheering and laughter.
It was 12:02.
I worked that hard, sweated from my brow for so long, exhausted myself for hours upon hours, to miss my objective by 2 minutes. It just was not fair. Everyone was looking at me. Wes comes up with a bottle of grape juice and a smile "Glad You Made It! Happy New Years Man!" Tabby and Leeah were on the couch looking at me. Everyone says at the same time " Happy New Years!" I... I didn't miss anything. It just sunk in. I am alive, I am in a house that is full of people that are happy to see me.
I didn't realize until then that I stunk something fierce "That One's for you Wes! Shout Out To You Amigo."
Time for a shower. Quick and clean, time for fun. I sat beside Tabby on the couch and we all watched a movie. Nothing spectacular happened that night, but nothing needed to, there were too many people not to have a good time. After a full night of alert fun, I went home around 9am, and slept until noon. I ate a little bit before I went back into work. The boss was going to think I was drugged up like Bill. Like a drunk person, I felt great, but i felt that everyone would think i was acting funny. That was the slowest night in Laredo history. My theory was correct, National Hangover Day. Nobody goes out to eat. This was perfect timing, all night awake, no sleep, all night at work, even less sleep, on the slowest night. Perfection. To Think that I almost skipped out on that party, just the thought, i am a very irrational person at times. Thinking that one drawback will always have the same conclusion. To everyone at the party that reads this, without you, that great night would not be possible.