This past Sunday evening was a real downer.
My day was going along just fine. I’d gotten up early and gone to Mass. Afterwards I’d had a wonderful breakfast with my mudder. Then I went home and took a nap. Yes, a morning nap. Because when you don’t go to bed until 2:00 am and you get up at 6:30 there is absolutely nothing wrong with a morning nap.
Then I proceeded to spend the day cleaning out the garage, emptying out flower
pots and working in the yard. It was such a lovely, sunny day. Perfect for that kind of work.
I was on a roll and got so much accomplished. At 4:00 pm I cleaned up, changed clothes and headed into work.
It started out as a normal evening at work. A Sunday, which, this time of year, tends to be on the quiet side. Things were rolling along quite nicely and then I got my first table, which was a group of nine people celebrating Grandmother’s birthday. Fortunately for me, they were a friendly, forgiving bunch of people.
Because that’s when it happened. I made a mistake. Yes, I did. My first mistake of the year.
I know! I can hardly believe it! Here it is, past the middle of October! I was sailing along so nicely, no mistakes yet this year, and then wham! A mistake. Not a big one, but still, a mistake.
And I should have caught it. When the food for these nine people was coming up in the window, I thought I was short one baked potato. I rechecked my list: No, I only needed three. But I was sure I needed four. What was wrong? At this point in the game, there isn’t time to stop and think. The food is hot and needs to go out to the customer NOW. My brain was scrambling, trying to figure out why I needed four baked potatoes but only had three.
Food for nine people means two trips to the kitchen - there’s too much to get it all in one run. I served the steaks first - they cool the fastest and also keep cooking, so they’ve got to go out quickly if they are to be delivered at the proper temperature. And therein lies the mistake - I served a baked potato with a steak that should have gotten a vegetable. With no time to think and decode my messy handwriting, I hadn’t figured out why I only needed three baked potatoes when I thought I needed four.
Which, then, made me short a baked potato and long a vegetable about two minutes later.
Of course, the man who received the baker erroneously had already cut it and dressed it with butter and sour cream, so I couldn’t rescue it and deliver it to the proper person.
It really wouldn’t have been a big deal, no, not at all. I mean, I just gave him his vegetable and got another baker from the kitchen. The problem was that I had just made a mistake.
My first mistake of the year.
And the problem with that is that from here on out, absolutely everything will fall to pieces.
And sure enough. I made another mistake at that same table that night. And then another mistake at another table. And then a fourth mistake at my last table of the evening.
So as I write this I am very, very sad. I still have two and a half months left of the year. That leaves time for a bevy of mistakes before I get to start fresh again with the new year.
It’s gonna be a long two and a half months.