My Life Waiting [Tables]: The Price of Your Soul

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his bitter waitress had a bittersweet brush with nostalgia over the weekend while spending some time with two great friends from home. I enjoyed a beautiful Saturday off with my friends which made returning to work Sunday a monumental letdown. To add insult to injury, Sunday night was met with a consistent mix of rain and annoyed customers. Needless to say, I had a foul mood brewing and endured one of those shifts where you look at the clock every five minutes only to find that time is standing still. As the night wore on, my mix of sour mood and nostalgia for home left me thinking about the early days of my waitressing career. Once upon a time, I was less of a bitter waitress and more of a naive one… thinking that waiting tables was nothing more than a fun summer job to put a little cash in my pocket. In those first months of slinging beers and cheesesteaks for a living, an old friend – and seasoned veteran of the restaurant world – gave me some biting advice that would ring true for years to come:

“Waiting tables is like selling your soul to the Devil.”

While this advice may seem dramatic considering that all I do for a living is take orders and deliver accordingly, I have found that waiting tables is indeed the equivalent of selling your soul to the Devil… only at a measly rate of 0-20%. Now I must take a moment to acknowledge that most people probably also feel as if a small part of them dies in the daily grind of their professions. Whether it’s missing out on important moments of your life while putting in a 90-hour workweek, enduring the daily rants of your douchebag boss, or dealing with customers that treat you as a barely capable half-wit, you have undoubtedly found yourself questioning your current career choice. A classic example for the bitter waitress is when a Manhattanite snob has the nerve to ask, in her most degrading tone of voice, “Do you think you can handle that?” while placing an order. While I am human and certainly make mistakes at my job, I can assure you that 95% of the time I can handle telling the kitchen to put your dressing on the side.

I shared these thoughts last night with my fellow bitter servers as we endured an interminably long evening at work and found that they too felt that waiting tables was like selling your soul to the Devil. As Ray so aptly stated, “It’s like being banged in the ass without getting kissed on the mouth.”

So maybe we all sold our souls to the Devil, and maybe we all want to ring the necks of a handful of customers on any given day, but at least we are all in it together. And if we are all going to get “banged in the ass” without getting a goodnight kiss, then we have at least earned the right to bitch about it.

Tip of the Day: If you’ve sold you’re soul to the Devil to make a living, I suggest the following…
1. Pick up a healthy drug or alcohol addiction.

2. Get a dog. No matter what you do, man’s best friend’s mission in life is to make it better.

3. Find a creative way to vent about how much you hate your job or find time to commiserate with your equally aggravated friends and coworkers.

Take that Devil.

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