Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Minimum Wage Memoirs

I just got off of a grueling nine and a half hour shift, waiting tables at America's Favorite Family Restaraunt. My feet are blistered, my knees are swollen. My pockets are only slightly bulging with unmarked and crumpled currency, the vast majority of them with our first President's portrait emblazoned on the front. I have traces of all the major condiments smeared into the fabric of my pants, shirt, and apron (yes, I wear an apron). I smell like Chicken Fried Steak, mustard, and hashbrown casorole. My back is sore from sweeping under oversized tables with undersized brooms. My name is Ched. I wait tables, and I make very large payments with 1 Dollar Bills.


Three hours and forty-one minutes of my life: Please forgive the vascilation between the 1st and 3rd person, and egregious spelling errors in this verbose account.

8:00--Ched arrives for work, chipper, enthusiastic and ready to provide service with a smile.

8:54--Ched has yet to get a table, but still somewhat chipper.

9:36--Ched, after an hour and thirty-six minutes of dreary nothingness gets quadruple sat, everybody wants coffee, hot tea, or hot chocalate, with glasses of water, extra lemon, extra cream, apple butter, sourgum molassas, and straws ...

10:24--Ched's chipper level waning.

10:55--Ched encounters crazy Ketchup lady. As I walked by someone else's section while busily scurring to wait on my guests, the lady sitting at this table grabs the hem of my apron and as I turn to look at her extends her neck up at me and with her eyes as wide open as they will go mutters something about needing ketchup and napkins. Secretly and seriously perturbed, I acquiesce to her request and bring her napkins and a new bottle of ketchup. 10 minutes later I find out that she has spilled ketchup on herself and now is trying to convince me that their is a whole in the ketchup bottle. Her story is that she squeezed and ketchup comes squirting out of a small hole, obviously maliciously placed their by the waitstaff. After multiple tests, there appears to be only one hole in the ketchup bottle, the one with a cap on it. However, crazy ketchup lady is bent on retribution. She demands that her meal be paid for. After the manager agrees to this, she begins to complain that it's going to cost her $2.99 to buy the soap to clean the ketchup smudge from her shirt, and at least a couple dollars for a sponge. Finally giving up, she gathers her belongings and huffs out the door with a free country dinner settling in her stomach. I hang my head in disbelief, and try to obliterate the negative effects that crazy ketchup lady has done to my chipper factor.

11:25--Ched encounters Crazy Meatloaf man. At this point, I am working in the throes of our lunch rush. Every table in the restaraunt is full, the cooks are cussing the servers, the servers are slandering their guests, the managers are wringing their hands and making violent guesticulations: All is normal. I see that I am sat, and I walk up to the table to take their drink order. There is an older man and a young boy.

Ched: Hello, how are ya'll doing today.

Man in a gruff jumbled tone: Coffee, water, and extra cream. And we're ready to order. We're in a hurry. So make this quick.

I attempt to recover from my injured sense of self worth. I take the boy's order and then the man's. He mumbles something, that sounds like beans and greens. I ask him, in a clearly enunciated way, "Sir, did you say you wanted the BEANS and GREENS?" I wanted to make certain. He looks up, visible agitated and curtly tells me that, yes, this was what he said. Hadn't I heard him the first time. It's ok, I tell myself. Just walk away.

11:36--I bring out their order, and set down all the plates. After I set down the double-verified order of Beans and Greens, the man looks bewildered and huskily demands, "Where is my Meatloaf?!?" I ordered meatloaf. No sir, you didn't. You ordered Beans and Greens. NO. I want the Meatloaf special, the lunch special, don't you know it's up on the board. Actually, sir, the meatloaf lunch special is on tuesday, its Wednesday. Our special today is Chicken Pot Pie. No, no, the meatloaf that's on that there menu I had. Ched realizes that this gentleman is Crazy Meatloaf man. At this point he is rising out of his seat pointing his finger dangerously close to making contact with the third star on my apron (yes, I wear an apron). Sir, would you like me to get you some meatloaf? Um, yea, that's what I ordered the first time.

11:38--Ched walks back to the Kitchen to submit a request for meatloaf to the cussing cooks. Hangs head in shame.

11:39--Ched realizes he is no longer chipper.

11:41--Crazy Mealoaf man asks for Ketchup and Napkins... (Ched remembers what happened the last time he gave ketchup and napkins to an irate customer [crazy ketchup lady] and begins silently weeping inside)



To Be Continued...perhaps


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