Work’s driven Dale and I absolutely bonkers…
But we still made time for each other.
Dale works in London as a Software Developer (super intelligent stuff). He’s on the train at around 6:30/7am and doesn’t finish till around 5:30pm, three days a week. The other two working days he works from home. My favourite days are the days he works from home and not so much the ones where he’s in a totally different city and about two hours drive away from me. It also means that if we are seeing each other that day, if he works from home I can see him at 5:30pm. If he works in London, I don’t see him till the earliest 7:15pm.
I work as a waitress at a restaurant/pub. The shifts change every week and sometimes is totally dead or I’m rushed off my feet. I come home smelling like a range of table sauces and I’m not even going to describe to you my clothes and apron. All I’ll tell you is it’s pretty grim! Tonight (or last night?) I worked 5pm till close (restaurant closes at 11pm, but I sometimes don’t leave until around 11:30pm). Monday night I worked an 11 hour shift (12pm till 11pm).
Some days, I won’t see any of my family or Dale because of the way my shift has worked out. Today was a lucky day because of my late start, so I was able to see my family.
I was also able to meet Dale for an hour during his lunch break (he worked from home). This was actually a first for us as we normally wait until Dale has finished work before we meet up, so then he’s not distracted, but think because we didn’t see each other Monday and didn’t really see each other properly Sunday, we caved in and gave ourselves an hour with each other.
It’s amazing how one hour with someone special can make the rest of the day more positive!
I always feel that mine and Dale’s time together is never long enough, so even the shortest times I treasure. There are always new things to learn about him; today I learned he likes chicken and bacon sandwiches/baguette (who doesn’t? but hey). I also learned he is incredibly precise on timings. When he has an hour break – he has an hour break. Towards the end of the hour of our time together, he was counting down how many minutes/seconds we had left [He was joking]. He did set a timer stopwatch for the hour though.
He said later in the day that I seem to be learning a lot about him, but him not so much me. I think he has learned a lot about me considering. He’s learned that I love him playing the Mandolin. I love him talking about what he’s passionate about. He’s learned what I like to eat. He’s learned that when we’re holding hands, I love to swing our arms over posts (y’know those small posts that are in the middle of the street, normally to stop cars being able to get into that area). He’s learned I dance/jig when I’m happy. We now call it ‘Happy Dancey Alli’. He’s learned I laugh. A lot. He’s learned that I’m quite a passive person, but when needs be, I take care of things. He’s learned that I love flowers and chocolates, especially Cadbury’s ‘Heroes’.
This is going to sound really ‘duh, of course you can’t do that’ but the bummer about my job, is that I don’t have five minutes to message Dale. Some people can sneakily, under the table text their friends. If you’re really brave, some people even have phone call conversations.
In my job, you don’t have ten seconds to breath, let alone drop a text.
So when I get home, I usually end up with about 5 messages on my phone from Dale; normally him telling me a joke, or a latest development in one of his ‘obsessions’. More often than not, his last message will be him informing me he’s gone to bed and wishing me goodnight. I’ve missed him. I’ve missed telling him ‘Goodnight’, ‘Sleep Well’, ‘Speak Tomorrow’, ‘I love you’ and about a dozen ‘x’s’. I missed the chance to let him know before he goes to sleep how much he means to me.
They say to not leave an argument overnight, because anything can happen. I hate not letting him know before he sleeps that he is one of the most important things to me (aside from my immediate family and my faith).
I do love my job. I work with some really fantastic people and meet some really awesome customers. I also sometimes get free food at the end of the day to save on wastage. The most rewarding of all times is when customers see you are slightly struggling and running around like mad, and they still tip you (sometimes quite a bit) and deliberately thank you for serving them. The hardest parts about my job is when you think you’re having a good day, your not rushed of your feet so you can take your time with customers, but you still get some customers who will complain at anything.
If you ever plan to be waiting staff at a pub/restaurant, you need the patience of a saint. It isn’t easy and you will loose you temper at least once in a weeks work.
I actually want to take a quick second to highlight something to you from personal experience (relevant to my job). Most customers wonder if to tip, how much to tip, or how to tip. So let me shine some light.
Waiting Staff practically rely on tips to pay for everyday things between Pay-Days. It’s okay to pay via your credit/debit card, but just to let you know, not all of that tip you pay by card will go to that waiter/ress who served you. Sometimes, it doesn’t at all. The only way to guarantee, is to pay in coins. Some people wonder how much to tip. If I tell you, in a shift I can serve up to 20-30 tables if not more (I don’t count them). If every one of them tipped at least a £1, that means I have £20-£30 at the end of that shift extra. Some customers I have, round their bills up to the nearest £10’s and therefore anything left between their actual bill and the money they’ve paid me in cash is my tip.
Of course, some people don’t have the money to tip, which is fine, but it’s just from about two months experience of waiting on, I now know to make sure to tip my waiting staff when I’m eating out. I’ve actually made a promise to myself that in future, I will always tip £5, in cash, directly to my server, because I know how much it will mean to them.