If I had a dollar for every time I thought, “I can’t take it anymore. I’m quitting tonight,” I wouldn’t have to be a waitress.
We’ve all had those nights: it’s a half hour past closing time, and your table asks for a dessert menu, or right at last call, the birthday-drunk customer asks for 15 flaming Dr. Pepper shots. You think of responding with a laugh (or maybe flipping the table over), but you don’t. You plaster a smile on your face, ask if they’d like whipped cream on it, and tell them to enjoy the rest of their evening.
…but what about the good nights?
All too often, us servers forget about the times we don’t care how bad our feet hurt because we’re counting the cash in our hands. Every now and again, we get lucky, and customers actually give us what we bust our asses to earn. For example:
About a year ago, this cute couple came in for dinner. She was a nurse, and he was a writer – I guess opposites DO attract. Sometime during my usual schmoozy-small talk, I mentioned that I was an English major and very much into creative writing. When I handed them their check, WriterGuy started telling me about this old typewriter they had: no idea how old it is, but totally beautiful. It was just collecting dust in their attic.
(Side note: I’m obsessed with old typewriters.)
I spent about five minutes drooling over the details they gave me and fangirling over how cool it must be. Then NiceNurse said, “You want it?”
They didn’t want it to go to some antiques road show. Said it should be with someone that will really cherish it. They didn’t know how much it was worth and didn’t care to.
A month later, they brought me the most beautiful machine I’ve ever seen: a 1936 Royal portable typewriter in almost mint condition, traveling case still totally intact.
Like I said — sometimes, it’s worth it.