It’s nine am. I have to be at my nanny job by ten. I don’t want to nanny at ten am. You never know what you are going to find. Smiley baby? Maybe. Crying baby? Possibly. Mother who sits around the apartment all day so that you can never come back to it without the baby screaming and crying for her to hold him instead of you (of course making you feel super awkward)? Very likely.
The worst part isn’t that I’m nannying at ten am. It’s that as soon as I get off at five I have to rush downtown to bartend at six. Mostly I’ll chill at a slightly empty bar all night either wishing enough people would enter to make me decent money, or that everyone would go home so it would be dead enough to close. The in between of a few people on first dates who buy one drink and sit there for hours until you have to kick them out is never fun. But the worst is staying there super late knowing that you have to get up again to go nanny tomorrow morning as well.
My advice to any human being, don’t be a nanny and a bartender at the same time. You will only drive yourself sick with work. You will have moms begging for more days, and managers calling you last minute to cover shifts. I do it though. I’m a saver. I don’t like to make just enough. I like to feel I’m doing all I can. I like to work hard. I graduated in playwriting from NYU a year ago though, and have barely written or done anything though. All that doing all that I can left me wanting to do nothing more than to eat Oreos and watch Grey’s Anatomy at home. Basically I’m the hardest working slug you’ll ever meet.
I could tell you I like the bar where I work, but that would be a lie. Basically mismanagement and the most evil Irish bartender you’ll ever meet named Damien makes bartending there the dreaded part of my day. It wasn’t always like that. At first I enjoyed the social nature of my job. I love craft beer and will talk about it with anybody who wants to. Then I was paired to bartend with the wretched Damien. He is a man who is so thoroughly unhappy in his own life he has decided to make mine unbearable as well. I am always being mocked constantly and having every action I made criticized. I could be rubbing down a bar and he’d find some way to say I was doing it wrong. I’ve started to have constant anxiety about whether he’ll find some fault in me, and he isn’t even my manager. The manager and owner have actually begun to hate him because he is such a sour puss, but they never like to fire anyone. On top of all these things he has me doing all the work for both of us. Many nights he’ll sit in the back of the bar playing on his phone while he leaves me to bartend for the two of us all night, and then do all the cleaning myself on top of it.
I put up with it though because hey that’s life, but as my hours begin to vary my patience begins to wear thin. One week I’m working three days and the next seven. My manager refuses to make a schedule some weeks. It’ll be half way through the week and I will be begging her to tell me what my shifts are for the rest of the week with her looking at my like I’m insane for asking.
This week there is what she calls a “tentative” schedule. Actually she doesn’t call it that, because English is not her first language and I don’t think she knows the word. It’s Wednesday though, and I’m supposed to have tomorrow and Friday off according to this sham schedule. She approaches me though and tells me I am to come in and work tomorrow night. For the first time I simply tell her no. I made plans already, because her schedule said I had that day off. I will not come in, and I will take my day off. I am usually a yes girl. The girl you can count on to cover any shift, and work every day of the week if necessary, but I have finally been pushed too far.
Tonight the seed of wanting to quit that was planted so long ago begins to bloom. I go home and I look at my bank account. I look to see if the idea I have held on to for so long is even feasible. I see if I have enough money to do a backpacking trip through Eastern Europe.
….And I do. I fucking do! All the endless sixteen hour days have finally payed off. I am going backpacking. I’m going to go to places like Romania and Estonia and all the not so touristy places I have always dreamed of going.
The next day I go in and I am going to put in my notice. I would like to tell you that I plan to go out in a blaze of glory by walking in and just telling them they could all go fuck themselves. I would like to tell you that I am going to walk up to Damien and tell him he is a miserable sod and that I bet his mother rues the day he was born, but of course I don’t. I like having references, and I know burning bridges is bad. So I go in and quietly pull my manager aside and tell her how wonderful it had been working for them, and that I am going traveling so I am be putting in my two weeks notice. Luckily my nanny job is already ending because the family is moving. And now here I am only a few days away from a two-month trip through Eastern Europe. I will be going to Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Whew. It’s a long trip, and a long time to be separated from my sexy boyfriend.
This year I lost parts of myself. I worked myself into the ground, and I accomplished almost nothing in my creative field. You leave college with all this hope for yourself, and it quickly comes crashing down (at least for me it did). I used to be such a fearless person, and this year has made me so insecure. I want to be the woman I once was. The woman that didn’t let a challenge stop her. The woman that relished her art. The woman that said, “Dammit, I’m going to wear tie dye pants if I want to!” So dammit I’m going to travel by myself and do it sometimes wearing tie dye pants!