Guest blogger Sophie on the perils of waitressing:
People always tell you to write what you know, or to get inspired by what you know when you want to create something. But what if what you know is nothing but drunk assholes and old classmates who are doing so much better than you in life that it makes you want to throw up?
I work as a studentslashwaitress. I like to say that all in one word, and when I tell people what I do I actually say “slash”. I do that because I think it’s funny and it annoys a lot of people. Waiting tables is one of the best jobs to have when you can’t get an actual job because it pays really well, and you have to put up with a lot of shit but not as much as telemarketers do so it’s fine.
Since I’ve been working in the food service industry, I’ve noticed there are two categories of people that make my job both the worst and the most hilarious. The first category of people are old upper-middle-class people. I just have to emphasize that I am not the perfect customer either, I too order egg white omelets with no cheese and brown toast with no butter and God forbid the waitress forgets to replace my hashbrowns with fruit, I will ruin her. Anyway, I used to work in a neighborhood that catered mostly to old upper middle-class people and let me tell you something, they are terrible. I served breakfast at this bagel restaurant, which obviously aimed to please old people because it was a bagel restaurant, and one time, a woman flagged me down to tell me, verbatim, that her eggs were “too yellow” and that her bagel was “too heavy”.
An educated, old as shit upper-middle-class person would be aware of stuff like say, living conditions in Soviet Russia, the Holocaust, the whole continent of Africa as a sad thing, but they can’t eat eggs, which were yellow because that’s what color eggs are, by the way, in a restaurant without complaining. You would think that having lived through two World Wars, one Cold War, the Depression, and Reaganomics, among other things would help them put the tragedy of a heavy bagel into perspective, but I guess not. Mind boggling. Another great gem is the sad-eyed “I hope you’re in school” conversation many of them like to start up with me. I am, but I could easily not be and also fuck you.
And then there are the men.
When I made the switch from serving three hundred year old people their breakfast to serving pints of beer to people who weren’t using their last breath to complain to me about the temperature of their iced tea, I was excited. I figured these new customers would be more normal and tolerable. But then all the men started asking me for my number. Let me stress something about working in a bar. People basically pay me two dollars to walk three feet with a few pints of beer on a tray. If you think that walking three feet with a few pints of beer is a service actually worth two dollars, you are wrong. It’s not even up for debate, it’s not hard and it’s not worth two dollars. I appreciate it, and it’s how I make my living, but the service I provide and the reward I get is not proportional in the least.
People pay to look at us. Waitresses look cute and chat with customers and flirt with them and make them feel special. In essence, we are really short-term escorts. We pretend to like people for a few minutes and they pay us. Now let me ask you this: would you ask an escort for her number while you were out with her, knowing full well she was only out with you because she was an escort? NO, right? So why are you people asking waitresses for their number? We are personality prostitutes, plain and simple. Male bartenders are a different story altogether. They’ll give girls their number and have sex with them on a dumpster in front of eight cheering hobos for free because they’re gross and that’s what they like to do for fun.
For more Sophie, click here.