The Pancake Perfectionist Essay

973 words - 4 pages

No matter what task is at hand, no one can do it alone. Even small daily things like working and handling a restaurant require more than one person. The short story “Pancakes”, by Joan Bauer, follows Jill, a waitress, and how her normal day suddenly goes wrong in the Ye Olde Pancake House. Jill is a perfectionist; she always strives and wants the best out of herself and others. She believes any task can be done with perfect work. However, one waitress is not enough for the masses of people coming to the pancake house. Being overrun with customers, Jill finally cannot handle it all and realizes that perfection is unattainable. Even though she is dependable, Jill is bossy and too perfectionist, showing that expecting the best can lead to the worst.
Jill’s dependability is the reason of her confident approach to all of her tasks. During her job interview at the pancake house, Jill sets the tone, assuring the owner over and over again about her capabilities. She is also very confident in explaining her system of order and her knack of alphabetizing condiments. Hearing this, the owner, Howard Halloran, remarks that he would die happy if Jill was half as competent as she looked. After the whole conversation, the owner replies, “ ‘You’re hired,’ Howard Halloran said reverently, and put me in charge of opening and setting up the restaurant on Saturday and Sunday mornings, which is when nine-tenths of all pancakes in the universe are consumed and you don’t want some systemless person at the helm” (Bauer 196). Jill is familiar in being a crucial part of success, and she is ready to step in and achieve it. In her childhood, Jill moves quite a lot, and being organized and orderly becomes her way to adapt and have some stability. She always does spectacular things and people count on her to do that. She thinks to herself, “I made everything look easy. People looked up to me, or down, depending - I’m five four” (Bauer 197). Jill has a past history of shouldering the load and performing; doing so has her confident in her future endeavors. Even if she chews off more than she could handle, Jill believes she is ready to take any obstacle on.
Being bossy, Jill, displays her annoyance with “less perfect” people around her. When explaining the correct way to pour syrup to Hugo, Jill gets very frustrated and thus fills the syrup containers by herself. She describes Hugo, “Hugo was a male without vision. He couldn’t anticipate disaster, couldn’t cope with forethought and prevention; he let life rule him rather than the other way around, which was why I personally filled the syrup containers on Sunday mornings” (Bauer 197). Although with some justification, Jill wishes that everyone would be perfect and she could have a stable life....

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