Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Second Wind

I just realized it's been over a year now since I started this blog. Of late, I've really not been on the writing wagon. And the reason smacks of irony.

I wanted to write this blog to aim some positive light on a much-maligned profession. I wanted to focus on why I love my job, why I feel like I'm lucky to be doing the work that I do, how serving and bartending are not just worthy of a little respect by customers and non-waiters, but by servers themselves who often seem to not take their jobs seriously.

I wanted to write about the funny stuff that happens, the ways in which the table-waiting list of pros outweighs the list of cons, how I can't believe that more people don't embrace food service as a meaningful profession and career in our culture.

What I very much didn't want to do was to spew complaints and gripe about my work. I didn't want to rag on customers and highlight their foibles. I didn't want to sound like I was complaining all the time, which is what happens rampantly in waiter blogs. I didn't want to add to that mix.

But I'm looking back at my posts, and I can see how I'm being seduced by the dark side. More recent (however infrequent) posts are cranky ones. There's little that I say that isn't grousing.

And I swore I wouldn't go down that path. That path of using my blog as a way to be negative about the work I do. That path of crabbiness. The path of bad juju.

But I'm having trouble focusing on what I set out to focus on, maybe because after eighteen years of doing this work, I'm feeling a tad burned out. Perhaps a lot burned out.
It seems that when I'm at work and an idea for a blog entry strikes me, it's almost always because of something that falls under the heading of "whining/bellyaching"-- precisely what I was trying to avoid.

So, finding myself conflicted, I just keep my mouth shut. Hence the long periods of no writing. In keeping with adage, I can't find anything nice to say so I'm not saying anything at all.

I've thought a lot about where to go from here. Give in to the dark side? Make things up?
Scrap the blog? After a little introspection, this is what I've come up with: 1) try harder to find and reap the good stuff and 2) be really bitchy if I want to be.

Is that the obvious solution? Probably. But in keeping with my default
black-and-white thinking, compromise doesn't come easily for me. I'm willing to give it a shot, though, and hoping that it won't be long before that second wind kicks in.


tams said...

i admire your stated goal of keeping your writing about the positivity and goodness in your chosen profession. the fact that you are having difficulty finding either of those in your service industry job doesn't surprise me given the current national climate.

it's not to say that this is an excuse for people's bad behavior or to excuse their poor behavior. i'm just saying most people have lost their collective marbles and manners in the wake of their disappearing 401ks and their ability to live like paris hilton. (when did everyone start needing $1200 handbags? and when did we start calling purses handbags anyway?)

i hate to be the one to tell you, but most people think people like us are the help. and they want to be served. damnit.

scames99 said...

i love your resolve almost as much as i love your writing. whatever the topic or tone, al and i are so glad to see you back with a few blog entries.