Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Jess in Germany: Guest Post #4

Hello, Friends of Jess. Pessimistic Redhead here. I was beyond flattered when Jess asked me to guest post for her. Not only is this the first time I have performed this duty, but also, it’s for Jess! One of my favorite bloggers and a talented writer. She has a certain way with words that never fails to evoke some sort of emotion in me. This added a level of pressure to this guest posting gig: What the hell was I going to talk about?

I could give you a peek into my relationship. I could complain about my job. Or, I could write about my Super Nephew and his struggle with his autism diagnosis. But, HELLO. Downer City. And yes, I may be Pessimistic but I pride myself with the ability to make people smirk every once in awhile (sometimes even on purpose). I also wanted to give you a stand-alone story. As in, I didn’t want to have to give any back story. My guest post needed to be like an episode of Law & Order—even if you’re never watched it before, you can tune in to one episode and know enough to understand what’s going on.

So, here’s what I came up with. I hope you like it. And, if not, stop by my blog and leave a snarktastic comment. I love visitors.

I was a waitress for five years of my life. Dealing with the general public when there is alcohol involved is bound to provide you with a few ohmysweetjesus moments. There was the time I found a wig that a customer had left behind. The time a barefooted David Casssidy came into the place I waited tables, lit a cigar, and was dumbfounded to find out you couldn’t smoke—or go barefoot—in a restaurant. The time my best friend and roommate wrote, “I’m a whore!” on one of my guest slips, only to have me ask a busgirl to give the receipt to a customer without looking at it. But my favorite waitressing story? It’s gotta be this one.

It was a weekend summer night at the seafood restaurant where I worked, and I was in the weeds. Table 104 needed another glass of chardonnay and another tartar sauce. The little girls at table 62 needed 2 more kid sized Shirley Temples and some napkins. Poor table 76 had been seated for more than 10 minutes and I had only dropped off rolls and waters. Table 61 was ready to order and could I place put the kids’ meals in right away? And table 63? Well, table 63 needed to have their credit card swiped so they could pay and leave.

I rang some food into the computer, ran into the kitchen and picked up the wine, some drinks, napkins, rolls, and food that had come up for one of my tables. I gave the 1 finger sign to 63 as I ran by them, signaling I would be right over to pick up their credit card. When I was on my way to table 63, 76 flagged me down and I was forced to take the dinner orders of all 6 people who were sitting there. Of course, each one of them needed the salad dressings repeated, there was a food allergy at the table (note to people with allergies: eat at home), and one of them ordered the salmon filet roasted on a cedar plank—a dish that takes 45 minutes to cook. Knowing that the kitchen was already backed up, I ducked over to the computer to ring in their order. Then, I had to run past table 63 into the kitchen to call in the food allergy to the chef, so he could roll his eyes and yell at me for taking special orders on a weekend. You’re right, Chef. Let’s just give this woman pine nuts. She probably carries an Epi pen. Anaphylactic shock? Schmanaphylactic shock. We’re weeded, people.

Finally, I made my way over to 63.

“I am so, so sorry folks!” I said as I swooped down to get the credit card and ran over to the computer machine.

“Table 63 fucking hates me,” I muttered to my friend stacking dishes into a bus bucket as I swiped the credit card and fished a pen out of my apron pocket. “I’ll be lucky to get 15%.”

I rip the check off the printer and drop the check tray off at table 63.

“Sorry for the delay, folks. Thanks, and have a good night.”

I sprint into the kitchen to get salads for table 76. On my way out, I notice table 63 is still sitting there. Odd. They seemed in a hurry to get out of here.

As I’m walking by them, above the din of the crowded dinning room, I hear the phrase every waitress dreads.

“Excuse me, miss?"

Shit, I think to myself. On top of everything else, there is something wrong with the bill.

Balancing a tray with 6 salads, I turn around to face the man sitting at table 63.

“I think your pen is out of ink.”

I look at the man’s right hand where he is waving what is supposed to be the pen I gave him to sign his credit card slip with. But that’s not a pen.

Instead of a pen, he is holding a Super Absorbency OB Tampon.

Oh shit.

Oh fuck.


In my haste to slap down a pen with the charge slip, I pulled a tampon out of my apron pocket.

Which I then put on a customer’s table.

“I—I’m so, so sorry,” I stammer, mortified. My pale freckly skin is now the color of my hair.
My words fall on deaf ears. The man and his wife, along with the other couple at the table, are laughing so hard they can’t even hear me. I pluck the tampon out of his hand, throw a pen on the table, and run into the waitress station.

By this point, all of the waitresses and busgirls have heard the laughter and are looking over at table 63. They saw the tampon incident, and they are equally amused.

By the end of the night, my bosses have heard, a few regulars have heard, and even the non-English speaking guys in the back manage to grasp the story. Everyone is enjoying the story of me giving a man a tampon in lieu of a Bic. I worked there for 2 more years.

And still haven’t heard end of it.


  1. That? was an amazing story. Holy shit :)

  2. The story was hilarious, but as an OB user, I have to ask - Are you sure you've got the brand right? OB are so stubby, and even in a hectic moment would be hard to mistake one for a pen. But one of those rubber applicator ones? Sure. :)

  3. Haha! That was the funniest story I've heard in a long time. Thanks for sharing it with us! :)

  4. Awesome. At least you gave the table something to laugh about instead of being annoyed at their wait for the check!

  5. Oh man that is a very hilarious story! Sorry you had to go through that though! But very funny. :)

  6. At least you got great blog fodder out of it later. That is the most mortifying, hilarious story I have heard in quite some time.

    I hope they gave you a really good tip after all of that!

  7. That is hilarious!!!! I would have left you a *huge* tip for making me laugh that hard.

  8. Oh no. That is hilarious but mortifying.

  9. But you left out the most important part.... how was the tip??

    Ahhh, waitressing... how I do NOT miss thee...

  10. That was CLASSIC!!! Loved it! They better have left you a damn good tip!

  11. I don't remember exactly how much they tipped--but I know it was more than I deserved!

  12. I'm in class, and my prof wanted to know what I was snickering about. Consider your story completely snicker-worthy. But seriously... this is the funniest thing I've read all day.

    aaaannnd... heading on over to your site right now :)

  13. I once had a customer ask for a LARGE water, and she emphasized LARGE to me at least five times, reminding me again as I left to get the order. And as I was giving it to her, I spilled the whole thing on her. She was wearing white. The end. (P.S. I didn't do it on purpose.)

  14. SO funny! I wait tables part time myself and you get some of the best stories from it. Thanks for sharing.

  15. hilarious...i worked in a family-owned diner through my high school/college years and have experienced many situations with customers, none quite as dramatic as this one lol

  16. Wow! That is awesome! I don't think that I've ever heard a better story! And yeh, did they tip you?

  17. Har! That's brilliant! How'd you do on the tip??

  18. You plus and absent Jess equal early morning blog surfing heaven. This was sheer brilliance.

    Thanks for enhancing my morning cup of joe.

  19. This was approximately the funniest thing I've ever heard.
    I so hate that feeling of dread when you realize you've done something so ridiculous.