Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Lot of Doubles ©2013 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

     I like waiting tables OK, I just wish I had more say over when I do it. That's an at least somewhat true statement I guess, but it's also a joke I made up. I've said it at work a time or two over the years and it's always gotten a little chuckle from somebody. Feel free to use it yourself if you want. Nobody reads These American Servers™—especially after its just-ended little hiatus here—so you'll have scant reason to fear any accusations of plagarism.
     I go to work at the AM job about five days a week. I go to the night gig about five times a week too. So I wind up working a lot of doubles. At least, they're doubles to me. Unfortunately, work doesn't see it that way. If you spend two hours working a very slow lunch and get a nice long break before returning for the dinner shift, you're a double and your managers just have to get you out of there QUICK! But no matter what difficulties you may face every day, med school, a demanding other job, taking care of your kids, sleeping off the Budweiser® flu, whatever—if you didn't do it at that restaurant, you're not a double and they'll cheerfully keep your ass there until the woeful Chicago Cubs win something and really, there's nothing you can do about it.
     The other night, a co-worker named Kyle and I were assigned station one, an eight-table section up near the front of the restaurant. After volume slows, one of the servers for that area gets cut, while the other one stays until almost close. Kyle told me an amusing story about how he'd been 15 minutes late at that job that morning and been sent home. He suffered no other sanctions, not even a write-up.
      Then our tables filled up. That's when Kyle and I had to do some, you know, actual work for a minute. Then it slowed down. Kyle got cut. I didn't. Bummer, 'cause I was on the second part of a double (by my lights, anyway) and really wanted to go. I asked Kyle if he wanted to stay and let me be cut. He'd missed out on some money when he punted his lunch shift that morning and agreed to stay. Hell, he seemed to feel like I was doing a favor for him and I don't have a problem with him feeling like that. We asked a manager if it was OK and she reluctantly (WTF?) agreed. I did my sidework and got out of there at a decent hour, which was really cool, especially being as how I had another double the next day. On my way out the door I noticed that Kyle had a couple of decent-looking tables.