Moments after clocking in, my manager walks up to me with purpose. I know he has something to tell me and I brace myself.
"Hey," he says. "I got an email the other day and it was about you."
"Oh, really?" I squeak out. "What did it say?"
My mouth goes dry, my eyes widen and my knees buckle. The hair on my arms stands up and my pulse quickens.As I try to keep from swallowing my tongue, my brain begins running through every possible scenario that would cause someone to write an email about me and send it to my boss.
Oh my God, did that woman two weeks ago see me stick my tongue out at her baby because that baby totally had it coming. It was so rude, that baby, the way it kept laughing at the top of her lungs and shrieking with delight. Or maybe the email is about that time I told the man at booth 7 that I couldn't vouch for the Cabernet but the glass of Chardonnay that I was currently enjoying in the sidestand was quite delicious. Could it have been about me playing Words With Friends in the bathroom when that lady knocked on the door and I screamed out "occupado" and then when I came out I told her I was very busy trying to create a seven-letter word? Is it about this post I wrote about my regular who never shuts up? Maybe it's from the two-top who saw the raccoon on the patio last week. I stood there and watched it with them but told them not to tell my manager because if he knew about it he would call the exterminator and have him come and trap it and take it away like he did earlier this summer to that little baby raccoon who ended up being dropped off on Long Island somewhere.Sure the raccoon we saw last week could have been rabid or mad with grief and still trying to find its offspring that we shipped away, but she was so cute sitting there on the fire escape that I didn't want to rat it out and see it get trapped. Did someone see me on television and didn't appreciate my attitude so they felt compelled to alert my boss that he has an asshole on his staff? Or maybe the email is from a customer who saw me box up some food to-go after that piece of steak may or may not have fallen onto the floor before I placed into the box with care.
Oh, the horror! This email could be about so many things! I see my job slipping from my fingers and I imagine myself traipsing up and down Ninth Avenue dropping off applications at restaurants that only want to hire young waiters who are just filling time between their modeling gigs.
"Yeah, I've never gotten an email about you before, but I guess there's a first time for everything," says my manager.
"Heh, heh. Yeah, sure..." I mumble. "So, what'd say?"
Long pause. It feels like the lights are getting dimmer but they may be because the blood is flowing from brain and right down to my feet.
My manager smiles. "They wanted to compliment you and your service. They said you were so friendly to them and that your shirt and apron were nicely pressed. They just wanted me to know how great you were. Good job."
A sigh of relief escapes from my mouth releasing with it all the fear that had crept into my body within the last fifteen seconds.
"Oh, that's cool," I say. "But duh, what else would someone have to say about me?"
Yeah, that was truly fucking scary.
Click here to follow The Bitchy Waiter on Twitter.
Click here to find The Bitchy Waiter on Facebook.