Tim and Jeremy are both waiters at a restaurant in downtown New York City. During slow times at work, to stave off boredom when it is slow, the two young men draw pictures. These pictures are made using ink and what is called the "Triple Dupe Pad," a book of paper used to place orders in the kitchen. The drawings usually take about a week to make, all the while also being used by fellow employees to take orders; this sometimes leads to other collaborators or in a couple cases, to the loss of the work. The drawings are then scanned and colored in Photoshop where they come to life in stunning technicolor! The subject matter varies from piece to piece, as they are made over a long course of time and under various moods and states of mind. They all retain a playfulness that serves as a coping mechanism after spending a night catering to the endless needs of hungry patrons.

Friday, January 24, 2014

#52 "Down in the Mouth" February 16, 2012

(Click on the image to make it wicked huge)

This one is reminiscent of a bad dream. The kind of dream where you take out all of your teeth one by one and don't even mind doing it. You wake up and the rest of the day feels wrong, like there is something hanging over your head, or just beyond your peripheral vision that you can't describe, and when people ask you what's the matter, you reply, "I had the weirdest dream last night and I can't shake it." and they nod and say that they understand. Most of the times, people don't like hearing about your dreams because they are too personal to you and they don't corollate with the real world. Sure, sometimes your dreams are taking place in "real life" situations, in real cities or in real places, but most people just zone out when you tell them about your dreams. The only time people are really engaged in your dreams are the ones that these people are in, or least have a bit part in, and when you are recounting the dream,  you start off the conversation with, "You were in my dream last night."  But even then, these people assume that the two of you were having sex or something kinky, but usually intrigued and want to hear the whole thing. Then you start telling them about how the two of you were stealing acorns from a giant squirrel in Central Park and the listener soon loses interest.
The staff at the restaurant certainly has their fair share of work dreams and personally, I never bore of them. Not mine, of course, if I never have another work dream, it'll be too soon. Because when you have a work dream, it's never the happy times at work when you and the crew are sharing a good laugh or a smooth night where everything went great. No, it's always a chore and the work seems real and it's always the worst situations. I have very common themes in my work dreams and it's usually the same old crap from real life, but skewed and twisted so that it's even more annoying in the dream. And, like I've mentioned before, at least when real life is annoying at work, you are still getting paid. Thankfully, I rarely have these dreams, as I have heard that some people dream about work all the time, or at least once a week. That is too many times a week, as far as I am concerned.
My favorite dream that I have heard from the restaurant is from my co-worker Gary who had the most elaborate dream. In the dream, he was waiting tables, like normal, when his table ordered some drinks. He took down the drink order, went outside, and caught the crosstown bus on 14th Street. He took the bus crosstown to the East Side, and got the drinks at the bar, now located on the other side of town. Once he had the drinks, he loaded them onto his tray and got back on the bus, this time with a full tray of beverages, balancing the whole time back to the West Side. In typical customer fashion, when he delivered the drinks, one of the people in the party said, "Oh, that looks good, I'll have one of those as well." Gary then pleaded with the people saying, "You don't know what I had to go through to get these drinks!"
I personally love this dream mainly because I didn't have it, although it is one of the more amusing work dreams that I have heard. Mine are mostly drudgery and running out of glassware. I had a great one about dishes, but I have to save that one for later, because it was so funny that I integrated it into one of these drawings. You won't be able to read about it for sometime, because I think it's part of #81 or something. No, my work dreams are annoying even to me and so I rarely tell them to people outside the workplace. I think that telling people about your dreams is similar to telling non-coworkers about work. I am alway amazed when people come into the bar and start bitching about work. Granted, that's what bars are good for; you tell the bartender your woes and he or she can commiserate with you. However, I don't know your coworkers and the situations that present themselves on a daily basis at your job. You might be the jerk in the story, but since I am only hearing your side, I can only make half a judgement and agree with you that yes, work sucks an maybe Jimmy is being unfair in his treatment of you and your team. Because of this, I rarely talk about work outside of the restaurant except on this blog. Even on this blog, I try to stay positive about the workplace and try to look at even the negative parts in an objective light. This way, I can look at work from a new perspective when I am there and try to keep a positive attitude while working. Otherwise, I will turn into an embittered old man prematurely. Like, say, next year instead of two years from now.
This, however, will not make my work dreams cease to exist. No matter how positive I stay at work, I will probably always have dreams where I am in the weeds at the restaurant. Even if I left the business today, and never worked in another restaurant, I'm sure these dreams would resurface every once and a while. In fact, I recently had a dream where I started working at my first restaurant job after not working there for 20 years. I was the new guy again and I didn't know where some of the stuff was even though we were already busy and I was expected to know my way around since I had worked there in the past. It ended up evolving into some other nightmare, but when I woke up, I thought it was kind of funny, that 20 years later, I was still dreaming about my first restaurant job. I'm sure I had plenty of dreams about the old place when I actually worked there, but the restaurant had evolved and turned into the new places of my life. Then, all of a sudden, I found myself back there, where nothing had changed and I was out of glassware, the customers kept appearing out of nowhere, the dining room was angled at a dangerous pitch,  and I was right back in the weeds where I started. But you don't really want to hear about it anyway.

No comments:

Post a Comment