I am on "vacation" in Texas sweating my ass off and trying to find the best and cheapest happy hour in Austin. Thank you to everyone who sent in a guest blog post submission. Here is a guest post from Mandy who blogs at The Rogue Wino. I hope you will go check her out. I also hope you will show Mandy some love by leaving lots of comments and sharing this post.
I hate your fucking birthday.
Let me say that again: I hate your fucking birthday.
Oh what, is that repetitive? Kind of like, say, having to sing "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you..." 50 times a month?
I hate your fucking birthday.
How my stomach turns when I hear that one word, whispered to me by the head of the table, and that I must feign surprise and delight at being told such a secret. "Your friend was born on this day! How exciting!!" my eyes need to convey, or else I will be judged as a wooden, robotic server.
You will have cards and gifts spread out on the table, always opened at inconvenient times, like when I am trying to get your order to the kitchen before a 30-top goes through, or when I need your dessert order before the host who is waiting for your table murders me. I am expected to be clown-server, to joke with you and make your night memorable, especially when your friends or family are lame and quiet. You won't order as much as other patrons in the restaurant, because this is your "step-up," your special event restaurant, and one you can't quite afford.
You expect free dessert, most of the time. How do I know? After making such a big production of telling the host/Open Table/myself of the special event, your table doesn't order dessert at the end of the night. Oh, I could just bring the check, but you will leave 15% or less, and/or go on Yelp to proclaim: "Our server didn't care!" Because giving free things away is how we care for you in a restaurant– Not making sure your food arrives hot and on time, and that your wine is well-paired and properly served, or that we cheerfully smile at your often idiotic requests– No, only through free dessert.
If I don't sing to your table, I am heartless, and certainly deserving of a bad tip. (Though your weren't planning on tipping that much anyways, were you?) I am not a singer and drunken karaoke certainly does not count as experience. If I do sing, I risk spiking your eardrums with my toneless voice and annoying other patrons, particularly once your friends halfheartedly join in my caterwauling. I also may one day flip out mid-song, throwing my apron to burn on your birthday candle.
On very special evenings, I might have several birthdays in my station at once! I have had five at the same time, in a 7-table station. Five free desserts and five birthday songs– Even you, on this occasion, looked slightly annoyed that there were so many others with whom you had to share your specialness.
Ten or more birthdays a week, times 52 weeks a year, times the 10 years I have been a server is more than 5000 birthdays. 5000 horrible renditions of the worst song in the world. 5000 moments of "Arggg!"