Friday, August 28, 2009

A flash back to a mundane day on the job

Let's rewind again for a moment and take a look at a "normal" day at work:

As I pull into the restaurant parking lot my cell phone jangles in my bag. Reaching for it, I notice that it is the restaurants number on my caller id. "Hello" I say, while wondering if I should just shout from the back door. "Hello? Hello Honey?" an ultra chipper voice says in my ear "Just calling because I got in a little early today so why don't you stay home for a bit." I look at my watch and see that it reads 5 minutes to the hour of my arrival. "Well" I reply with a sigh "I'm here, literally walking in at this moment and since I live 20 minutes away I'm going to stay." She replies will something slightly incoherent and signs off.

As I walk thru the back door and into the kitchen I see my BWF (best work friend) who is rolling his eyes at me. "She has been here for over an hour" he mutters over the line "And I told her to call you with enough time for you to change your plans." I peek out into the dining room and see a couple of tables occupied, which I assume are left over lunche-ers. The bus girl comes running into the kitchen, breathless. "What's the rush?" I inquire "Not much going on here as far as I can see..." "Ugh, she's already running me around" she replies nodding over her shoulder to indicate the other waitress "She'll be in to talk to you in a moment." My fellow waitress bustles into the kitchen at this point and greets me with "I already took a couple tables Honey, so I don't have any prep done but I'll be back to help you as soon as I get control of this!!" "Control of WHAT?" I hear my BWF exclaim, "There are four people out there and you are running the busser!" I start the prep work, which is never so bad when my BWF is there because we catch up on the latest episode of Lost, the things that we expect to read in the next Harry Potter book; and we occasionally think up the worst names possible, Archibald Methuselah and Adinijah Peacock seem to usually top the list.

While making salads I see a fairly big party come into the dining room and wonder how this is going to play out. Being that the other waitress already has 2 tables.... My thoughts are interrupted by the entrance of the OW (other waitress) "Honey, since I was in first I should get the first chance at the big table so I am just going to get them started, okay? still friends, right??" Now it is my turn to mutter something unintelligible, because as much as I tolerate the OW she is not exactly my pal. I tend to reserve the title of Friend for induviduals who have managed to work their way into my cold heart of stone, and I usually feel very warm and fuzzy towards these few people. I'd give them a kidney, or the last bite of pie, or spend time chatting and exchanging monosyllabic words of arrogance. I can not imagine doing any of these things with the OW so I grouchily get on with the replenishing of the ketchups and slicing of the cheesecakes.

After a bit I see another party walk in and watch as the bus girl seats them in my section. "Show Time" I announce to nobody in particular and I make my way out to the main dining room. From behind me I hear a shrill "Hiiiiiii Guyyyyyyys" and I see the OW intercepting me from across the room. As she gabs away to the new table I stand conspicuously behind her, making it well known that I am going to come straight thru her in about point two seconds. "Honeeeyyy" she burbles to me "these are my friends and I'd like to take them if you don't mind" You can have the next TWO tables that come in, still friends right??" Well, if walking back into the kitchen and plotting to kick your booty into next week means "still friends" then yes, we are best buds for life.

Time marches on. I resort to cleaning salt shakers while having a heated game of hangman with my BWF and the dishwasher. I am delighted to finally get a table, but it is the lady who orders a cup of hot water with lemon, and a side salad and leaves me a twenty five cent tip. So my joy is short lived.

One of the perks of being the first one in, as I should have been, is that on slow nights you can go home early and carry on with your real life. And as sure as the sun rises, as soon as the OW gets a bit bored she propositiones me to let her go home. "I know you were the supposed to be the first one in sweetie pie, but since I was and since I did all the prep work I think I'll just head on home, ohhhh kaaaay??" I am ready to argue but I see the bus girl making praying hands to me behind the OW's back, begging me to stay- and knowing that if I do I'll just let her go home and do her homework. "Fine, go, whatever." I say to the OW, not feeling like making a great big noisy fuss. "Off you go." And off she goes, to sit at the bar until close.

At this point I proceed to to get zero tables and give up the pretense of looking busy in favor of sitting on the kitchen floor eating croutons (not off the floor) and trying to figure out how high I'd have to jump to touch the ceiling. My BWF does it easily, the dishwasher does it after a couple tries and I get out the stepladder. Looking at the clock I realize it's 10 minutes to close and am horrified that I have not had a table in over 2 hours. I putter out to the bar and try to talk the bartender into closing up shop and heading on home like normal people. "No way lady" he declares "we might get busy yet!" We had better freaking not, I think to myself as I return to the kitchen. "Did he close?" holler the BWF and the dishwasher together. As I explain the situation, their eagerness to be done turns to disgust "We haven't had people in two hours" the dishwasher howls in agony. "Just cloooooose!" We watch the clock, tick tick tick, as the big hand moves closer and closer I hear the dreaded words "You have a two at 2" says the bartender. "NOOOOO!" screeches the dishwasher, furiously banging a soup ladle on the countertop "no! no! no!"

I make my way to table 2, ready to do a wham, bam thank you ma'am job and send them on their way, fed, happy but pretty damn quick. As I greet them I am horrified to learn that "They want to have a nice relaxing dinner, and are in no rush what so-ever." They are all cozied up on the banquette, clearly very much in love with one another and not scared to show it. "Lovely" I think to myself as I go to the bar to snag their drinks "nothing like obvious romance to really put me in a fine frame of mind at this point. Not." I take an extra moment at the bar, because in addition to a pair of cocktails they have also ordered a hard (for me) to find bottle of wine. I come up for air after rummaging around for several minutes and discover that I can not see them anymore. "Hey" I call to the bartender "did they leave? Where are they?" "I have been here the whole time that you have been under the bar" he tells me "and they are most certainly still at table 2. Feeling a bit odd, I go back to their table and discover why I can no longer see their heads over the top of the banquette. They are reclining, and for lack of a better term totally making out. I gasp audibly, as I am unaccustomed to seeing a display of soft porn at my workplace, drop their drinks (not literally) and run like the wind. I explain to the bartender what is going on and in great amusement he peeks over the bar and checks out the love fest on table 2. "Oh wow" he chuckles "it's getting worse and worse over there. I think you might need to go and tear them off each other." "OH NO" I exclaim "That is so not in my job description and you are far more intimidating than I am. You go over and mutter menacingly in your scariest baritone." Which, remarkable is exactly what he does. Amazingly, the love struck couple is in such a hurry to leave at this point (out of embarrassment or pent up **ahem** feelings for one another I'll never know) but they hightailed it a speedy way. And left me a 100% tip which made up for the bow-chicha-bow-bow in the banquette.


  1. brown chicken brown cow

  2. Thank you anonymous, I know who you are and that is a brilliant comment.