Saturday, January 9, 2010

I'm sorry- for everything.

Waitresses are always apologizing. They say 'I'm sorry' when they are in a co-worker's way, a guest's way, or trying to pacify an angry customer, even if it's not their fault. See, waitresses get the blame for everything- if the wait time is too long, if the food is prepared incorrectly, or if the bussers didn't wipe the table good enough. Therefore, we have adopted this personality outside of the workplace too.

I wish I could let my happiness facade fall as soon as I step out the workplace doors, but really I can't. I've found that not many people hold the door open for me when I'm leaving. What's that about? Still in uniform- I'm not a human? I don't deserve the same level of respect? Well, at least I know you're ten percenters. You'll tip just enough so that YOU don't feel bad. After all, you're more important than anyone else, right?

When I walk to my car, I'm still in work attire and I view that as still representing my restaurant, so, I'm just as polite as I would be inside- letting other cars go before me, not talking on my phone until I'm in my car, smiling at people...

Even when I'm not in uniform, I find myself stopping to let other people go before me. For instance, in the grocery store, if I'm moving down an aisle and there is someone trying to go too, I'll let them go. What really gets me is that I'm a naturally aggressive person, so I'll sulk in the fact that I should just go ahead and be the bitch. Another example is traffic. I'll let someone pull out in front of me and then get pissed off when they move so SLOW! It's like, 'I let you go, have some common curtesy and go fast enough so we both can make the light!' but they don't, and I'm stuck there for another turn of the light. A punishment for my good nature.

However, in the midst of all this conceited, self-righteous inconsideration that I'm surrounded by, I occasionally get thrown a scrap or two. I'll get the guest who insists that I go first since I'm carrying trays (they'll leave 20-25%), or people who say 'no rush, take your time, I know you're busy' (15-30%), or when someone leaves me a big tip and I go back to thank them, they say 'your service was worth it' or even better 'you were worth it'. Those little rays of sunlight will glow even more brightly in contast to this dark serving world and I'll swallow my anger for one more day.


  1. I'm luck in that once I take off my name tag and apron, I'm just dressed in black with no identifying marks. You can tell how good or bad a night I had by how I respond to people right after work. If I go to Wal-Mart and I'm charging past people without making eye contact or letting them go first, I spent my evening waiting on assholes. If I stop to let people go by me, it was a good night.

    The exception is employees. I always let employees are other places go first.

  2. Great post!
    Once my shift is over, I can pretty easily shift my attitude around to my 'normal', don't-fuck-with-me style. Although, I do find myself constantly apologizing for things at my house, particularly if I'm making dinner and things aren't going exactly as they should.

  3. I didn't really notice myself apologising and just in general being waitress-y until I sat down and looked at myself.

    I hate to admit that I do do it too. Kind of sad really. It could be something slight like bumping into people and so on.

    Gosh its bad...

    And I agree the nice things that customers do make it easier to tolerate those stupid ones that should not have the privilege to have good hospitality.

  4. You have manners and that goes a long way.