Stephenson Family Ties The Barn Burnt Down
And Now I See The Moon

“Sugar, it's no parade but you'll get down the street
 one way or another, so you'd just as well throw 
your shoulders back and pick up the pace.”
from: The Poisonwood Bible
by:  Barbara Kingsolver

When I started looking for a job here in Logan..I thought I would enjoy a waitressing job. I enjoy people. Im happy to help and serve others.  So I was very pleased and even a little excited when Steph, my boss, took a risk in hiring me, the old lady with no experience in food services.

It didn’t take long… in fact it was probably only a few hours before I began to question my sanity and my abilities.  My first days as a waitress/busboy/ peoples slave had me wondering whether you really do have to be cute, young, and blonde to receive good tips and have stamina enough to carry on.  I was discouraged to say the least when the young, experienced waitresses around me stuffed their pockets with more cash than I each night when they headed home.   BUT…now after a few months of being in the trenches,  I have learned…that the critical word here is experience.  It truly is more important to be sincere, confident,  efficient and relaxed as you work to get the expected tips.  Its not so much about how cute you are. (not so much…but it tips the scales in ones favor  Im sure.)
I have a good smile.  People like that.  They tell me so.  I look people in the eye. I try to connect with each guest, and I am rewarded  more often than not with generous tips.  Though I still have to remind myself that tips are NEVER predictable. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to how much one can make in any given day. Some days its only  loose change thrown in the tip bucket, and other days its 5 dollar bills.  Low cut shirts, good hair days, sporting  blue or purple company t-shirts doesnt seem to have the slightest effect on  one days success and another days famine.  There are  days I come straggling home with a lousy 20 bucks for my 8 hours of hard labor and other days when my apron pocket bulges with a wad of ones and fives equaling a whopping 50 bucks.  I scratch my head in wonder why some days people are generous and other days they are not. Its another one of lifes many mysteries.
I have felt all along that God directed me into Center Street Grill’s  parking lot last August…the voice in my head that said, ‘pull in and see if they are hiring” was convincing.  Steph was there that day and I felt we hit it off.  I am grateful for her  willingness to give me a try and for her patience as she has trained me.    But now in the spirit of honesty..I must confess that there are too many times that I ask myself what it is I’ve done.  Why do I subject myself to this drudgery? Im smart, I have skills and abilities beyond mopping and washing , stocking shelves and making milkshakes.  I constantly ask myself why Im doing this type of work.   (I know I’d be happier there if I could strictly waitress.  If I could just be out on the dining room floor serving the guests, life at the Grill would be more tolerable for me then.)  Its when Im in the back rooms..washing dishes and cleaning nasty bathrooms that I become so discouraged.   But  I was hired to do it all.  And that’s what I do. And so I often sulk and grumble under my breath..or cry into the dishwater wishing I was hiking and soaking up the St George sunshine and not beating my feet into a state of unrecognizable pain and discomfort.  That’s the truth of it. 
Steph is amazing.  There are people on this planet who love being in the restaurant business. And Steph is one of them.  She loves to cook for people and to concoct new menus and to greet each person that comes through her doors. She is passionate about her food and its freshness and presentation.  She is also appreciative of me and what I contribute to her restaurant. I know I am valued.  And so I stay.  The idea of  leaving and having to find a different job and  learn the ins and outs of it are inconceivable to me right now.  The stress of it all would take me down  completely.
So Im putting up with the mountains of dishes that need washing before I can clock out at the  end of the day. I put up with hauling the garbage bags that weigh more than one of my grands to the dumpsters in the back alley. ( Though I have learned to turn a blind eye to the heavy 5 gallon drums of mayo that should be hauled to the cooler, for I refuse to throw out my back at such work.) I mop, I scour and scrub baseboards and walls and machines, all of which are covered with grease and grim that will soon cover them all again by the very next day.  And for the most part no one notices the things that need cleaning  but me.  Greasy fingerprints on windows and doors  always need wiping away but I find teenage kids for hire turn a blind eye to those things as  I suppose as I do to the heavy lifting.
And so  I stay.
I do the work.
I feel  a sense of loyalty there.
And Im tired.
I don’t want to cook or clean when Im home.
I fear my feet may never recover from this abuse.  There are no breaks while Im there. I cant sit and relax for even a moment.  Concrete floors seem to be my downfall.  They are ever so much worse than sand and rocks and trails.
Im determined to stick it out at this job for a while longer.  I guess for as long as it takes.  I try to feel grateful for the work.  I’ll stay until My Builder has built his rabbit food empire. 
God sent me there.  Im not sure why.  But I stay because I do believe I was directed there for whatever purpose..or purposes.  It just isn’t time yet to quit.  But as soon as Im able... Im outta there and never looking back.  Saying ta ta  wont be difficult at all. 



Jared + Carly Reid said...

YAY!!!!!!!!! YOU POSTED!!!!!! I thought you'd left us forever!!!!!!! haha :) Aunt Cindy, you are amazing. It takes a certain type of person (an amazing one) to be a waitress, especially where you have to do so much more than just waitress! I don't think I could do it. You are so strong! Just remember that this is only a phase in your life and you won't have to work, especially at this place, forever. Everytime I talk to Anna or my dad about the rabbit food business it seems like you guys are slowly inching towards more and more success. It is getting there, slowly but surely! I am so happy for you guys. You've gone through so much and are getting there! Keep it up, Aunt Cindy :) you are an example to me! Love and miss you a lot!!!

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Ann said...

I am currently preparing my RS lesson for Sunday. The title? The Transforming Power of Faith and Character. Elder Scott reminds us, "As you walk to the boundary of your understanding into the twilight of uncertainty, exercising faith, you will be led to find solutions you would not obtain otherwise. With even your strongest faith, God will not always reward you immediately according to your desires. Rather, God will respond with what in His eternal plan is best for you, when it will yield the greatest advantage. Be thankful that sometimes God lets you struggle for a long time before that answer comes. That causes your faith to increase and your character to grow." yea, yea, but don't you sometimes feel like your character is big enough and you'd love to be cut a little slack? Sorry cuz. Praying for you. Pray for me.

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