Weekend Workers

“Thank God it’s Friday!” people always said. There’s this buzz that surrounds Fridays because it signifies the end of the work week for some.

I always found the phrase to be annoying. For me and others like me, Friday is my Monday… or even hump day depending on when my work week started.

While we’re all familiar with the portion of the population that dreads Monday and drags themselves through the week trying to make it to Friday, there is that other section of the population that goes unnoticed and is unappreciated. Take nurses and cops, for example. People don’t stop being sick or breaking the law because it’s Friday. In fact, those may be busy times for nurses and police officers. There are those that overindulge and need professional medical attention… and those that overindulge and do things that land them in the back seat of a police car. I would think professions like this relate to the Lord in the sense that they neither sleep, nor slumber. Nurses and cops are always at work, keeping us healthy and safe.

Then there are privileges that we enjoy that (gasp!) involve someone having to work the weekend. Flight crews work around the clock (sometimes literally!), delivering packages, passengers, and shooting photos of the earth for GPS info. All so you can have that quick weekend in Jamaica, make your way to the dance hall using your GPS, or receive that thing you had to have from Amazon. Retailers are open on weekends, so you can get a new dress and shoes to go out in. I know; I used to work in retail.

Not to mention grocery stores and restaurants, who usually experience their highest volume of customers on the weekends. While people are so glad for it to be Friday, the real weekend warriors are working flights, bussing tables, restocking produce (that is hopefully fresh, depending on where you go), and making life livable, easier, and even enjoyable for those that work during the week.

And the night club. Those bouncers that let you in? Bartenders? Dancers (depending on where you are)? Servers (if there’s food), kitchen staff and venue owners? Yep. While you’re dancing the night away, they’re chasing Benjamins.

But hey, don’t feel sorry for us; it’s really not that bad! I actually used to love working the weekend and live to have the week off, and honestly, I still do! I have my reasons:

  • It’s not as crowded when you do any kind of shopping. You’ll rarely have to worry about a line, especially mid-morning or during the day before rush hour. Just watch out for OAPs (Old Aged Persons) with carts!
  • It’s easy to make most of your appointments because most offices are open during the week, and you’re off!
  • Some activities that people experience on the weekend will be less crowded. Sometimes you won’t be able to go dancing or do brunch, but you can do the movies and you might be the only one in the theater! The art museum will be as quiet as a church sanctuary, Reading Terminal… well, let’s face it, that will always be crowded. But there’s a stark difference between going on the weekend and going during the week. I’ve done both, and I daresay I won’t do weekends any time soon. The last time I went on the weekend was a couple of years ago. That was enough
  • No weekend price hikes! It’s terrible, but some things get more expensive on the weekend, including parking! I’ve even seen admission to places get more expensive on the weekend because places know there will be more people then. Go during the week and save that money!
  • You will NEVER experience the dread that comes with Mondays like everyone else does. That’s YOUR weekend. While everyone else has to go to work, you’re sleeping in. Preferably in your drawers. You might eat Lucky Charms in bed when you get around to waking up.
  • You might actually make more money working on the weekend. This especially applies to jobs where people tip (PLEASE tip your waitstaff).

I read a book once called “Waiter Rant”. A friend to the main character was upset because she had to miss work to be in a friend’s wedding. The reason this was so hard was because the weekends were the time for her to make up the money she wasn’t getting during the week. As a result, she couldn’t afford a gift for the bridal shower or the bachelorette party, could barely afford her dress, was short on rent, and had to endure the other bridesmaids talking badly about her.

If only those other chicks understood. They were obviously Monday through Friday 9 to 5ers who couldn’t imagine what this poor woman was going through. This isn’t to look down on 9 to 5ers, but just to give them insight into our world. I hope that they come to at least appreciate us… because without the weekend workers, what would your life be like?

