6.4.16

A day in the life of a 4-foot something waitress.

This was going to be a Facebook status. But then I kept thinking of different scenarios and it was getting longer and longer, so I ditched the whole idea. Blog posts are much more interesting, anyway. :)

As you all know, I am a waitress. I work every night except Sundays, I'm short (4'9", to be exact,) and my sister works with me. That is my current situation in a nutshell.

Approaching tables full of complete strangers isn't for the faint of heart. I was an extrovert before being hired. Now I'm a dauntless I-could-totally-approach-the-President-and-take-his-drink-order-and-it-wouldn't-phase-me extrovert. Literally. Its the perfect job to get you out of your comfort zone and smiling when you don't feel like it. And trust me, I can think of countless days when I'm just not feeling it. Tough luck. As a "server," (and want tips,) you have to plaster on that smile and your bubbliest "hi, how are you folks doing? Great, great. I'm Michaela and I'll be taking care of you tonight. What can I get you started with to drink?" This of course is if the costumer lets you finish your opening lines. Half the time it goes something more like:

Me: "I'm Mich--"
Costumer: "Coke and a glass of water with lemon. No ice."

Well, ok then. I'm doing great too. Thanks for asking. 

Then there are the costumer stereotypes. I can spot them as soon as the walk into the dining hall. . .before they sit down. . .before I greet them armed with my silverware and salutations. First, you have the overwhelmed-mom-with-the-misbehaved-children. This usually results in rudeness. Not because she's meaning too, but her kids are on a serious sugar high and don't know how to SIT much less use their manners and say "please." Expect several trips back to the server line for new silverware (because most of it ends up on the floor,) and extra napkins. You'll rarely get eye contact in this situation. Slightly uncomfortable? Yes. The perfect way to exercise my boundless patience instead of giving a lecture on child training? I'll leave that up to you to decide. ;) 

Literally every.single.time I serve-which is nightly-I get comments (well meaning, I'm sure,) that I have learned to expect and tolerate. I'm mature enough to find them funny. Most of the time. They usually sound something like this:

Elderly couple, party of 2: "So Michelle-a, (because no one ever, ever, EVER can pronounce Mi-kay-la,) do you have a boyfriend?"
Me: "Nope, not right now."
Couple: "That's by choice, right?"
Me: "Not exactly. . ."
Couple: "Aw, what a shame. . .who wouldn't want a cute little (emphasis on little,) thing like you?"
Me: Well, my standards are pretty high, so that's probably part of it."
Couple: "We'll just have to bring our grandson Tommy in here next time."
Me: *giggles nervously* "Yeah, well, I have to go check on my other tables. You let me know if you need anything."
Couple: "Ok, Michelle-a. Oh, and hey, before you go. . .Tommy's huge, weighs 300 lbs and is 6'7". I'd love to get a picture of you standing next to him!"

This is when I beat a hasty retreat. And yes, this really has happened. More times than I'd like to count. I'd like to add that being short is not a disability. It doesn't make me young or naive. I might need a step stool and even occasional assistance to get the saltines down from the top self, but for the most part I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself. If anything, we shorties have to fight harder to get noticed, and have the attitude to match. ;)

Table of 4, all married adults in their 40's-50's: "Are you even old enough to be working?"
Me: "Oh, I'm actually a lot older than I look."
Table of 4: "No way, you can't be more than 15!"
Me: "Actually I'm 25."
Table of 4: (trying, or maybe not trying hard enough, to act like this is normal,): "Ok, wow. You obviously have fantastic genes. Just think, when your our age you'll really appreciate it. People will think your still in high school! Oh, and when you get a minute. . .can we get some extra dressing, (5 different flavors,)  another basket of bread, refills for everyone, more napkins, and extra gravy for the chicken? Thanks so much, sweetie." 

Its hilarious, right? Actually, it really is. I used to get so offended, in my teenage years. Now I use my height to my advantage. All a girl must do is appear totally helpless, (aka, vertically challanged,) and men will come running to her assistance. This works very well when things are too high or too heavy. :P

2 gentleman in their 60s, probably escaping their nagging wives for an evening: 
(gentleman #1) "Can I get some honey [for my biscuits] honey?" (sooo overused, so lame)
Me: "Sure. I'll be right back." *returns with honey*
(gentleman #1) "Thanks, honey. Can I marry you?" *attempts a flirty look*
(gentleman #2) "Oh sure John, she's like 16."
Me: "I'm 25." 
(gentleman #1) "See Bob, what did I tell you! What's your name, honey?"
Me: "Michaela"
(gentleman #2) "So Michaela, did you go to college?"
Me: "No."
*mortified expressions*
(gentleman #2--#1 is too busy consuming his biscuits and honey for chit-chat,) "Aren't you going to do anything else with your life besides working here?"
Me: "Well, I've worked in the film industry a little and am going to spend my summer on a ranch in Colorado."

Their tune changes a little when I talk about Colorado. Because you know, waitressing is such an unimportant and lowly and unprofessional job. Wouldn't want me to totally lose at life. :P Sorry, I know this post is oozing sarcasm, but if you've ever worked in a restaurant, I know your laughing at least a little. ;) Oh, and a word on name pronunciation. Michaela is not an unusual name. Spelling it Michael-with-an-A, maybe a little. No, it is not Hawaiian. Nor does it sound Hawaiian. It is actually a Hebrew name (feminine form of Michael, "Who is like God? or Who is like the Lord?") uses by several ethnicities. Mine just so happens to be Italian. There, I'm glad we got that straightened out.

