When I was in college I waited tables at a restaurant in my hometown at the beach. The people I worked with were fun and we all went out after work together. Today work seems so much different. When I waited tables our biggest crisis seemed to be which side work we drew each night and who had to fill the ketchups.
The restaurant I worked at was on the third floor of a three-story building and directly below us there was a market. It carried bare minimum essentials for island residents, but they had this homemade banana pudding that they stocked that was AMAZING. Obviously I imagined someone’s grandmother made it and it had to take no less than 24 hours to cook it (honestly I have no idea, but that’s how good it tasted). It was the perfect post-server-shift indulgence. The market closed at 8 pm, so if you wanted to get this sought-after-pudding you had to get to your shift early and stop at the market on your way into the restaurant. Several my fellow restaurant staffers knew this and we took measures to stake our claim on one of the limited supply banana pudding containers on the way up the three flights of stairs. We’d take our pudding, label it with our names with a permanent sharpie marker and stock it in the restaurant kitchen cooler, ready for our retrieval at our evening break.
One night, ready for my break, I went to grab my pudding and it was gone. I was perplexed, we had never had a food theft problem. I started desperately digging through the cooler, sure that someone pushed it to the back during service. And then, I ever so slightly caught a glimpse, out of the corner of my eye, of the assistant manager standing just off to the side of the cooler. He was shoveling banana pudding into his mouth with a grin.
Me: “Did you buy that banana pudding.”
Manager: “No I found it in the fridge.”
Me (steam coming out of my ears): “So you took banana pudding with someone’s name on it out of the fridge.”
Manager: “Don’t be mad. I was hungry.”
Me: (ANGER. Dispair. Steam. Speechlessness.)
Look: I had a lot to learn back then about controlling my short fuse. Today I feel like my kids steal my food on a more regular basis and I’ve never reacted to them the same way I stared that guy down with the deadliest and most disgusted eyes that I hoped would laser puncture his bullheaded noggin. I climbed three flights of stairs for that pudding, paid for it with my measly server tips, I had sore feet from working my shift and someone with entitlement and disrespect claimed it. It was JUST LIKE the Friends episode where someone steals Ross’ sandwich- “Someone ate the only good thing going on in my life!” (clip here)
So here’s my question. What ticks you off? A friend at work laughs at me because I get so worked up when people run unorganized meetings and I get irked when friends habitually cancel plans without a good excuse (I feel like I am managing these scenarios well without having to engage a therapist) plus add food theft to my list of annoyances (I mean what are you an animal?) I can be a little intense. So what’s got you seeking anger management intervention? What goes against your grain? What’s your banana pudding?