I’m making moves people! I’m trying to get my life going in some sort of direction. Right now I feel like I’m ping ponging all over the place. Or worse, not moving at all.
I drove to UCO last week. Man, do I hate driving in Edmond. It’s full of students this time of year. And soccer moms with nothing better to do with their time than to get their big SUV’s out on the road so they can go check out the latest sale at TJ Maxx. There is always traffic. If anyone tells you any different, they are in extreme denial. It’s Oklahoma City traffic in a town about 1/6th the size. I went early because I knew I would have to apply and be readmitted. I also wanted to talk to my advisor about switching my major, which is the very first thing I did when I got there.
Thankfully there was no line to see her, which is what I was afraid of. I talked to her about coming back and my plans to study graphic design. I wanted to know if it would be feasible to finish my mass comm degree while also pursuing a degree in design. She informed that I had two years left with my degree now. That was a little disheartening as I thought I was a bit further along. Then she told me I also had to take one more semester of math and I nearly cried. I’m so horrible at it and the thought of having to take yet another semesters worth, is daunting to say the least. My brain just can’t wrap itself around one of the most logical subjects in the world. It just doesn’t work that way. It never has. After asking her about graphic design she basically said no matter what, I’ll have four years left if I go for that. At this point, I don’t really care. I’m already almost 27. It’s taken this long, why not just keep going? I’ve never been in a hurry to go out and get a “real” job. I like the freedom that waiting tables gives me. Obviously, it’s not something I want to do forever but it’s worked for me thus far. But it is time to move on. As I said, get my life going in some sort of substantial direction. This limbo has lasted too long and the bar is getting to low.
After speaking with her I went to apply and to be readmitted. I’m glad I got there as early as I did because it allowed for this process to go much smoother than it has in the past. I talked to an admissions counselor and she got everything squared away for me. I had originally planned to be readmitted and then just start classes in the spring since I had started all of this a week into the semester. I was told however that if I was going to be readmitted in the fall I would have to sign up for a block 2 course or take an intermission course over Christmas break. I chose to do a block 2 course and wound up in Women in Film. It’s in the English department so I have a feeling it will be a lot of watching movies and writing essays. I can get down on that I guess. I don’t mind writing. It’s not my favorite thing but it comes fairly easy to me. See? English is a subject that just clicks. My brain totally gets it. Guess that’s where the whole right brain thing comes in. Basically, for school, I’m all set. I start October 15th and I’ll go if not completely full time, close to it, in the Spring.
An even bigger change happens in just nine days. Five years ago, I left my job at Convergys as a call center supervisor for DirecTV. After applying unsuccessfully for a series of office jobs, I decided that it was time to go back to serving and back to school. I knew as a server, most restaurants will let you make your own schedule, more or less. It’s the perfect job for a student. Flexible and you always are bringing home cash. Waiting two weeks for a paycheck from a retail job is much harder for a college student than going to work for one evening and bringing home $75-100 or more depending on the shift and the restaurant. At this point I hadn’t waited tables for two years so I was nervous about going back. Turns out it’s much like riding a bike. I applied at Santa Fe Steakhouse and got the job immediately. For some reason and I don’t recall now why I did this, I went and applied at Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar and Grill in Bricktown. If you aren’t from Oklahoma, Bricktown is an entertainment district full of restaurants and clubs. It’s home of the Redhawks and right down the street from Chesapeake Arena where the Thunder play basketball. Basically, one of the best places to wait tables in the cities as it draws big crowds on the weekends and is a big spot for tourists to visit.
I too, got that job. Of course, being whose name was on the building and the location I knew it would be much more lucrative than the job at Santa Fe. I accepted and went through training. I started at the end of the summer which is the busy season. I got my ass kicked all over that restaurant the first few months. It was unlike any other place I’d been to before. I never knew a restaurant could be so busy all of the time There were some servers taking home $1000-1500 a week. That was unreal to me. That left the potential to be making $4000 a month. Waiting tables? Sign me up! Ultimately, it was the kind of money I was making that kept me at Toby’s. I’m not really into country music, among other things. I loved my co-workers and most of my managers. For the first two years, I was strictly a server. Eventually, they made me a shift lead and a head wait. Then ultimately, a bartender. That was my goal from the day I started working there. I had always wanted to bartend. It just seemed like more fun the waiting tables. I’ve met a lot of great people over the past five years from having worked there. I’ve seen many faces. Some have stuck around, some went as quickly as they came. It takes a different kind of server to be able to survive at a restaurant like that. There could be nights you’d run $2,000 in sales. For those not in the industry, some restaurants will do that in a lunch. A whole restaurant. We had individuals doing this. There would be days I’d be on my feet for 15 hours. The only time relief came was when you were able to sneak away to the bathroom so you could sit on the toilet for a few minutes. For the past year I’ve really struggled with my job. I’ve had highs and lows there. But mostly lows and that’s what caused me to reflect. The past five years at Toby’s have been enlightening. The money I have made there has afforded me things I wouldn’t have had otherwise. The managers have given me the opportunity to learn new things and as such, I’m a well rounded server and individual. I decided a few weeks ago, however, that it was time for me to leave. I needed to find something new. So that’s what I did. My last day at Toby’s will be September 14th. I’m going to be working at a new restaurant for a close friend of mine. She was my manager at Toby’s and she is giving me the chance to come to her restaurant and bartend. While quitting my job now will be bittersweet, I look forward to the future. Leaving is going to make me infinitely happier. I’m excited to work with Nicole again and to start school. The sooner I start, the sooner it will be over.
Two big changes. I’m ready to embrace them both. I’m sick of this rut. I’ve got the shovel and I want to dig myself out as quickly as possible.