#weekendcoffeeshare

Introverted In The City

Saturday was just one of those days. Laying in bed with a will to do nothing, I turned over quite a few times before rousing from the covers. Although I didn’t want to go out, Saturday is really my only day to do so since Sundays are church days. Though I don’t like being out on weekends, the other option would be to work on weekends. Since doing so is asking to be in the 8th circle of hell, the much better alternative is to take weekends off.

I don’t know why I keep telling myself that I’m going to the art museum on my days off, because I never manage to get my behind there. Today was no different. Instead, I took a side trip to the Farmacy, my favourite brunch spot located in University City.

The gray sky and rain christened the already dreary day. It rained lightly at first, and I took care to walk around puddles to keep water from seeping into my non-rain boots. After getting off the el at 46th Street, I approached my destination after waiting through a procession of police cars, and steering myself past the tempting smell of a halal place (that’s next on my hit list; that salty-savory aroma was AMAZING). I stepped over the Rx on the step and into the threshold to one of my favourite places to hide.

Apparently, The Farmacy was just what the doctor ordered for that day.

It was warmer and considerably drier inside than out. The muted yellow, the plants that hang from baskets in various spots, and the 3 square mini skillets hanging on the wall makes the restaurant feel homey. Also, the intimate size of the space made it feel cozy. It wasn’t quite as busy as the last time I was there, which was months ago.

Songs that I heard when I was growing up blasted from the kitchen, and I sang to most of them. I ordered the huevos rancheros on this particular day. I’ve had huevos rancheros before and like it, but I’ve not tried it here. Every place makes common dishes like that differently; therefore I was anxious to try it at my favorite spot.

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“Now that’s impressive”, the waitress exclaimed when she saw how clean the skillet was. I laughed from embarrassment. I had done all but lick the skillet, and that’s only because I kept myself from doing so. “That’s all right; I did that the first time I had it, too”. A runnier yolk would’ve been nice, but I clearly had no problem with eating this interpretation of huevos rancheros. The duck fat potatoes in the bottom sealed the deal for me. They also helped me clean the skillet at the end.

After enjoying some bacon, I left brunch to wander around University City. I ducked in and out of a couple of shops, then ventured to Center City area to go to Reading Terminal Market. I started a bit because of the volume of people in the place. It’s nowhere near as crowded in the middle of the week unless you go during lunch. Even then, it doesn’t compare to the amount of bodies pushing through the seemingly narrow aisles. Maybe they only seemed narrow because my head was starting to spin and the loud crowd started getting mysteriously quieter.

It was then that I realized I was panicking. I never remember experiencing this feeling before although I manifest shyness and introverted tendencies. I had to quickly duck out of the fray. I found the shop where the spice corner had been, and ducked in.

What had just happened? Did I have a panic attack? Why? Part of me wondered if pushing through the bustle reminded me of the time I went “crowd surfing” in Times Square in NYC. I don’t mean the fun crowd surfing that happens when you’re above the crowd, being guided by a sea of hands.

What I call “crowd surfing” is when a large, protesting crowd crushes you in so that you can’t move, your feet leave the ground, and you are “carried” in whatever direction that crowd moves. It’s frightening because if your feet don’t get back onto the ground in a way where you’re holding yourself up, you can easily be trampled… and we know where that can lead to in a worst case scenario.

It was at this time that I decided to leave the market once I summoned the courage to leave the little shop. I thought about what had happened on the way home. Despite that incident, I love being in the city. I still love Center City Philly and I still love New York City.

Introverts and shy girls can totally make it in the city; just be true to yourself!

If you know your limit is eating & shopping for the day, stick to that! When it gets to be too much, retreat to the quiet spot in the city that you love. Also know when it’s time to get home and recharge… and don’t think something’s wrong with you for needing that. Cities are perfect for introverts because it’s okay if you’re a little offbeat. In a city, everyone’s offbeat… and somehow… it all harmonizes and makes something that we can’t stay away from, no matter how introverted we can be. I can be.