On Campus
May 15, 2008, 06:01AM

Mr. Wrong

An address to the class of 2008, who have so much to offer the food services industry.

Waiter.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Photo by louderthanadam

At this time of year I like to remind, inform, and sometimes surprise the entire Planet that I am a College Graduate. That's right, man, Junior College and the grown-up Four-year College, and I got one of those “AA” degrees (insert your reflex Alcoholics Anon. makee-jokee right here, no offense to actual Anonymous Alcoholics). Plus, I also have the “Baccalaureate Degree,” I think it's called a “B.A” with some sorta Latin Cum Laude (insert your “I graduated “Thank You Lawdy’” college humor-joke there), and no, I can't even really remember how many years it took, but it was almost as many as two-hands worth of fingers, however, nevertheless, and meanwhile, as a member of the multitude of College Graduates I am here to renew my offer of availability for speaking engagements at your next Holy Communion, Birthday Party, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, business Motivational Training Seminar opportunity, and most certainly any and all Graduation Ceremonies occurring at any level of Graduation-ness at any School, Employment Training Academy, Rehabilitation Center, Correctional Facility, or College of the so-called Higher Learning.

It is the season for the College Graduate, so as soon as I get a chance to figure out how to get robot-voice on my computer to read my shit without spelling out the naughties and the sound effects, I'll have this bad boy on download for your ass, but right now you gotta read it and pretend I am speaking to you from behind a microphone. I am wearing a robe from the hotel because I couldn't find my College-type gown, but I am sporting the classic “mortarboard” on my head on account of I scooped one up off a table on my way up to the podium. Whoever owns this can pick it up when they come up for that empty book that's supposed to have your “sheepskin”4 in it, OK? You got some library fines and parking tickets to settle up before you can say you have an Education, dig?

That was the joke you're supposed to open with when you rock the Public Speaking Engagement, and now I would like to greet the Members of the Faculty, Distinguished Guests (like me), Alumni, Alumnettes, Alumnuses, and most importantly, the Suckers who footed the bill for the past several years. Good day to you all, and now potential Graduates, I address you for the most part as the next face I will see when I go out to dinner. You will probably be serving me food.

And not just me, Graduates of this fine institution, I am here to remind you that you will be serving America, and, speaking for America, the entire restaurant-going Nation, here’s what we’d like to order, and the food part is pretty much beside the point: make sure I've got a set of whatever kind of utensils I need to get food in my mouth here before you open yours. When you do open your mouth, I understand you might have a little script you gotta recite; that's cool, just do me a favor and save the eye-roll or the eye-sideways thing. Actually, don't ask me if I “want to hear the specials” either, just ask me if I would like to know what's good, you know? Talk to me like I’m a human being, a hungry one, who is interested in food, unless I’m an asshole.

I contend I am not a member of that particular Graduating Class, and I’m not up here talking to the Future Waiters of America on behalf of the Assholes. Fuck them. Deal with them as you see fit. I’m a Client, if you will. I’m at your mercy. You're the one with the food. Don't make me resent you by going on a power trip. I just want your complete attention because you will have mine. I will be aware of everything you do as you wait on me. I will be aware of whether or not you are Aware of me. Get it? Don't ask me how I’m doing when I got a forkful of gnocchi working, umkay? Keep your eye on me from a distance and show up when I give one of those cues that I want something. Restaurant diners are as predictable as Baby Birds. The head goes up and sometimes all the way back and the mouth cracks opens and we’re all like “Squaa! Squaaawwwk! More Food! More Drink! Where my check?” Tend me well and it all adds up at the end when I’m reflecting on my meal Experience. Look, you are a Waiter. It’s a good job!

You can bank Serious Cash as a Waiter while you're Waiting for whatever the fuck you went to college for to pay off if that's what you wanna do. Or you can look at being a Waiter as a really good way to Earn A Living. Make money! Open your own joint! If you're not interested in any of that, then give me a sign with a bored expression or when you throw the menu at me and run away and I’ll walk. I’m telling you man, a lot of people Around the World are Professional Waiters, for their entire Careers, and they do quite nicely. You are not better than this job, and if you think you are, you will positively fuckin’ Radiate that and it will totally fuck up your tip. That’s why I am telling you this. I’m not a high roller, but I want to lay anywhere from 17-25 percent on your ass for a nice ride on the breakfast-lunch-or-dinner train, and all you gotta do is be nice. Don’t hate, just Wait.

  • I read in some history book that it used to be a high school education was sufficient for service jobs like waiting tables. But $40K a year is totally worth the price if you can talk about interesting books with your good looking customers.

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  • Here's what you need to know to be a good waiter: when I say, "I think we're all set" that means bring me the bill, not go away and leave me sitting here for another thirty minutes so that I begin seriously contemplating skipping out on that whole payment thing.

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  • Bravo, Tejas. My girlfriend's a waitress, so I doubt she'd go along with the "skipping" out on payment, but I can't stand it when you're ignored, waiting for the tab.

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  • Man if you'd ever been a waiter, you'd know its a pretty difficult and stressful job, and there's alot more to it than just bringing the bill "when you're set." if they don't bring the bill just walk up and wait at the cash register, thats the quickest way to get it paid.

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