A few weeks before I was hired at what I will now refer to as “that unfortunate place,” I had gone to the restaurant where I used to work to ask them if they needed help. It's not that I'm a masochist, I just don't like change. After finally finding the new location (it's down an unmarked alley with no sign until the city lets them put one up after 19:00), I wandered in to find the old manager still working there. He was excited to see me and promised he would try to convince the owner to take me back.
“I can't make any promises though. You know him, he's stubborn.”
Well stubborn's the nice way of saying it. I would have said something else. In any case, I heard back from him a few days later that they already had enough people working there but he would try to get me a job at one of the coffee houses in the center of town. I thought about it for a few minutes and decided that the hours of a coffee shop would be very difficult for someone who doesn't live in the city. And whose brain doesn't start working until at least 9:00 and one cup of coffee. The idea of dragging myself out of bed to go serve people coffee (people who aren't me) was even more horrible than the memory of dragging myself out of bed for an 8:00 physics class. At least I could sleep in physics class. Which I did.
I thanked him for trying and figured I'd have to go out looking for something new. Finding a waitressing job in Jerusalem isn't so difficult if you have experience. Finding a waitressing job in a restaurant with coworkers who aren't insane, super high strung, shifty-eyed, sleazy, more neurotic than I am, or crazy French people (normal French people are wonderful people, don't get me wrong. It's the crazy ones that should never be foisted upon the good people of society) is another story. I'm at a point in my life where I've had enough nonsense, and I don't tolerate being treated disrespectfully. Luckily I'm not hurting financially so I don't have to work anywhere I don't want to work.
I saw an online posting a few days later that the restaurant had put up for waitstaff. I just rolled my eyes. Here you have someone who worked for you for a year and was fairly competent, asking for her job back and you would rather find someone new whom you'll have to train and for all you know is a reject from the Israel Circus School or secretly a robot? Really? I wasn't sure if I should be insulted or very relieved.
After the whole quitting “that unfortunate place” after 3 days thing, I was semi-browsing the wanted ads just in case I happened to stumble upon the perfect job. Maybe one for a jacuzzi tester in Tel Aviv hotels or a chimpanzee babysitter. Obviously I was not too optimistic, but I figured I'd at least look. No one ever died from looking for a job. I don't think, anyway.
My mother kept nagging me to go to the zoo and see if they have a job available. I was somewhat reluctant because it would take forever for me to get there by bus, and from what I've heard their budget is not doing well. And as I told my mother, I was afraid that once I entered the zoo, they wouldn't let me out again. Maybe an irrational fear, but one that's my mother's fault since she used to call me “her little monkey” when I was a kid.
About a month after my little “visit” to the restaurant, I got a call from the manager asking if I was still looking for a job. I informed him that I had not yet found anything else so I'd be happy to come back to work.
He was like, “excellent, come in next week with a black shirt, a black skirt, and a tie.”
“It's ok, I have a tie you can wear if you don't have one.”
“What is this, the Olive Garden? I don't even know how to tie a tie!”
“I'll tie it for you.”
“Women in ties look stupid.”
In the end I agreed, because I'm an idiot. An idiot who doesn't mind looking like an idiot too.
Then it occurred to me that if I was going to wear a tie, I'd need a button-down shirt with a collar. Which I don't happen to have, because I am not a man who shops at L.L. Bean. Also, because button down shirts with collars make me look like an NFL linebacker.
So this is how I found myself back at my old job. In case anyone is wondering, I finally found out that the reason the owner of the restaurant didn't want to rehire me is because I don't smile enough. I think from now on I'm going to have him make my checks out to Miss Frowney McScowlson.