2:26 pm - Saturday, September 21 2019

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It Begins.

It’s a beautiful March afternoon in Halifax and I’m in the middle of my shift at a local restaurant in the downtown area.
I’m standing at a table, holding a dirty plate, staring at 3 year old as his parents tried to get him to decide whether or not he wanted pudding or a sundae for dessert.
The thoughts that go through your head at times like this come crashing like the waves at Peggy’s Cove during a thunderstorm, each thought hitting the skull a little bit harder than the one that preceded it.
Jesus Christ kid, just pick one.
This dirty plate is not getting any less disgusting.
How in the hell did this happen to me?
How much longer am I going to be standing here holding this plate?
These parents don’t give a rat’s ass that I’m waiting for a three year old to decide on pudding or Ice cream. Can’t they decide for him?
Jesus Christ kid, c’mon!
What if this just keeps going on? Is there a chance I could still be standing here a half hour from now? What if I have to use the washroom? What if there’s a fire? If the restaurant starts burning down will I still have to stand here and wait for this brat to order his fucking dessert? Surely the parents would let me run for my life. Would that hurt my chances of a good tip?
Would they call and complain; “Our server left the table while our little Timmy was deciding on dessert. He was yelling something about a fire! It was very rude!”
“I’ll have pudding!” The kid finally exclaims.
“Sounds great, I’ll be right back!” I proclaim with a smile as wide as the Halifax harbour.
That moment provided clarity. I realized that the people needed to know.
They needed to know what drives servers to put themselves on the front line of the service industry war and bear the wrath of the hungry, thirsty, and tired general public.
To know the psychological profile of the dreaded restaurant manager; to know that most restaurant owners are arrogant pricks; that kitchen prep cooks are strange dudes, and that their server is very likely under the influence of booze or marijuana.
To learn that the bartenders are indeed checking you and your friend out, and that they think she is the cuter one.
That your server is talking about you in the kitchen. That you may be the nicest person in Halifax, but because you complained there was too much ice in your drink, you are a bitch.
That when you walk in to a restaurant and sit at a table, 15 minutes before they close, the server approaching your table hates you. I’m serious. They hate you. Don’t be fooled by the smile.
Finally, it just makes sense. I can write a little, and I’ve served a whole lot. I might as well try to do something with this life I’ve created. Maybe I can actually salvage something from this lifetime pursuit of the generous gratuity.

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