Saturday, February 21, 2009

Old Dog/New Tricks

My new job is pretty swell. It’s the first job I’ve had in years where I have set hours and go to a workplace. I think the last gig I had like that was eight years ago when I tended bar at a gay bar in Albany. Truly six of the more depressing months of my life. To give you an idea of how stulitfying this place was, when 9/11 happened it livened things up. One bitter guy used to come in every Happy Hour (a savage joke of a name if there ever was one) and announce to the room the number of days he had left before retiring from the state on full pension. Six weeks after leaving his job he hanged himself.

Since then I’ve either worked for myself or been in a show or made movies. Hardly repetetive, any of it. So I was a bit apprehensive about taking a job that entailed 45 minutes of travel each way with a salary that basically pays for the gas for the commute. (Now that I think of it, it’s also the lowest-paid job I’ve had in a gazillion years.)

So imagine how pleased I am to find that I really like it. The goings-on at the Damien center shall remain confidential, per their policy, but I can talk a little about my own reaction to things.

First of all, it’s the first time I can think of in any employment I’ve ever had where the primary goal of going to work is not to be fabulous. I mean, even tending bar I had to be charming and flirt. Same with waitering. Being on stage? “Fabulous” is the total modus operandi. Renovating a house? See how fabulous I am to do this? And isn’t the house fabulous, too? Writer? Fabulosity.

You get the idea.

At the Damien Center my workday can be counted as successful if during the time I’m there I manage to help someone else. Fabulous doesn’t enter into it. For that matter, “thank you” usually doesn’t enter into it. It is the least ego-driven gig I can envisage. So imagine how surprising it is to find the job so satisfying.

I’ve also--in just three short weeks--learned that I can be a) extremely patient and b) very polite. Most of the people I’ve waited on in restaurants over the years are snorting (and all of my friends guffawing) at this point. Can’t say I blame them. But it's true!  I'm polite!  It almost makes me want to be a waiter again to make up for my surliness in the past.


1 comment:

  1. Nothing could make me want to be a waiter. That seems like one of the most thankless, horrible jobs on this planet.

    I'm glad you've found something that is satisfying. I have been thinking a lot lately about how I've never had a job that is fulfilling. Perhaps it's time for a change.