Like I already mentioned, my sister works with me. We didn't plan it that way. . .it just happened. Now, we are both short, both look young, but in actuality, I honestly don't think we look much alike. Nearly all my co-workers and definitely every single costumer says we are identical and frequently confuse us. I've learned to respond to "Anna" almost as often as "Michelle-a."

Newlyweds in their 30's, holding hands across the table; "Yeah, so we saw this other girl running around here and we totally thought she was you! We even called her over and were like, "wait, are you our waitress?" 
*how unobservant can you possibly be*
Me: "Oh yeah, that happens a lot. She's my sister, actually."
Newlyweds: "No way, are you serious? We were JUST debating that. Are you guys twins?"
Me: "I'm 2 years older."
Newlyweds: "No way! You look so much alike. Totally guessed twins."

Yeah no.

These are all real-life scenarios. . .and all sarcasm aside, I really do like my job. It has its highs and lows, just like anything else. It may not be the most glamorous occupation, but there is no shame in it, despite the opinions of a few costumers. I'm also quite proud that I'd stood up against college. It's great for some people. . .just personally not for me. Working with my sister on the other hand. . .is a great conversation starter. And then when they find out there are 3 more sisters and we ALL still live at home! Let's just say, I've learned much about human nature. Most people are well meaning, all very curious. Just keep in mind, next time you meet a vertically challenged individual, never, ever  tell them they'll appreciate it in their 50's, comment that "I bet you get carded wherever you go!" or say something ridiculous like, "wait no, she's too short to do that." Fun sized, remember? Not incapable. :) 

Above all, I hope this little ramble gave you a good laugh. If your a waitress, (forgive me, server,) you should probably comment. . .for, you know. . .therapy.  And if your just a wandering soul stuck reading the senselessness of this blog post, remember this little piece of advice: when you go out to eat, be nice to your server. Yes its our job to look and act and serve your food perfectly (and instantaneously,) but even servers are human. Shocking revelation, isn't it? My humanness is why I spilled an entire plate of food on the floor the other night. Guess how my costumer reacted? Bless his heart. He felt so sorry for me (and was just a warm, kind hearted individual,) he continually stuffed my pocket with cash. . .just to make me feel better. He gave me everything in his wallet. :) It's the little blessings, right? 

Oh yeah, and one more word of advice. Tip well. Preferably (ok, always,) in cash. It's how we make our living.*~

12 comments:

  1. Aw, it sounds like you get so much experience from that job! It sounds fun. :-) People actually say those things to you?!! (Creepy as well as humorous.)

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    1. Lol, yes, they really do! Nearly every night. ;) Glad you enjoyed this post!!

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    2. By the way - I don't know if anyone ever told you - but I think you look a bit like Lizzie from the Youtube Series, 'The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.' Every time I watch it, her face reminds me of yours a little. :-)

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    3. Huh, really? I don't think I've heard that one. And actually. . .I'm honestly not sure what she looks like. :P I'll have to look her up! :)

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  2. I have never been a waitress, but it sounds like you have some interesting stories! I work as a nurse and am almost 23 but I still get comments about being younger and I'm tall!

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    1. Lol, oh, I'm sure you've heard it all as a nurse! :P I think we should write a book about our experiences and become rich and famous. ;)

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  3. Haha. This was amusing. :-) Sounds like your job is mostly fun, though, despite its awkwardities! (Yes, that is a word now. My sister and I just made it up a few days ago.) I can identify on the older-people-wanting-you-to-meet-their-'grandsons' -- people have said that to me many times. It's pretty weird.

    Good luck! :-)

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  4. Never been a waitress, but working in retail I've had some similar experiences! Especially to the looking much younger than I actually am and being a shortie. Being in the customer service industry has been really uncomfortable at times, but I'm a much better person because of it. Hooray for being pushed out of our comfort zones and surviving! lol! :D

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  5. This post made me laugh! Which I love to do. :) Plus, I love relateable stories and this definitely was! I am 25 and my (older) sister and I both work as servers at a full-service wedding venue! And we are unusually young-looking as well. Nikola is 28 and looks 14 (according to all-too-popular opinion) and I look...18? It helps that I'm 5'5. :) But everyone treats us like babies. ;P We don't have all the stories and experiences you have because a wedding venue is for certain a more joyful, celebratory atmosphere than a restaurant and there aren't as many surprises with a scheduled evening. BUT....weddings involve [open] bars which can get really interesting. ;P Once an old man threw his plate at the kitchen door and no, he wasn't Greek.
    One thing is the guests often view us as a restaurant, with choices and salad dressings and such when in reality we DON'T have a huge variety in the kitchen! I'll have to think of any interesting stories and write them down for posterity. ;)
    -Marjolaine B (and if Michaela is hard for some people to understand...try imagining owning a name like mine! ;))

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  6. Haha this is so funny Michaela. I was shorter when I was younger. I didn't really consider it advantageous. I didn't really like it.
    And me and my sister are 2 years apart, and look relatively alike and people get us mixed up all the time, and other people ask if we are twins. Melody (my sister) suggests that we don't really look that alike. I guess kinda like you and your sister. But the truth is we do look (perhaps used to even more) pretty similar. Some of those situations must be pretty weird. Definitely learning time to be humble, patient, stronger, etc.

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  7. random, I am name - obsessed :) Michael, and then the uh sound right? Hope

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