paroxysm.

[paruh k-siz-uh m]

noun

  1. any sudden, violent outburst; a fit of violent action or emotion.
  2. a severe attack or a sudden increase in intensity of a disease, usually recurring periodically.

I enjoy my job. I love the people I sling cocktails and prime rib alongside. I love that my earliest possible shift is 3:30pm. I enjoy the energy. I unfortunately thoroughly enjoy the sourdough bread. I don’t mind dressing like a cowgirl. I think it’s awesome that I get to walk away if conversations get boring because I have work to do or I just want to see if the next table has anything more interesting to say. I feel incredibly fortunate that they took a chance on a girl with no serving experience. In my phone interview, I’m glad they thought it was funny when I answered their “Do you have serving experience?” with “Yesterday, I was in the pool with friends and when they wanted drinks, I got them drinks.” (Carlee and Aaron know I might’ve forgotten one of the two drink orders that day. I left that part out of the interview.)

I bounce back and forth between the dining room and the bar. Friday nights at the Pioneer are nutso. It’s as if everyone knows that’s where everyone will be so that’s where everyone is. This is good for the pockets, but not good if you like personal space. I have a station where I ring in and collect the drinks to deliver. People insist on standing at this station and I consistently say, “Excuse me” with varying degrees of intensity. When I am really annoyed, I say, “ONCE AGAIN, excuse me!” But I’ve kept my cool for fourteen months. Then in a complete fit of paroxysm, I snapped. It was a cold and dreary Friday night.

We’ll call him Vodka Soda with an Orange Slice. He’s always in my way. Always. I’ve tried to reason with him by saying, “Sorry, this will never be a good spot for you stand,” as I’m balancing four martinis on my tray with a frustrated look on my face. Vodka Soda with an Orange Slice doesn’t listen. He thinks he has a right to stand at my station and talk to the bartender or his friend on the bar stool because he’s been coming here for longer than I’ve been alive. Well, this youngin’ doesn’t care.

The bar was stupidly full and I had three different groups of drink orders to ring in. I was repeating in my head, “Blue sweater gets the margarita with salt, white hat in the corner wants a rye Manhattan on the rocks…”

He was once again in my station. “Excuse me” didn’t work. I pushed him out of my way. I pushed a grown man in a not entirely gentle manner. He put his hands in the air, “Whoa, am I in your way?”

Paroxysm. BETH STARTS SPEAKING IN ALL CAPS.

“YES, VODKA SODA WITH AN ORANGE SLICE, YOU ARE IN MY WAY. YOU ARE ALWAYS IN MY WAY. GUESS WHAT? IN TWO MINUTES, WHEN YOU ARE BACK HERE IN THIS SPOT, YOU WILL BE IN MY WAY AGAIN. I AM TRYING TO DELIVER THESE DRINKS! I CANNOT DO THAT WITH YOU HERE IN MY WAY!”

He nodded and backed away slowly. I should have flipped out sooner.

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One thought on “paroxysm.”

  1. As a fellow server, GOOD GOING! People are always in the way and always in the tightest spots. So annoying.
    I was so sorry to hear about your grandfather. He sounds amazing. Pal would have loved him💖

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