During my third campus year, my parents decided it was the time I learn life the hard way. They chopped 80% off my allowance, in a bid to push me to get a job. Well, their move worked, after I had sold almost everything on eBay. I became so broke I even thought of donating my organs. It didn’t help that I needed a tooth implant at the time, and my parents expected me to help pay the copay on that. At that point, I blasted several companies and restaurants with my one and a half page resume. Luckily one employer overlooked my lack of experience and credible referees. And just like that, I was a waitress.
My first day as a server was on valentines. How unlucky, I think I missed cupids arrows that year since I was busy working. Apart from being single, it was the worst day I’ve ever had. That morning, I put on my skimpy black and white uniform and pinned my name tag to it. The tag read “J. Banana.”; my real name is Joy Banana Smith. I often think my parents weren’t prepared to name me, so they saw a banana nearby and named me after it.
That fateful day we had a valentines menu, not the regular one. A customer walked in, and I rushed to him smiling. After I had introduced myself and the menu specials, I asked his order. The statement he made pierced every living fiber in me. He called me Banana and asked if I was serving alone or in a bunch, while laughing his guts out. Other customers around him shared in the tasteful joke. You know how the waitresses on the famous ‘Two Broke Girls’ show speak their minds when offended? Real life isn’t like that. All I did was give a plastic smile as I noted his order for a banana smoothie. He didn’t even tip me for making his day!
The next customers, in my section, were an old couple. As they slowly walked in, I admired the love and support they had for each other. Little did I know that affection and support they shared, would make me want to choke them. They ordered coffee and the misuses requested for powdered sugar, that we didn’t have. Her man suggested I grind some for her lady, which I countered by suggesting they use honey instead. They then went on to rant how the young generation doesn’t understand them, as I stood there. For a moment, I almost asked if they intended on licking the sugar or dissolving it in the coffee. I ended up grinding the sugar since the customer is always right. How I loathe that slogan. She ended up stirring the sugar into her coffee.
The day went on as I served several couples, most of whom were good complainers and bad tippers. I also spilled food and drinks four times; two of the spills were on customers. My hands weren’t steady then as they are today. Around closing time, after I married ketchup, a lady walked in and started crying. I asked her what’s was wrong, and she went on to sob about how she is going to die alone without a partner. She talked on and on before I got her to calm down. I have to admit during the one-hour counseling session, I thought of charging her therapist fees. However, with all her singlehood sensitivities, she had the personality of a wall. Her bill came to $9.50, she gave me a ten and confidently told me to keep the change. I’ve never gotten over my first waitressing day.