Post Published: November 15, 2022
I was thirty-one when I decided success required being a fraud. But even fraud has its limits. I thought of Frank Abagnale from Catch Me If You Can. That poor, bold, and unlucky dreamer. He wanted to be bigger and better than he felt he was, so he faked his way into the life he thought we wanted. And then he got found out.
I was on my way to work at Austin Public, walking up Talbot Street. This was before the weather changed and I started taking the train one stop to Forest Hills. I remember thinking that I had to smile more, and even when I didn’t want to.
I’d just gotten hired at Austin Public maybe two weeks before, and I didn’t want the bitter bitchiness I’d accumulated after one year at Tap House to follow me down the block. I didn’t want to wind up with the same reputation as Alexa. In her defense, poor girl, anyone who worked at Tap House as long as she had was entitled to their bitterness. She made her bed to lie in. She deserved to be a miserable bitch.
That place is a literal shithole. Fuck that place.
I was determined to do well at my new job; in spite of the fact that I’m sure the head server/assistant manager immediately hated me on general principal, on account of the fact I had fucked one of her favorite server’s on-again-off-again boyfriend. Whoops?
Small world, Forest Hills.
One of the owners at Austin Public, Mark, once asked me why I was so god-awfully happy. I told the truth: I’d given up drinking and was having green juice every day and drinking lots of water. Also, I told him nobody wanted to see a miserable waitress. No one cares for that. Mark agreed.
I explained to him what another manager, at a different restaurant, had once told me. He’d said:
“No matter what’s going on outside of work, you leave your personal life at the door and put on your happy face in here.”
I resented the idea then – as I do now – that we must obstruct ourselves for the sake of others. It’s not an idea. It’s a truth: No one cares about your problems and you’d better have a good attitude.
People want, expect, and demand smiles and warmness from everyone around them. It’s an annoying, unfair, unrealistic, and telling expectation most of us have of one another. This desire people have for others to appear and behave as though they are truly happy is fundamentally disingenuous.
First of all, next to nobody actually cares whether their waitress is happy or not. Nobody gives a fuck about their waitress. If people wanted their waitresses to be happy they wouldn’t be giant dicks, now would they?
Tell me what you think before we both die