I was introduced to some of the coolest people I’ve ever met wearing a little boy’s black button up dress shirt and a striped gold and black tie. Embarassing, right? Well, not when everyone’s wearing the same thing as you.
A large part of my four years as a college student was the summers I spent working at my restaurant in Bayside. It was absolutely a rewarding experience; it was a great way to make money, but more than that, it was the way I met so many of my favorite people. I don’t know if it’s like this at every food service establishment, but at my restaurant, the behind-the-kitchen-door culture had more of a family feel than anywhere else I’ve ever worked. Like, to the point that I still refer to my manager as my second mom.
You realize a lot of things while working as a waitress.
1. People are cheap.
2. People are rude.
3. People are dumb.
4. People have really weird taste.
5. People eat like SHIT. No wonder this country has an obesity problem.
6. Some creepy old men will hit on you even if you’re wearing a tie.
7a. You have to ignore and embrace #6 if you stil want a good tip, otherwise, see realizations #1 and #2.
7b. Flirting with these men also helps.
8. People out to eat spend half their dinner on their phones. (See #2)
9. There are always as least two people dating each other on the waitstaff. And when I say dating….
10. The chance your waiter for Sunday brunch is still drunk is very, very high.
Maybe it’s the countless hours on our feet, or the stress of dealing with cheap, rude, dumb, strange customers, but no one knows what it’s like to need a beer after work like a restaurant employee. Specifically, those I work with. The minute you’re able to wrestle that tie from around your neck and rip the apron from your waist, you’re already halfway to the bar. Lucky for us, our restaurant is located on a strip in Bayside, Queens with a handful of other bars/pubs/restaurants for us to spend our hard-earned cash.
It’s amazing how fast your friendly, neighborhood waitstaff can turn from this…
When you’re not free until 11:30 p.m. and your “weekends” are Tuesday and Wednesday nights, you’re on a different schedule than the rest of the world. It means if someone asks, “You partyin’ tonight?” you’re probably answering, “Absolutely.” It means you and your crew are the only people in the bar on Monday night at 2:00 in the morning, and you’re all wearing the same pair of black slacks. It means you know which bar is having Ladies’ Night every night of the week. It means you’re doing shots of Jameson with the rest of the staff because, why not? You don’t have to be back at work until 10:30 tomorrow morning! It means there’s no way you can drive your car home, so it’s gonna stay in the same place you parked it until after your next shift. It means tomorrow someone is asking you, “Dude, can you watch my tables? I need to throw up.”
Inevitably, it means everyone on staff is super close. Between crazy nights out and messing around while on the clock, these people become some of your best friends. Plus, you kind of have to like each other. Because everyone knows too much about you. And has plenty of blackmail pictures of you, dancing or sleeping on a bar somewhere. :p
So shout-out to my awesome friends, or family, that the word “summer” always reminds me of, and that I can always count on for an amazing time.
See realization #7b.
If there’s one thing I want people to learn from this post, it’s this:
Tip your waitstaff! Beers don’t buy themselves.