Right out of high school I got a job as a seating hostess at an Italian restaurant. It was only my second day so I was trying to make a good impression. So when I got this monster of a stomach ache I didn’t want to tell anyone I was in pain.
It was only my second day! I didn’t want to ALREADY be like, hi, I think I need to go home… or at least sit down. I couldn’t be a wimp like that when I knew that it could just very well magically resolve itself.
So instead of asking for a bit of a break or taking care of myself in any way, I did this: I stood at still as possible at the podium and locked my knees. I don’t know if anyone else has this kind of logic… but if I’m in pain I just stay as still as Dr. Grant trying to evade a T-Rex then I don’t have to feel my own insides.
I stood stiffly like that for a couple of hours honestly. But I was not going to give in and tell everyone that I was suffering. That is not what I am about. I could be trapped under a cement roller and choose a squishy death over “bothering” someone with my needy problems.
I guess when you black out the first thing to go is your peripheral vision. That’s what happened to me anyway. It took me all the way to tunnel vision before I was like, hmm, I should probably say something to someone. I turned to my manager Kristin and all I got out was, “Hey, Kristin. I don’t feel very good–”
It was weird. I could hear my other manager yell, “She’s going to pass out.” And I felt them catch me. But then all of the sudden I was asleep. I actually had a dream when I was passed out. I swear that’s always in the movies but that actually happened to me. I dreamt I was at a theme park with my mom and sister, so when I woke up on my back on a bench in a restaurant waiting area, I was more than a little disoriented. It took a minute to remember oh yeah, wait… wasn’t I at my new job?
Me: What happened?
A Cook: You passed out. Here have a coke. *hands me a class of soda*
Me: Thanks? … What?
There were SO many people around. I don’t know how long I was out, but long enough to gather a small crowd. This one guest was like FRANTIC AF. He shoved past everyone to get to me and was like half-yelling at me.
Guy: Are you a diabetic?
Me: What? No.
Guy: Are you sure?
Guy: Do you want me to call your doctor to find out if you’re a diabetic?
Me: I… I’m not a diabetic.
He shoved a little green mint into my hand (even though I was already holding a full glass of Coke)
Guy: I grabbed a mint off my table, because you’re diabetic.
Me: Oh, but I’m not… okay, thanks.
I was out long enough for them to have called my mom to come and get me, which if you knew the majestic levels of worry that my mother can achieve then you know how the rest of my day went. It was embarrassing to have to take sick leave not even 48 hours into this new job. But hey, at least I got a Coke and a mint…