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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Proud Waiter Keep on Rollin'

I have been crying in a corner all day mourning the end of my vacation so I have decided to re-post this entry which somehow makes me prod to be a waiter. I will read it over and over again before my first shift tomorrow. I will write again soon, I promise.


Have you ever had to wait on someone you really didn't want to? No, I don't mean that lady with the cold sores all over her mouth or that gaggle of stroller moms. I'm talking about someone you knew that you just could not face being their server. It can be awkward when someone from another part of your life turns up in your station and you suddenly are their subservient.

Many years ago when I worked at the Black Eyed Pea in Houston on Highway 290, someone came into my station who looked familiar to me. It was this guy from high school. Let's call him Guy. Guy was Mr. High School. He was popular, handsome, a cheerleader, smart, and he dated the girl that I thought I was in love with. (Dawn, are you reading this?) He was everything I wanted to be and he kinda made me sick in that jealous-I-want-your-life kinda way. And suddenly he is sitting in my station and I am about to have to go ask him if wants rolls or cornbread. I looked down at my uniform and noticed the gravy and butter stains on it and then looked at Guy who was wearing a suit and tie and was with three other men in business attire. I regressed back to high school on the day when we were having our school photos taken and I had forgotten. Guy was wearing this really cool purple sweater that I coveted and I was wearing some stupid ass t-shirt.

"Can someone please take table 14 for me? I can't do it?"
"Why? You're not even busy. It's four men in suits. You don't want it?"

I just couldn't do it. I was embarrassed. I had left high school to go to college in another state to study the theater and make it as an actor. Years passed, and I was back in Texas waiting tables and here was Guy. In a suit. During the lunch rush. In my mind at the time, wearing a suit and going to lunch at noon meant success. He certainly wasn't a waiter, that's for sure. When he left, I watched him drive away in his fancy Chrysler LeBaron which he had parked right next to my old Honda Civic. I went into the bathroom to splash some reality on my face and went on with my day. I felt like a loser. A gravy stained, chicken fried steak smellin' loser.

This was years ago. I have changed. Yes, I still wait tables and as much as I bitch about it, I know the reason I do it. I do it because I still remember what I wanted to be when I grew up: an actor. If Guy came into my station now, I would be proud to wait on him because I would be able to say that I am still pursuing my dream. It may not look like I have that much success to someone who is ordering a cocktail from me, but I know that the level of success I have surpasses many others in this world. I think just the fact that I still dream and hope and try says a lot about a person's achievements. If Guy was in my station, he may be a lawyer or a banker or some other bullshit boring ass profession like that, but I guarantee that when he was 16 years old, he didn't want to grow up to be that. I am what I wanted to be: an actor. An actor who supplements his income by waiting tables, but an actor nonetheless And that is a major achievement. So today, let us all be proud of ourselves for doing what we do. We have this job that allows us to make a decent living and it also gives us the opportunity to do other things. We can continue our educations, we can take extra days off, we can pick up extra shifts if we want to make extra money, we don't have to think about our jobs once we punch out and we can carry a tray like nobody' fucking business.

Yes, I am a waiter. A bitchy waiter. But a proud one because this job lets me be what I want to be more than anything in the whole world: a creative, happy, young at heart, financially stable actor. And all those Guys out there? They can keep their Chrysler LeBaron's. I have my dreams.

Do me a favor. If you like this post, share it with someone. Let's see how many people we can get to comment that they too are proud of their bitchy ass waiting tables job.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this (re)post! You have put into words what could not. I wait tables so I may do my one true love, being a Mommy. I have the priveledge of raising my boys, and then going off to work at night. My hubby is awesome, we truly work as a team.
Living the dream, Michelle

Anonymous said...

Have read all your posts but don't think have ever posted - but I do think you mean "prod" not "proud" :))

Bunny said...

Anonymous have read all the post but never commented and this is the best you can come up with? You're kind of an asshole aren't you?

As for you are awesome. Be proud!

Tony Van Helsing said...

Absolutely outstanding. There is no shame in being a waiter, even one who isn't planning on being something else. The important thing is you are doing your bit and paying your own way. No-one who works for their living should feel ashamed of their position.

Anonymous said...

sometimes i too feel as though somehow my employment in the food and beverage industry reflects on my current lack of success in what i really want to do with my career and my life, but these moments are fleeting as i remember all the great people that have come into my life as a result of the work that i do. the cash aint half bad either.

Kitten with a Whisk said...

This is one of my favorite posts.

My first car was a 1989 Lebaron.

Practical Parsimony said...

I have never thought of a waiter as being subservient to me. One day, I read every last post of yours and I do remember this post. Anon #2--you left out a word. You meant--"I" have read all your posts but "I" dont.. okay, the rest is too much of a mess for me to bother with. As for leaving out "I"....don't you remember that sentences have subjects? BW just made a typo.

Furni said...

Couldn't agree more. I look at someone I know who has nicer things and parents that pay for everything. Never had a job in their 20 years. But then I look at my life and realize I've worked and earned what I've got and that makes it worth ten times more.

Anonymous said...

Maybe lebaron boy is happy. I dig the fact that you are happy and are following your dream, but be careful, dreams change and not everyone is a sellout.

Love, Guy

khalid bin waleed said...

i hope the lebaron boy is happy even if he doesnt have the succes u think he has, but the thing is it doesnt matter if you the richest the most succesfull person in the world,, all that matter is "are u content?" with whatever god has given u, there is a saying that goes like "dont look at the ppl above u enless u look at the ppl under u first" meaning those that dont have anything, billions of ppl are dying every day cuz of hunger, and here we are comparing jobs,,, be content and keep chasing after your dreams,you are 1fuckin awesome waiter the bitchiness comes with it -not ya fualt lol

Rachel said...

You rock BW! I am as well a Bitchy Waiter. And very proud of it. I love selling the food at my restaurant. I'm not afraid to tell people that I'm a waitress. In fact, I quite enjoy it. You keep me proud!

TwystiidTrixxi said...

I used to have a friend who was a server as well and she always used to complain about it and say that she felt that people looked down on her for it, etc.

I've been a server for like 250 years now and am happy to say that I am not only your server but your bartender, best friend, secretary, psychiatrist, babysitter and sometimes chauffeur for some of my older patrons who just don't have anyone else. I feel blessed with those many people who have come into and out of my life as a result of this profession. I was a graphic designer in my own business for 5 years and NEVER received the fulfillment that I receive from working in this "subservient" position. The job offers many "perks" ~ sometimes your eyes and mind just have to be open to receive them ;)

Yay said...

Oh my lord. Black eyed pea in Houston. Depending on how many years ago this was, and if you knew a short lady named Leslie... Well, if you do, i promise I'm not her