Payback Is A Bitch
Boob Tube Brittney

Things I Miss About Waiting Tables

  • Free drinks. Man, I never bought anything to drink (excluding alcohol, of course). As a server and bartender I always had access to all kinds of beverages, and helped myself to them liberally. I'd snag Perriers behind the bar, or come in for free coffee fifteen minutes early in the morning. When I felt sick to my stomach I could choose from an assortment of herbal teas accompanied by fresh cut lemon to soothe my nausea. All without paying a penny.
  • Good food all the time. It's a good thing waiting tables requires an extended workout, because I was always surrounded by scrumptious food I eagerly partook in. Sure, much of the time I was starving and surrounded by beautiful dishes with no chance of eating for four more hours. But after work each night I'd end the shift with smoked salmon and goat cheese mousse or baked brie with crositini. After my lunch shift I'd splurge on hummus and feta salads or crispy fried green tomatoes--not exactly things I whip up regularly at home. These are foods a girl could get used to, and did. Now I have to pay full price plus tip for all that gourmet goodness, so I madly miss the daily meals out.
  • Weekdays off. I never fully realized how glorious it was to go to the gym at 1 p.m. on a Tuesday when everyone was working. I always took for granted grocery trips in the middle of the day on a Monday, with their wide open aisles and short register waits.
  • The server "tax break."
  • Never having to decide what to wear to work. Strapping on an apron over all black for ten years left my wardrobe somewhat lacking. And tattered.
  • Wine tastings.
  • People who work in restaurants are often very funny. At least to me, anyway. I miss the laughing.
  • Late night television.
  • Drinking on Monday and Wednesday and Friday and Saturday. Then directly after Sunday brunch.
  • The constant cursing.
  • The customers. I got so used to interacting with a revolving assortment of freaks and fools that I took it for granted. In fact, I didn't so much like the majority of them. That isn't to say I would like them today, but I miss the fodder. I miss getting a glimpse of human nature for an hour or so--witnessing their joy over a new engagement or watching them struggle to choose a wine to impress a new date. I saw many tears and many missed chances. I miss peeking in on people at their most primal--eating--and investigating what I saw that day later in my writing. I think I miss that most of all.


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I was a dishwasher at a supermarket cafe. Different atmosphere than you were used to, obviously, but with that similarity of hustle and bustle. I always liked that.

I always look at servers and think how physically taxing that must be in most cases, and if I were able-bodied, I'm not sure I could hack that.

But again, the constant buzz in a restaurant is kind of neat. That, plus as much as customers have irritated me, I kind of enjoy the challenge of making things work for them.

see server.

Ah, memories. I miss... working with crazy bastards like George and Alton. And learning Spanish from Pedro and Gerardo.

Did you know that Darius works at Dell with me? I still dress like it's 1996, but he's all clean-cut and GQ-looking now. Hair gel, even.

P.S. Thanks for letting me in on the secret.


I miss when people are really polite to you. Just when someone takes a moment to genuinely acknowledge the service you gave them. Although it didn't happen nearly enough

I miss the camaraderie that only exists between servers...and all the drama.

I also miss being able to flirt with everybody from customers to kitchen staff without fear of dismissal or expectations. That's how you get tips and your food on time.

Everything you said - totally on point.

guess you didnt work in like a tgi Fridays...everyone i know who worked there hated it!

Right on, Brittney...although it's been 20 years since I was a waiter, I recall those days fondly, for many of the same reasons. So many people...some losers, but many of them interesting, funny, or otherwise worthwhile.

Good time.

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