I’ve been working for a long time. A very, very long time. Since birth, I believe it was – straight out of the womb and onto a factory line. Those were good times.
One of the first jobs I ever had was working as a busboy. We were ALL busboys back then, by the way, regardless of gender, just as we were all paperboys, a job I also held. The sexual orientation of the lower-ranked help was of no interest to anyone in those days but that of the lower-ranked help, but I digress.
I’ve served and cleaned up pizzas, subs, Mexican food, truck-stop food. It was at the truck stop that I met a fellow waitress who claimed that she could not vacuum at the end of her shift because, and I quote, “I don’t know how.”
She didn’t know how to vacuum.
It wasn’t a trick vacuum. There was a canister, a hose, and an on/off button. That’s all it had, technology-wise. It didn’t sweeten the air, it didn’t make anything any freer from allergens – the lousy thing barely sucked up dirt.
But she didn’t know how to vacuum.
You’d think there’d be a test for that sort of thing before hiring, wouldn’t you?
Needless to say, I was forced to kill her and bury her in the back with the other brain-dead waitresses.
I told you all that because I have a serving job tonight.
And while I can’t tell you what kind of stupidity will occur –it may be nothing at all! people can be so unreliable – odds are good that there will indeed be some kind of stupidity.
I remember the last job like it was several months ago.
“Why don’t you and I fill the glasses with ice water? The reception’s supposed to start at 7:00 and we can have them done by 6:30.”
“Hmm. Yeah, sure,” says Crystal/Tiffany/Amber. She is cute as a button, a little plump, perhaps, in a white shirt stretched tight enough across the bosom to threaten to launch buttons to all four corners. I remember smiling to myself as I recalled a conversation with Mary wherein I described this person as a water-balloon, something which caused her to laugh until she had a coughing fit.
“Help me grab the water pitchers. We can fill half of them with ice and half of them with water, load them on to the carts, and pull them into the dining room.”
“What’s that now?”
“Ice,” I said. “And water.”
We got a couple other servers to help us while still others loaded creams, sugars, made coffee, straightened silverware.
“Fill the water glasses completely with ice and only half-way with water,” I told Crystal/Tiffany/Amber. “That way when the people get here half an hour later the water level will be perfect.”
“What’s that now?”
Twenty-four rounds of eight. One hundred and ninety-two water glasses.
I’m sure you can see where this is headed.
By the time we had finished, the water glasses on Crystal/Tiffany/Amber’s end of the room threatened to breach the rim. She had filled them without remembering the 30 minutes they would sit.
“What?!” I was astounded. The hours before a large party are hectic and there’s no time for do-overs. I fought the urge to stare at her accusingly.
Crystal/Tiffany/Amber’s big brown eyes registered mild confusion followed quickly by blank blinking. She didn’t really care. Notorious for her ability to snack almost continuously at any job, her mind was on the plates of hors d’oeuvres in the kitchen.
Between the balloon smuggling and her passable Spanish (kitchens being predominantly Mexican), Crystal/Tiffany/Amber did pretty well for herself.
We took care of it, of course, and neither our boss nor the wedding party witnessed the frantic pouring-off and wiping down of the cresting glasses of ice water.
No harm, no foul.
I don’t work as many of the serving jobs as some of the gals, but I hear that Crystal/Tiffany/Amber doesn’t get called in to work anymore.
I don’t think I’ll miss her.
But I’ll bet the kitchen staff will.