The Clean Slate

Okay that last post was kinda pissy and whiny. I’ll own up to it. I’m chalking it up to the axiom ‘Write What You Know’. We’ll talk about something cool and happy in this post though . . .

Every day is a new day, especially in a restaurant. For some reason people who work in restaurants can get mad as hell at each other, going as far as screaming and cussing at each other, and then the next day they will laugh and joke around like nothing had ever happened. Everybody gets a clean slate. Every day.

This phenomenon is most likely due to the close-in, pressure cooker work environment of a slammed food service facility. DARPA and NASA have done more studies on the psychological effects of people working together in tight, overcrowded, high-pressure living/working quarters than I care to research in order to reference. I’ll sum up their findings for you: the longer  human beings are cooped up with one another in small spaces, the more they will be at each other’s throats. Submariners and astronauts deal with this every day.

So do us resties. We just don’t get to fire missiles. Or walk in space. Meh. We do get margaritas and a meal comp though.

This psychological effect can be so detrimental that it’s one of the biggest impediments to long term space voyages. There have been several missions where the astronaut crew became openly hostile towards each other and even revolted against ground control. And don’t even ask about all the shit that went down on Mir. The Russians had a habit of leaving their cosmonauts up there for LONG periods of time. I think they still have the endurance record, too, which goes to show what a shithole their country was that people would be willing to stay caged up in a decade-old VW bus in space for so long.

Sub crews get shore leave every six months or so, so they at least get to let off a little steam. Restaurant workers get shore leave every night. And we let off a lot of steam. And that’s why I think we get a clean slate every day.

Don’t get me wrong: the clean slate won’t cover heinous misdeeds. If you suck at your job and are causing problems for your coworkers and on top of it being a dick about it, then they will probably still be frustrated with you the next day. But generally speaking a fellow server can yell at you one night for accidentally taking their app out of the window and running it to your table because you didn’t read the ticket and assumed it was yours, and the next night you two could be sharing your last Camel Light out on the back dock and they’ll say ‘Hey, how’s your mom?’ and before you can answer their heartfelt inquiry into the general well-being of your mother they’ll say ‘Cause I thought she was pretty good, a real giver.’

And it will all be okay because your slate is clean from the night before, and tomorrow your friend’s slate will be clean for talking smack about your mama.

You gotta love it:)

Dignity and Respect

Me, The JerBear

3 Comments

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3 responses to “The Clean Slate

  1. I am an incredibly mellow person in real life. Never thrown a punch with the intent of hurting someone. I have however been on the brink numerous times over the years in restaurants. I remember one occassion where a manager and I were a flinch away from throwing punches out back. A few servers were watching and eventually one rean in to get some cooks in case it needed to be broken up. Nothing happened. The next day he came up to apologize amd I stopped him. I told him that if you aren’t gettting intense then you aren’t playing the game hard enough. We shook hands and everything weas fine from that day forward.

  2. “If you suck at your job and are causing problems for your coworkers and on top of it being a dick about it, then they will probably still be frustrated with you the next day. ”

    Then they will probably hound your ass until you quit in a flood of tears and your clean slate can be at a whole new restaurant.

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