I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t beat a dead horse. The horse has already experienced the thing people fear most, no not public speaking, I mean death, and by beating it further, you only make yourself look like an asshole.
This being said, I think the little man in my head that sees me going to work day after day, hating my job, sees me as that asshole beating a dead horse. You see, my horse was once a full blown race horse, with intentions of working it’s way up from line cook to manager, and from manager to owner, but time got the best of it.
My horse suffered a tragic accident about six years ago. It was cruising around the track as it normally did, slowly climbing it’s way to the head of the pack, becoming the horse everybody looked up to, and the horse everybody went to when they had any questions, and then it was introduced to the worst human being it had ever encountered in it’s short existence.
Dropping the metaphor for this part, one of my favorite managers transferred to South Florida, and was replaced with the devil incarnate. Being head cook on the line, I believe this manager came into the restaurant with his sights set on me, looking to knock me from first to last, slowing my metaphorical horse from first, to dead.
Everything I did was wrong, and if I managed to do something right, I didn’t do it fast enough, and if I did it right, and did it fast enough, I was living in a reality that didn’t exist. I was yelled at for everything, everything on the line was my fault. If I showed up to work on time, I was late, if I showed up early, I was accused of trying to sabotage his labor bonus. My horse, along with the part of me that wanted to excel in this industry, suffered a tragic accident, but it didn’t die quite yet. It just became filled with rage, and dreaded it’s every lap around the track.
My horse died on a Friday night, when the shit hit the fan. We were slammed busy and on an hour wait. The food starts running long, and my manager is in the window just screaming at me demanding that I fix everything that is going wrong. I’m sorry, did I seat the entire restaurant at one time? Did I ring every table in the dining room in simultaneously and expect it to come out in a timely manner? No, I didn’t.
I last about an hour before I red-out. I’m getting berated while getting beat down in sheer volume of tickets, I can’t handle it. I walk off the line for a quick breather, just to get my head back in the right place, and to get away from my managers incessant nagging. I’m in the middle of taking my first peaceful deep breath as he walks around the corner screaming at me. Cue red-out. I remember walking towards him and screaming at him, but I don’t remember what happened between that time, and the time I was back on the line cooking. I just remember looking down the line and seeing our grill cook laughing. My horse died.
I worked as a robot the rest of the shift, completely mentally checked out. And it’s been that way for going on seven years now. The little man in my head sees me clock in, beat that poor dead horse for up to fifteen hours a day sometimes, and then go home to drink the pain away, like the asshole he believes me to be.
My horse has been twitching recently, as I’ve been sending out my resume, and I believe he may be coming back to life, but as everybody who has ever seen any zombie movie knows, nothing comes back to life quite the same. Much as a zombie, my horse will come back to life with an insatiable thirst for blood. Blood being success of course.