I used to dream about our home, our children, about holding you in my arms and touching your face and hands and hair that used to belong to me, and now I just can’t wake up.
I think your 20s are the hardest part of life. I mean, everyone goes on about how hard it is to be a teenager, but actually I think it’s tougher to be in your 20s because you’re expected to be a grownup and expected to earn your own living and be successful and I think you feel like a kid still.
1. Do not kill yourself. Killing yourself is very messy and your mother will cry over you. It is not beautiful or brave, and even if it was, you will not be around to see that.
2. Washing your hair is going to be a chore. But you should do it anyway. Because you will feel better about yourself.
3. Get up late. Have a lay in. Sleep past your alarm. You have a very long life ahead of you and for now you should appreciate the cold side of your pillow.
4. He is going to break your heart but he’s just another male human who finds it hard to deal with Mondays, too. So in a month you’ll wake up and you won’t even remember that little scar on his knuckle you kissed.
5. Don’t spend hours looking up what your name means on google. Your name is your name and you should go out there and do heroic and good deeds and give your name your own meaning.
6. Don’t fight your demons. Your demons are here to teach you lessons. Sit down with your demons and have a drink and a chat and learn their names and talk about the burns on their fingers and scratches on their ankles. Some of them are very nice.
7. Music is good for your soul. Rap music will energise you and boost your ego and pop music will cheer you up. Indie music will make you think and emotional songs will make you cry and think about that boy again. It’s healthy.
8. Victim complexes are not attractive. Boys and girls will not date you because you are sad. They are not going to date you and kiss your aching bones and cure you of your dragging depression. Wake up. Take a bath. Do your hair. Be attractive.
9. Sadness is not poetic. Depression is not beautiful. Laying in bed all day and eating too much is lazy and disgusting and it is not tragic or pretty. Get up. Go outside. Let the sun warm your bones. Live.
10. If it makes you happy, buy twenty of it. Dedicate your life to it. Print it on tv shirts and collect things and draw art of it. Do not care what people think. They are the unhappy people you need to avoid. The abuse they will hurl at you is painless compared to how sad they are. Pity them. Remain happy.
11. You are allowed to he angry. But the world is not working against you. The flowers do not bloom for you and when your mother shouts ask her if she is okay instead of thinking she hates you. She never will. The world walks beside you and is silent. It does not trip you up or carry you.
12. Day and night cycles are natural. Humans only sleep at night because we used to avoid predators in the dark because of our poor eyesight. Stay awake until 5am watching bad reality shows. Wake up at 7pm and have breakfast.
13. Eat when you are hungry. Being bored does not constitute a chocolate bar. Sleep with you are tired. Do not mindlessly obey the sleep at night rule. If you are not tired, do not sleep.
You lose yourself trying to hold on to someone who doesn’t care about losing you.
Hang in there. It is astonishing how short a time it can take for very wonderful things to happen.
Chelsea Welch, the US waitress who was fired after she posted a picture of a tip receipt on Reddit, wrote for us:
I was a waitress at Applebee’s restaurant in Saint Louis. I was fired Wednesday for posting a picture on Reddit.com of a note a customer left on a bill. I posted it on the web as a light-hearted joke.
This didn’t even happen at my table. The note was left for another server, who allowed me to take a picture of it at the end of the night.
Someone had scribbled on the receipt, “I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?”
I assumed the customer’s signature was illegible, but I quickly started receiving messages containing Facebook profile links and websites, asking me to confirm the identity of the customer. I refused to confirm any of them, and all were incorrect.
I worked with the Reddit moderators to remove any personal information. I wanted to protect the identity of both my fellow server and the customer. I had no intention of starting a witch-hunt or hurting anyone.
Now I’ve been fired.
The person who wrote the note came across an article about it, called the Applebee’s location, and demanded everyone be fired — me, the server who allowed me to take the picture, the manager on duty at the time, the manager not on duty at the time, everyone. It seems I was fired not because Applebee’s was represented poorly, not because I did anything illegal or against company policy, but because I embarrassed this person.
In light of the situation, I would like to make a statement on behalf of wait staff everywhere: We make $3.50 an hour. Most of my paychecks are less than pocket change because I have to pay taxes on the tips I make.
After sharing my tips with hosts, bussers, and bartenders, I make less than $9 an hour on average, before taxes. I am expected to skip bathroom breaks if we are busy. I go hungry all day if I have several busy tables to work. I am expected to work until 1:30am and then come in again at 10:30am to open the restaurant.
I have worked 12-hour double shifts without a chance to even sit down. I am expected to portray a canned personality that has been found to be least offensive to the greatest amount of people. And I am expected to do all of this, every day, and receive change, or even nothing, in return. After all that, I can be fired for “embarrassing” someone, who directly insults his or her server on religious grounds.
In this economy, $3.50 an hour doesn’t cut it. I can’t pay half my bills. Like many, I would love to see a reasonable, non-tip-dependent wage system for service workers like they have in other countries. But the system being flawed is not an excuse for not paying for services rendered.
I need tips to pay my bills. All waiters do. We spend an hour or more of our time befriending you, making you laugh, getting to know you, and making your dining experience the best it can be. We work hard. We care. We deserve to be paid for that.
I am trying to stand up for all of us who work for just a few dollars an hour at places like Applebee’s. Whether a chain steakhouse or a black-tie establishment, tipping is not optional. It is how we get paid.
I posted a picture to make people laugh, but now I want to make a serious point: Things like this happen to servers all the time. People seem to think that the easiest way to save money on a night out is to skip the tip.
I can’t understand why I was fired over this. I was well liked and respected at Applebee’s. My sales were high, my managers had no problems with me, and I was even hoping to move up to management soon. When I posted this, I didn’t represent Applebee’s in a bad light. In fact, I didn’t represent them at all.
I did my best to protect the identity of all parties involved. I didn’t break any specific guidelines in the company handbook – I checked. But because this person got embarrassed that their selfishness was made public, Applebee’s has made it clear that they would rather lose a dedicated employee than an angry customer. That’s a policy I can’t understand.
I am equally baffled about how a religious tithe is in any way related to paying for services at a restaurant. I can understand why someone could be upset with an automatic gratuity. However, it’s a plainly stated Applebee’s policy that a tip is added automatically for parties over eight like the one this customer was part of. I cannot control that kind of tip; it’s done by the computer that the orders are put into. I’ve been stiffed on tips before, but this is the first time I’ve seen the “Big Man” used as reasoning.
Obviously the person who wrote this note wanted it seen by someone. It’s strange that now that the audience is wider than just the server, the person is ashamed.
I have no agenda here. I seek no revenge against the note writer. I have no interest in exposing their identity, and, at this point, I’m not even sure I want my job back. I was just trying to make a joke, but I came home unemployed.
I’ve been waiting tables to save up some money so I could finally go to college, so I could get an education that would qualify me for a job that doesn’t force me to sell my personality for pocket change.