A lot of restaurants do a first in, first out sort of system, or a numbering system, so if there are 8 servers on the floor, they're numbered 1 through 8, 1 being the first person cut, 2 being the second and so on... and 7 & 8 being closers. So, in most places, you have a general idea of when your work days ends...but even then, it depends on the level of business, etc.
But not where I work. Our restaurant likes to make it even more of a guessing game. It's like playing the lottery. There's no rhyme or reason behind it, you can't possibly see it coming, but all of a sudden, there is a "C" through someone's name on the floorplan and OH SWEET JESUS, you really, REALLY hope it's yours. 99.9% of your day, this is the most irritating thing in the whole world. BUT once that "C" makes its way through your name, the amount of sheer and unadultered JOY that ripples through you is unlike anything you can even begin to imagine.
To the naked eye, it looks like this:
But friends, it feels like this:
Suddenly, anything seems possible. You can climb any mountain. Run any marathon. YOU WILL BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. In fact, you're fairly certain you could probably just run the world. WHY NOT? There's nothing you can't do! YOU HAVE BEEN CUT!
Yes, it might be a slight overreaction, but I can't be the only one who feels this way, right? I see my co-workers faces when that "C" is through their name. It literally tastes and feels like we've been given our freedom back. Even if I'm starving, even if I have to pee really bad, I don't care. I will do my sidework and polish my section and GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE. Free soup? F that. Bathroom? It can wait. I'M GOING HOME!!!!
Ridiculous? Perhaps. But a fact is a fact, and the fact is: 8-9 times a week I get to experience liberation. And it's totally awesome.