So I’ve been battling a resurgence of my depression for the past several months – something which working part-time at Freebirds hasn’t always been helping. (I thought part of the point of getting a Master’s degree was never having to work a job like food service again. No? Damn.) And I do like the atmosphere of the place – Freebirds has kept the retro 1960s vibe alive and majority of the employees don’t take themselves too seriously. There isn’t a dress code for employees and guests can feel free to grab a sharpie and write on whatever available space might be left on the tables or walls while listening to classic rock play a little too loudly. But hey, it’s part of the charm, right?

But even so, it’s still food service. And food service jobs have a way of making their employees indispensable…until you’re not. What I mean by that is, if it’s slow they’ll send you home early in a heartbeat, but on the flipside, if there’s a rush you’re expected to stay hours past your scheduled time to leave. And the pace tends to fluctuate just like that. Unfortunately, because it’s summer and because they’ve been doing construction right outside the strip where Freebirds is located for the past several months, the slow days have been more frequent than not. Which gets me sent home early a lot – not something that makes a girl feel particularly valuable or useful. Or excited about going back into work tomorrow with the prospect of not getting enough hours this week – AGAIN – looming, for that matter.

And especially as I am moving towards moving out of the guest room I’ve been crashing in for free and back into an apartment of my own, I could do with more hours, what with rent looming and all. You know, woe is me, blah blah blah, pity party table for one, etc. So with all of these things in mind and my general sense of malaise and purposelessness of late, it can be difficult to muster up the wherewithall to engage with the customers in the manner I’m supposed to – one of the things I actually liked about Freebirds enough to want to work there in the first place.

Enter, coffee. It started the other day with a coworker mentioning that she could use a coffee and me agreeing and her offering to buy us both one from Starbucks on her break. And I had coffee again this morning. And it helps. I’ve been trying to cut back on my caffeine intake since graduation, but it seems that a cup of coffee cuts through the exhaustion depression can bring, as well as helping me focus said newfound energy onto the task at hand, rather than me going off into the more negative recesses of my brain.

I think a regular cup of coffee in the morning might be a way to be good to myself and give me enough energy to not only do my job well, but to be able to get anything at all done after I get home from work. That said, I think I need to buy myself some better coffee when I move. As I said, I’ve been staying in the guest room of some married and more financially settled friends for the past few months. The other day when I was making coffee I switched from the newly empty bag on the counter in the kitchen to the leftovers I had brought with me and stashed in the freezer when I moved in. Needless to say, I could totally tell a difference, and not in a good way. I’d been using mediocre coffee to get myself through graduate school because it was a gift (and have I mentioned I’m poor?), but now I’m thinking I need to treat myself to a delicious cup of joe in the AM to help me get through the day. For now.

Because for now, sometimes I could use all the help I can get.

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