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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Small Packages: Thanksgiving Edition

So if you've been hanging around my blog for any amount of time this month, you've heard about my Small Packages blogfest.  This month I outdid my usual sarcastic sense of humor with the topic:

In honor of Thanksgiving, and the beginning of a long line of colonists screwing over Native Americans, post about a time that you took advantage of someone. Or if you don't want to be that revealing about your darker side, write about a time that someone took advantage of you.

Even though I came up with the topic (with a healthy dose of help from the husband), I had a hard time pinning down what I would write about.  I thought about writing about my traumatic break up stories (one wanted to pursue a girl but if it didn't work out with her stay with me, another claimed to have slept with my best friend even though I new it didn't happen) or write about being made fun of in middle school, etc.  But then a light bulb went off.  Out of all the times I've been screwed over, there's one period in my life that I was screwed over the most.

When I waited tables at...let's call it the Honkey Basket.

Let me tell you, if you have to wait tables, don't do it at a low end restaurant.  You do more work because the cheapskates always want seconds or thirds on free things, but they tip half as much. Oh, and did I mention that my base pay was $2.15.  Nope, not joking. So first rip-off: No Money

The time that I waited tables, I've actually been the sickest I've ever been in my life.  I always had a cold, sinus infection, or some mystery disease that I didn't want to think about too much. Handling all those dishes covered in god knows what and having people cough on you (and yes, even once, sneezed on) it was impossible for me to stay healthy. Second screwing item: At least 5 years off of my life.

It doesn't matter how hard you work your tail off, you'll have tables that don't appreciate you.  I've had a table of fourteen Red Hat Ladies who berated me for getting the wrong order, even though they had moved seats, and yelled at by Disco Stu because ANOTHER TABLE had been waiting for their bread. Third bend over moment: Being the hired help, in the Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens' sort of way.
Your serving experience is directly related to managers at the restaurant.  You can tell the ones that have worked in the trenches and the others that have gone through business school to get where they are.  On more than one occasion on a Sunday night I was held over for several hours after closing to roll every single piece of silverware in the joint even though every shift rolls enough for the next.  Every piece!  I'll let you guess which type of  manager he was. Slap in the face number four: Having henpecked managers take out their control issues on the staff.

Wow, so apparently I haven't fully healed from my time as a waitress.  Maybe I should bring up these issues with my therapist?

Check out the other participants, and cluck your tongue at how naughty they are or say "Awww" and offer them a cookie!

The Bear Monk at Inapropriate Remarks
Christian at Cristian0's Blog
Jamie at Finding Bliss in a Life More or Less Ordinary
Collegiate Down at Don't Let Higher Education Eat Your Soul
Stephanie at Our Marriage Adventure
Sara at Sara Swears a Lot
Kelley at Where the Dark Things Go
Lorna at Gin & Lemonade
Lexie at Sourpuss


Kittie Howard said...

First, I read your previous post and congratulate you on the NaNo timetable. I think yours is the only blog that posts behing on or ahead of schedule that I've read.

My sister waited tables during college. She was always sick, too. She said not everyone bathed enough! Oy!

Witless Exposition said...

Thanks! I've had a lot of fun during NaNo.

OMG, I can't believe I forgot the BO! Always a nice detail at the end of a workday.

Anonymous said...

Since I'm from the Great White North I celebrated Thanks-taking six weeks ago.
However our origins are pretty much the same as yours. That truly sucks about waiting tables, I can never get over the fact that servers can get paid below minimum wage down South...absolutely criminal. If it were me, I would have to exerts some stellar self control not to spit in everyone's omelets.

Witless Exposition said...

They manage to work the system by making you claim your tips. If your tips plus your wage don't meet up to minimum wage, they'll chip in the extra (how generous of them).

It's pretty hard to resist the baser urges when dealing with the jerkier tables.

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