This I Believe

Meaghan - Goshen, Indiana
Entered on February 16, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: work

“This I Believe”

I believe in the satisfaction of hard work, a job well done, it is my motivator. The end of the night is my goal.

I tie my apron and say, “let’s go.” First table. Second table. Drinks, Order. Don’t forget to smile, be pleasant. Third table, faster. Get on top of things. Greet, Drinks. Go back to 304 and get order. Be a nice, smart, pleasant girl. Get salads and don’t forget the mustard. Order at 306. Food is out at first table, check on it. Smile, joke, and don’t look rushed. New table. Refill all drinks on all tables before starting the new ones. “More Pepsi?” “More Sierra Mist?” “Can I get you some more to drink before your meal comes?” Act. Greet new table. Pretty couple, must be date night. They need alcohol, need to get someone. Yikes! I see a hand, should not see a hand up waving for the rest of the night. “Need the check? Did you want any dessert?” Check on 304, 306. Sweat is starting to form on my forehead and on my neck. It’s only 6 o’clock…

I have been working as a waitress at the same family-owned BBQ restaurant for roughly four years. In this job, hard work presents itself on two fronts- being able to be on top of the crowd coming in and being able to play the game. Being able to be on top of the crowd depends on how fast you can get the routine down. “The routine” is drinks, orders, making sure food is good, dessert, and checks. The routine itself doesn’t take long to master; however, fitting it in with 5 other tables does. Figuring out what can wait the extra seconds and what needs to be done now. The other front is the game. Customers are not as familiar with the game. To my knowledge, “the game” is different from any other type of work. Being a waitress is a mild form of prostitution. It requires you to act differently at each table, the way your customers want you to act. Some want a talker, a young, sweet girl, or someone with attitude, or sometimes someone who only brings the food. A waitress sells herself to get money in the end. While it can be genuine, the game and the customers, those who hold the money, are reigning. The more money I am counting at the end of the night, the better I played the game, the harder I worked. Even though money is the ultimate objective in my job, my satisfaction in hard work goes beyond the dollar amount.

10 o’clock rolls around and my feet hurt. No one has been unhappy. So far I have been getting 15% or more. This is a good night. Waited on 55 people so far, maintained 6 tables at a time. Wow, I am tired. Clean-up to go, and the final count. I sit and start counting. 1, 2,3,4,5… I put my money in piles; have lots of 20’s tonight, fewer credit cards though. I owe a lot. Collect my change. Ok, I made…20, 40, 60, 80, 90, 95, 96, 97 and 25 cents. Good. I worked hard tonight. I played the game. I reached my goal.