Yes, you still have them after twenty years in the business. After about ten years they abate quite a bit, until you take on a new job. Then you’ll have them for the next year or so. Repeat for each job change. Also, periods of intense stress and long hours, like Holiday Season, will bring them on.
My nightmare is usually structured the same – just the location and details change. It’s like one of those fever-dreams that go in circles endlessly, never achieving resolution, and also never giving over into a new topic.
I am on the floor of an unfamiliar restaurant (in my dream it’s where I work, but in reality I’ve never seen the place). The general sense is that it’s getting busy a little too early. I already have a couple of tables, and I’m not really caught up with … whatever. And I’m not quite in the rhythm of the shift, either.
I have to go back to the kitchen to get a coffee. Perfect example. It sets the carousel spinning.
The coffee station is not set up. I have to make the coffee. Grab the bag . . . Wait! Where are the coffee bags?
Off to Dry Storage. It’s like picking through the warehouse at the end of Indiana Jones. Endless.
Meantime, I have the sense that I’m getting new tables while I’m back here searching for coffee. The searching goes on and on, heartbeat racing so much it’s a wonder I’m still asleep. Finally, in that semi-conscious way, I force myself to have the coffee, and get the hell out of Dry Storage.
Now I have to freakin’ make it. And all the while I know I’ve been seated two more times and I’m still not on the floor. I start the coffee. I figure I can take the first cup out of the machine and save some time – at this point, who cares if it’s too strong? So while it’s dripping, I go to set up the rest of the stuff: creamer, teaspoon, sugar caddy.
No creamers prepped, and no half and half carton nearby. Off I go to the Walk-In.
The Walk-In Experieince is a repeat of the Dry Storage Experience. And I’m getting more tables on the floor.
Eventually, what seems like hours, I have a station full with like a dozen tables, and I still have not been back to the floor. I know I’m getting fired, and it’s not my fault . . .