A local volleyball player digs into the South Bay’s beach scene.
I’ve seen what fire does to good family-friend’s home, engulfing photo albums, furniture, and carpet-lined stairs in its merciless blaze. I’ve seen fire char the soft, innocent skin of my marshmallow because more times than not I’m too impatient to wait to slide the gooey goodness between two pieces of chocolate and graham cracker. I’ve seen those quintessential flames glowing atop sticks like little soldiers—the only things standing between a wish and a frosted cake. And now I’ve felt fire metaphorically, the kind that is lit inside of you, setting off a fury deep within your belly that makes you want to scream and cry at the same time. That fire was lit last Wednesday, and all over a pair of pants.
A little explanation concerning said “pants” is required. You could say that I’ve had to battle the subject of pants with my work for a little while now. It started last summer, when suddenly the pair of yoga pants that I had been wearing for over a year uncontested was deemed “inappropriate”. Too “sexy”. Nevermind that 99% of our female clientele and all of Manhattan Beach saunter around in those pants all day long. I bit my tongue and purchased a new pair, which I wholeheartedly detested—they were bordering on too short in length and baggy in areas where they should be tight—but I wasn’t going to throw down money for this. Should I even tell you about the shoes? Oh, my shoes…picture for a moment all-black, Velcro, $11.99 pieces of Wal-Mart made rubber. The first pair was unexpectedly thrown out by my sous-chef one afternoon and the second pair was thrown out by me. More on that in a minute, but let’s get back to the pants…
Towards the beginning of this year I came to find out from a co-worker that another co-worker had worn my pants during his Saturday shift because he had forgotten his at home. No courtesy call, no text, no apology, not even an offer to wash them. On top of that, the rumor circling the barista station was that he went commando, and I’ve come to learn that baristas are like maids: they know everything. I washed the pants, they shrank, and I looked even more like a shmuck. And do you know what? My co-worker never fessed up to it—I was the one who had to initiate the uncomfortable confession.
Let’s fast-forward to last Wednesday…I’m a mere forty-five minutes into my shift when one of my managers pulls me aside and says that my pants are not “work appropriate” and that I must go home. I wasn’t wearing my flooded, shrunken, tainted pair that day—I was wearing black corduroy, the most skanky, inappropriate fabric known to mankind, right? I transferred what little tables I had and got the hell out of there. The fire inside was ignited. I walked over to my bicycle. A bird had shat right on the seat. I called my sister. After hashing out the details, she calmly says to me, “Nina, find a new job by Friday and then quit this one.” “Alright. Alright.” And with that I pedaled my way back home, fire-blazing.
Within twenty-four hours I had secured not one but two new job offers and by forty-eight I had my Velcro shoes in the trash and was saying, “I quit.” The exhilaration was empowering. It really is incredible what you can accomplish when you put your intentions out there in the universe and prepare yourself to embrace the qualities of life that you know you deserve. Even though neither position was solidified, the confidence I gained from wanting something, going after it, and receiving it was enough to make me quit a position I had yearned to leave for over a year. I had a newfound sense of security in myself that I would be alright….that if the worst case scenario played out due to my abrupt departure from waitressing, everything would be alright.
You hear it all the time: “I can’t leave, I can’t quit.” Bullshit. Did anybody force me to take that job? Aren’t most of us in our current position because we chose to be there? You may not be happy where you are at the moment, but you have the power to change it. I secured two offers in the span of a day in this economy by setting an intention and chasing after it. If you want to quit, you can quit. And you can find something better. Someplace that treats you with respect, brings out your better qualities, and doesn’t send you home for wearing corduroy.