UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

COLUMN: You Got Served

Like so many other poor slobs on this campus and elsewhere I wait tables. I do it, partly because I enjoy torturing myself, but mostly for the brainless work and the cash.

I am a server. For $2.63 per hour I can make a mean house salad with brown withered lettuce and out-of-season tomatoes. I can pour a damn good Diet Pepsi with not too much ice, and not one but two lemon wedges.

I can check my individuality at the door, wear an itchy collared shirt with a nametag that inadvertently pierces things I hadn’t necessarily considered piercing. I can spend 20 bucks on non-slip shoes and still crack my head open on some filthy, grease-ridden counter.

I can put on a fake voice and a fake laugh. I can pretend that I care that your devil-spawn children’s names are Cody and Lexy, and they want spisketti-isn’t that so cute how they call it spisketti-while they lick the ketchup bottles I have to replace and pour sugar packets all over the floor.

I can swallow my disgust while you backhand Cody for sitting too close to you and Lexy demands balloons from me.

I can wear a fixed smile and wait for you to divulge your chosen appetizer as you fondle your husband or girlfriend while smashed into the same side of a two-person booth.

Without gloves, I can pick up your half-chewed, half-digested remnants of cheeseburgers and scrape your kid’s macaroni and cheese out of the rug. I can box up three french-fries and a quarter of a slice of garlic bread because you might heat them up for dinner.

I can check my pride at the door with my individuality. I can beg your forgiveness for assuming that you read the menu. I can take the heat for not having implemented more vegetarian options at a steakhouse. I can understand that when you said extra well-done you meant rare. I can fight back tears while grown men scream in my face about the state of their fried chicken.

It’s my fault the drinking age is 21, and it’s my fault you can’t order an extra rare burger from a chain restaurant. The fact that the bartender at Friday’s makes a much better mudslide, that the booths are too low, that the table is too high, that you wanted a teaspoon not a soup spoon, that our buffalo wings are actually spicy, that it’s simply too cold in here, all these things are completely my fault.

I am willing to take the blame. You can even take a shot or two at me, I’ll hold my hands behind my back. As long as you leave me a 20 percent tip and get the hell out of my life we’ll all be fine.

Just know that as soon as I am out of your earshot I am cursing you. I am ridiculing you with my fellow employees, I’m pointing out your bad hair decision and your kid’s weird eye. I’m mocking the way you actually said fa-Gi-ta instead of fajita. I’m hoping you choke on the ice in your tonic water, and that your kids are the next Menendez brothers. But above all this, and most importantly, remember I am the one handling your food.