Sunday, February 2, 2014
All the Nuts aren’t with The Pancake’s Part 7
The weekend finally comes and tonight I get my own tables at Denny’s to wait on. No more following or trailing another server, my training is complete.
As I pull into the parking lot, I can see that the place is packed. Packed with drunks. Packed to the brim with drunks. I can see people jumping around through the giant windows that face the parking lot. It literally looks like an out of control party is going on.
My shift starts at 11pm but I always like to arrive one half hour before I am supposed to start work. That way I can ease into the night, start with a cup of coffee and a cigarette. I park, turn off the ignition and spend a few extra moments in my car, taking deep breaths. I can already see what kind of night I am in for. I can’t sit here all night. If I’m going to go in, it’s now or never.
As I walk up the cement path to the store, drunks stumble by me on the way to their cars. It’s the 80s, so drinking and driving is pretty much acceptable and often talked about as a rite of passage.
As I open the front door one girl stumbles by me before falling headfirst in the bushes, literally five steps from the front of the restaurant. Her friend falls in after her as she tries to help. The two of them lay on the ground laughing and trying to get up. I walk past without offering to help either of them and push open the door. Denny’s is standing room only. I have to excuse myself and push through people so I can get into the place.
The staff from the 4-11pm shift is so happy to see me they ask me if I can get on the floor right away. That way they can leave the floor let me finish up their tables and turn the tips over to them. So I get to finish up their drunk and abusive patrons before I get to have my own.
One of the waitresses, Michelle grabs my elbow on my way past her as I head into the kitchen. She leans into my ear and loudly whispers, “Table 12 is full of assholes! Can you please finish it up for me?” I look her in the eyes and she repeats “Please?” Her eyes plead for help. I get it she is done. I nod my head to acknowledge what she is asking of me. She doesn’t even let me get into the kitchen before she hands all of her checks over to me.
The employee break room is literally one step inside the kitchen door. There is a table attached to the wall piled high with empty glasses, newspapers and ashtrays overflowing with half smoked cigarettes.
I take a deep breath.
To be continued…
Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writing "A Day in the Life/Down the Rabbit Hole". It cannot be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.