The summer before my junior year of college, something very lucky happened to me: My Mom’s Mazda broke down. OK, so I guess it wasn’t too lucky for my parents. But it was lucky for me because they said I could keep the car if I agreed to pay for the repairs, which would be extensive.
I quickly realized that my camp counselor paycheck would probably not cut it, so I decided to get a second job as a server at Max n’ Ermas. I had never been a server before, but how hard could it be?
In hindsight, I think a large part of my serving “issues” could be chalked up to sheer exhaustion. I spent Monday through Friday 7:30-4:30 running around in the heat chasing a bunch of little shits. (How I loved those little shits, though!)
So outside of working camp, I also worked the night shift at the restaurant during the week, complete with a double shift on Sunday. In my warped mind, I gleefully thought that because I’d always be working, I’d probably lose a TON of weight.
I gained about 15 pounds, as I never worked out and would just eat tons of crap late at night and then go to bed. Sigh.
So anyway, I was not a good server. Yes, I was friendly and kind and willing to make the diners have as enjoyable an experience as possible. But on the other hand, I was clumsy and easily distracted.
On my first day I “shadowed” one of the other servers. After going around to a few tables with him, he told me to go ahead and give it a try on my own. The table I went to had two old ladies trying to enjoy a nice lunch after spending a morning with our Lord. They ordered iced teas. I smiled like a mannequin, WINKED at them and said cheerfully, “I’ll be right back with your drinks, ladies!” as I mimicked with my hands shooting a gun.
The other server looked at me like I had just licked the ladies’ faces. He pulled me aside and said, “What the hell? Cool it with the whole Cool Hand Luke on speed routine!”
As if I have ever seen Cool Hand Luke, you tool.
Another reason I sucked at waitressing? I was not very good at carrying a tray full of food. Like, at all. After dropping plates off several trays, I was no longer allowed to carry a tray with more than four plates of food. This would result in me running around, looking for someone to carry my food out for me.
Can you say princess?
In addition, I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I forgot to put orders in for large groups. And the one order I was always sure to forget was the one that took the longest to cook, such as ribs, steak, or anything else that used to moo or oink.
The absolute worst thing I ever did, though, was when I was serving a table of four ladies in their 50s who were out for a “night on the town.” Yes, they were at a Max n’ Ermas in Arlington Heights, but they were looking to get CRAZY. Thankfully, I was there to make sure this happened.
They each ordered a margarita. I carefully walked the tray of drinks to their table, going as slow as possible so as not to spill. Relief flooded over me when I made it to the table. But then, as I tried to slip the tray onto the table, ALL THE MARGARITAS SPILLED. Onto the table, onto the women, just everywhere!
As I’m sure you know, margaritas are sticky. And they don’t smell so good when you’re covered in them. Probably because margaritas are cold.
Needless to say, these women were not happy. A free round of drinks and free appetizers seemed to help the situation, but I was still completely embarrassed.
Long story short (too late), I had finally saved up enough money to buy my Mom’s car!
However, a couple of months later, I proceeded to total it when I ran a red light because I wasn’t paying attention and t-boned a car heading the other direction.
No, I wasn’t hurt. But let’s face it, a traumatic brain injury might have HELPED me.
If you are a clumsy mess, don’t take a job that requires you to balance trays of delicious food. It will not end pretty.
Secondly, learn how to drive. Seriously. Green means GO, red means STOP. It’s not that complicated.
My next stint? Taxi driver. Over/under on me getting pulled over and/or hitting a pedestrian?