I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago called “Dear Ashely” that told a dining out experience I had of two ladies being utterly rude to their waitress. This got me thinking back to the day I realized I was just about done with waitressing and the food industry that I almost made up the term, “I can’t even.” I could not tell you the time of year with confidence, but I’d say it was probably the summertime in 2011. I had been with my restaurant for a year and a half. Sadly.
I was hosting that night, and it was a busy, chaotic evening. My feet hurt, my head hurt, and I’m sure I had been yelled at by many people throughout the course of the day. It was pushing 8pm when a man came rushing in. He was out of breath and nearly pale from fright.
“Your roof is on fire!” he yells at me. His eyes are wide as he points to the ceiling. Now, the normal reaction would be something like, “What?! Oh my God! I have to call 9-1-1 and get these people out of here!”
But my reaction looked more like this:
It’s not that I didn’t hear him, nor believe him. I think my initial reaction showed how much I.Did.Not.Care. So I calmly said, “Come again?”
“Your roof! It’s on fire!” He’s gasping at this point.
I’m not proud of the fact that I was a little jazzed about this. A little thrown off by the course of the evening I said, “Okay. Just give me a second.”
“No! You need to call the police!”
“….yeah. Hold on.”
I slowly pranced my way to the back in the kitchen to find my manager by the food window, sweating and organizing the plates of food. He looked at me all frustrated like, “Dude, what the fuck do you want?” It wasn’t so violent, but that’s how I was spoken to on a daily basis, hence why I clearly did not care that the building was burning down in this moment. It’s not like I could smell anything.
“Hey, yeah Mike. The roof is on fire. We should probably evacuate.”
He’s all confused but I could see a twinkle in his eye. He drops what he’s doing, shuffles outside, sees the tiny little fire on the roof that looks like it’s about to make its way to the tree next to us and probably combust into flames before one of the waiters takes it upon himself to announce to everyone to get the hell out. Everyone evacuates without having to pay as I stood on the grass wishing I had popcorn as I watched the firefighters pull up to the restaurant and put out the flames. Me, being the hostess for the night and at the bottom of the totem pole said, “So, you don’t need me right? I can leave?” They said yes and I merrily went on my way.
I never found out what caused the fire because that’s how much I cared. It’s probably concerning to most of you, but that may be because you haven’t worked in the food industry. I’d say this is fairly normal, considering the circumstances.
You could say I was in shock or something. If you are ever in a room with me and suddenly the curtains flame up, I will not just stand there and giggle without any regard to your well-being. I would care like any normal person. However, this place had the audacity to call me every name in the book. If I was in the way, if I didn’t know how to do something, or God forbid I asked how another waitress’ day was, I was considered useless to the corporation. On my last day, nobody even knew it was my last day. They paid no notice or even a bitter good-bye after putting in my two and a half years. The last restaurant I worked in threw me a party for my last day.
You guys have 8 days to send me your holiday stories for the first You’re Fine Holiday Contest! Send them via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 24th for a chance to be a guest blog on Christmas Day and have a personalized New Years present sent to you directly from me!