Hand Me My Apron: Why I Left The “Office World” After 7 Years To Once Again Serve Steak & Cheeseburgers

“Scuse me, miss, are you sure this is decaf?”

“Can we split the check 5 ways?”

“Do you have free refills?”

“This fork looks a little dirty.”

“This doesn’t taste like Ginger Ale. Did you just mix Coke and  7up together?”

These are phrases that I rejoiced in NEVER hearing again when I quit my job waiting tables in 2006.

I started waiting tables in the summer of 2000. I’d just finished my freshman year in college (love you, Emerson!) and rather than move back to my parent’s house in North Andover, I chose to move in with a couple strangers about 10 minutes outside of Boston. Though I had no prior experience, I scored a job at Pizzeria Uno’s. Yay, deep dish pepperoni cellulite!

A few months, several shattered dishes, and countless fattening pizzas later, I got hired at a family-style Italian restaurant (love you, Vinny Testa’s!). I worked there for the next 3 years as a server, bartender, and hostess. I really developed my “I-hate-you-and-I-hope-you-choke-on-a-mushroom-but-I’m-going-to-charm-your-socks-off” demeanor at Vinny T’s.

In 2003, I packed up my belongings (along with my dignity) and moved to LA. Soon thereafter I began working at an outdoor restaurant at the LA Music Center and waited on hungry theater-goers for the next few years. I laughed, I cried, I accidentally dropped 2 of my cell phones in the toilet, and made some amazing friends during that time. But when an opportunity arose in 2006 to work at a CG postproduction house, I had to take it. I hung up my apron, threw my disgustingly stinky “serving” clothes in the trash, and vowed to never again cry about a bad gratuity.

And now, 7 years later, I’m returning to the wonderful world of waiting tables.

After a lot of deliberation, soul searching, and encouragement from a few awesome people, I decided to pursue a career as a writer. It was time to bid farewell to office life and step into a new world. Saying goodbye to my awesome cute bosses, gorgeous desk and beautiful iMac  meant that I needed new employment…and quickly. I struggled with the decision to once again wait tables. I’d been so ecstatic knowing I would never again have to ask how you want your burger cooked. And now here I am, with my tail between my legs and pen in hand, ready to take your order. Would you like a baked potato or veggies on the side?

But being a server grants me the freedom and flexibility to nurture my creative side. I can type away at my laptop at 3am (because we all know that’s when the epic inspiration hits you) and not feel bad about it. I can use all the undertipping, rude, pompous, self-entitled customers as material in my next blog post.  I can polish off a bottle of whisky with somewhat minimal guilt because hey, all the great writers were booze hounds, right? (cue a sloppy fist bump to Bukowski)

So if you’re wondering what I’m doing on Saturday night, no, I can’t hang out. I’ll be grabbing a third serving of bread for the table who ordered the medium-rare-but-kinda-sorta-well-done filet mignon whose kid is allergic to gluten and wanted their parking validated while complaining about the taste of LA tap water.

And I couldn’t be happier.

An Open Letter From My Fridge

Dear Kim,

Let me start this letter by saying that at one point, I had high hopes for you. You would go grocery shopping every Sunday, stock me with fruits and vegetables, and actually consume healthy meals. But  recently, you’ve been acting like a sad college freshman who steals bread and bananas from the Emerson campus cafeteria. Except now you’re 32 and you’re supposed to actually be able to take care of yourself like an adult.

It’s been a gradual decline into this level of pathetic-ness. Week by week, my food reserves have become more and more sparse, and now I have to call you out. My primary job is to keep water cold and to store half-stale bottles of salad dressing and hot sauce. The few times I do contain food, it’s jars of banana peppers which you greedily consume in two days. And don’t get me started on what you’ve been eating for dinner. Starburst is only considered dinner when you’re 5.

And what’s with the Red Bull? You hate Red Bull. Yet there’s always a nice tidy 4-pack chilling on my middle shelf. Watching you guzzle a can before your 7am workout is entertaining, mostly because your face contorts in a hideous wince as you realize it tastes like sugary carbonated poison.

One last thing: stop making a New Years Resolution to learn how to cook. You’ve failed at it every year since 2003. No one believes you anymore. Just own it and accept the fact that you’ll never graduate past heating up soup. And you’ve even messed that up a few times.

Love, your Kenmore