This week has been all over the place. I’ve gotten a lot of spontaneous assignments in the past few days, so I’ve been crazy busy during work hours (which I love because it makes me feel productive and active), but I also broke up all of that busy-ness with a trip to Dave and Busters for Fellows Fun Day last Wednesday. As the title may imply, it was quite fun. I got addicted to a game that sucked up a lot of my tokens, but I did get a couple thousand tickets out of it, so I don’t mind. The headphones that I bought with said tickets make listening to music in the office without everyone hating me a possibility, so I would say that I won. The weekend was considerably less fun. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I try to work as much as I can on the weekends so that I can pay for things like gas and living. Sometimes that makes me feel like a superhero living a double life. You know, I enact justice and try to save people during the week, but then on the weekends I have to have a boring job like everyone else. Well, this Saturday I was double-booked. I proctored an ACT exam in the morning and then was a server at a wedding in the evening. The former took about four hours, and the latter took about eight, so I worked for twelve hours. I had a three hour break between the two (which was actually filled with errands so it didn’t feel like much of a break at all), so that ended up meaning that I had a fifteen hour day. I woke up at 7:30, spent a while getting ready, and then basically worked until one in the morning. Well, there were a few things besides the sheer amount of work that I did that contributed to the stress of the day (for example, my car deciding to completely shut down on me, leaving me stranded in a parking lot at one in the morning half an hour from home. Fun times.), but I would actually like to focus on the work. The proctoring really wasn’t so bad, because I used the time to read through Death of a Salesman for the first time. Good play. The serving was hard physical labor, though. I had to carry heavy trays loaded with as many as nine dishes on them through the kitchen and down the hall and through main room to the table where I had to place them delicately and smilingly without betraying how how hot they were to the touch or how much my arms were killing me by that time. Eight courses, not counting desserts. And then, of course, there was all the setting up and taking down of tables and chairs and decorations for 700 people. By the last hour, I was like a zombie. I just wanted to go home and sleep. Today, every part of me is sore. But here’s the thing: I chose that job. I was free to leave at the end of it. It was actually a fair amount of time. And when I finally did leave, I got a check with my name and a pretty significant number on it. I feel exhausted after a fifteen hour day, but there are people who work that (and more) regularly in much worse conditions and for much less pay. I think I got an extra level of compassion for those people this weekend. Tomorrow I go back to being a superhero who wants to save them. I hope that next time you get fed up with working, you take a minute to think about it, too.
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