Waitressing for the Socially Inept

Marie Mayer
7 min readJun 28, 2020

Here’s What it’s Like

K8 on Unsplash

I’ve been fired. Much like a sucker-punch to the gonads, I never saw it coming. My manager led me to table two and gave me the news. After two weeks of training, they decided they’ve made a horrible mistake.

“I’m still getting paid right?” I asked. They assured me that I would. I smiled, got up and thanked him for the opportunity. Was I annoyed? Maybe a little. Sure, I made mistakes, but doesn’t everybody? Shouldn’t there be a fuckup minimum? Before I knew it, I had already exceeded the limit. But I realized that day, that this job was just another adventure worth having.

Much like a hit to the gonads, the experiences leading up to that day made for good stories.

After landing the job as a waitress, I was excited. I always love a challenge. I love being on my feet and taking care of business at a brisk pace. And after my previous job at a factory (where I lasted one day), I needed a change of scenery. I never missed the nine-hour grind of ring printing respirator tubes while wearing a hazmat suit, goggles, hair-net and gloves.

After taking on a job in food service, I realized how socially awkward I could be. During my training, I got to shadow a close friend of mine who has been on the job for over a year. When I say shadow, I mean I was a darker version of her. She has that upbeat, cheerful, kind manner that rubs off on everyone. I would stand beside her as this quiet, shifty eyed character in black.

Lesson 1: No pointing

Whenever it was my turn to take orders, I did so candidly. I would say, “For you?” very directly. I would point at each person at the table as I took their order. My friend would always tell me not to do that. I never thought of it as rude since I talk with my hands a lot. Must be the Italian in me.

Part of it was my personality. I found it hard to maintain a sweet persona while struggling to find all the food on the digital device. When I’m confused or tense, it usually shows on my face. It was almost like a Disney World attraction: people got Snow-White and Severus Snape serving their table.

When I try to be super engaging, it feels out of place, like it isn’t me. Being sociable all day drains me too. To me, It was like…