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Monday, March 12, 2012

Glorified Waitress

If you ask my boss what I do for a living, he'll tell you I'm an Executive Administrative Assistant.

If you ask my daughter what I do for a living. She'll say I work on a computer. In an office. A really, really cool office where they serve French Vanilla coffee.

If you ask my son what I do for a living, he will tell you with great glee that I am a waitress. Which is, of course, one of the coolest things you could possibly be. Ever.

It all started with a game we play. I always ask him about his day at dinnertime, in order to encourage conversation, something he badly needs practice with. I ask him what his "special" was that day (a "special" is something like music, art, PE or library and the occur on a revolving basis). I ask him what books he read or who he played with at recess, and I encourage him to tell me more, or describe something, in order to get him used to adding to a conversation. This was pretty laborious at first - he has better things to do in his mind than talk to someone about something topical. He'd start out with monosyllabic answers and run off as soon as he was done giving them. Then it started growing to more words, more details...then one day, he caught me totally off guard by asking me, "Mom, how was your work?"

"My work?" I replied, surprised but pleased. "It was good."

"What did you do at your work?" He asked, grilling me back just like I'd grilled him a few moments before.

"I, uh...well, let's see. I did some work on the computer. I went to some meetings. And I set up lunch for another meeting."

"You set up lunch?"


"Mom!" He said, his eyes shining. 'You're a waitress?" To David, that has to be one of the best jobs ever. He plays waiter all the time at home, gleefully serving our drinks at dinner or pulling out a pad of paper to ask us if we want more green beans. Mom is a waitress! Wow!

"I guess I sort of was for a while today. But not every day."

"Today you were a waitress." That's all that mattered. And apparently, it's all he took from the conversation as well. He lets everyone know I'm a waitress now. He asks me about my day all the time, and I tell him I worked on spreadsheets or put reports together or gave a presentation at a big meeting and it goes in one ear and out the other. All he hears is "waitress", because nothing else is nearly as exciting.

If I ever actually complete my book and sell it well enough to quit the day job (ya gotta have a dream, right?), I'll have to take a side job waiting tables so my son is not disappointed in me. Until then, I'll just keep coming home from work and telling him about the food I ordered and the miscellaneous unimportant stuff my boss makes me do whenever I'm not ordering food.

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