The Night Things Became a Bit Breezy

I was a broke college student working 60 hours per week. I was working at a coffee shop 40 hours and waitressing at another restaurant about 20 hours after that each week. I was trying to put almost every penny (those existed at that time!) away towards school.

I can remember hustling from table to table, bringing food out, taking orders, clearing tables, talking to customers, etc. It was fun for the most part. I enjoyed the interactions with customers and the tips were nice. It was during the recession of 2008, but thankfully, I worked closer to Toronto, ON, so the jobs were still somewhat secure. Thus, the tips were decent. I was really making a difference for my schooling and it felt good.

It was a busy night at the restaurant one night. I was tired, but enjoying the buzz of the evening. I was slightly envious of the restaurants in the movies from the 60’s or so, when the waitresses would wear roller skates, swirling from table to table, perfectly stopping and setting the food out for the customers, and then rolling away to retrieve the next order. I was speedy, but not quite that smooth. I was trying to do too many things too quickly! I flew out of the kitchen and rounded a corner into the dining area, when the plate I was holding went flying. BBQ slathered wings when soaring and splattered all over the floor, and the plate hit the ground. Thankfully, no customers were covered or touched in the incident…that time! I was so frustrated as I bent down to clean it up when suddenly, I heard a loud rip as my pants split open! In my panicked state, I instantly began to sweat. I figured that the table next to me could definitely hear the tear. I envisioned the table behind me getting the full view of my underwear! I desperately prayed and tried hard to think if I had chosen a dark pair that day or not!

I cleaned the wings up as fast as I could, put the order in again, and ran to the bathroom. Sure enough, I had a good rip right down the centre of my pants! Thankfully, our uniforms were all black, and I had an apron in front of me that held my order book and tips, but man do I ever have very white legs! I couldn’t quite tell how bad it was, but a quick bend and glance at the mirror showed that I was safe enough. I quickly got back to work and sent out the new plate of wings. I connected with all of my tables and made sure everyone was good to go. There wasn’t anything I could do about but pray the whole night that the rip wouldn’t get any bigger! Thankfully my imagination of the table seeing more than they paid for hadn’t come true!

I avoided bending down at all costs that night. It’s interesting how creative and strategic you can get when you need to! It felt a little cooler than normal as I raced around delivering orders. I remember getting home and checking out the full damage. Yep, those pants were officially going in the garbage. Though I was busy working so much, I definitely took a trip the next day to the clothing store to get a new pair. Being wired in a frugal mindset, I wondered for a split second if my Step-Mom might be able to repair them, but then thinking of the possibility of them splitting again made me realize that there was no going back on that pair of pants. Security of attire became top priority going forward. It took me quite a while to get the panic of pants splitting out of my brain every time I bent down after that!

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