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Friday, March 1, 2013

Everyone Brings Something to the Job


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.

25 comments:

Shelly said...

And to think the Crystal/Tiffany/Ambers of the world will one day be in charge of this world. Let's hope they don't have to fill any water glasses when they do.

Eva Gallant said...

Where the Crystal/Tiffany/Ambers of the world are, the possibilities for stupidity are endless.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
ah yes, I would like to say "there's always one.." but it would not be true. If there's one, there's many.

And they are everywhere. sigh.

Buttons said...

Hey Crystal/Tiffany/Amber is my name:) B

Joe Pereira said...

Where do they find these people? And how can the Crystal/Tiffany/Ambers of this world get jobs? One of life's mysteries, I guess

Rene Foran said...

I hear she's going for her Masters...

jenny_o said...

I'm right there with Mary, laughing fit to lose a lung :)

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Can't wait to hear about the stupidity you run into at your next serving job....but really...you should never divulge where the bodies are buried.

Douglas said...

I would be amused and astounded but I lived in Manassas, Va (a bedroom community which supplies human drones for D.C.) and learned what happens when the unemployment rate is below 4%. It's a good thing the Crystal/Tiffany/Ambers are at least nice to look at.

Craver Vii said...

I can't believe nobody said it yet, but: She couldn't vacuum? --That sucks. (sigh) Sorry; it HAD to be said.

"Needless to say, I was forced to kill her and bury her in the back with the other brain-dead waitresses." That there's a shoot-coffee-through-your-nose kind of funny!

Sioux said...

My full time job used to be "waitress" and there was always some funny "stupid" story to tell at home--either about the other employees or the customers or--too often--about myself. (I was the gawkiest server around.)

Poor Water Balloon...She's probably expanded to an even more impressive person these days...

fishducky said...

I've said it before & I'll say it again--you're FUNNY, Pearl!!

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

There's too little hoovering - and too much . . . as when someone decides to hoover round one's feet while one eats.

Daisy said...

She doesn't know how to vacuum?! Wow. I think I would have made it my personal project to teach her how. Yikes!

Oh well. I guess it takes all kinds!!

Have a great weekend, Pearl! :)

Gigi said...

I'm thinking I'm going to start using the "I don't know how" excuse around here. Maybe then someone else (aka Hubby) will do some of the chores.

Stef said...

Can I just tell you how much I love your blog. Always a fun read!!!

Daisy said...

Pearl, you write words but I see pictures, and they are hilarious!
Many thanks!

The Elephant's Child said...

The lights were not on, AND there was no-one home.
Another delightful post though - thank you, despite my mind wandering and wondering about the many, many ways that Kristel's mother found to spell her name. A name heard on the television - but never seen.

Kathleen McCoy said...

So many of us have encountered the Crystals and Ambers, etc. in our working lives. Thanks for making me smile at the memories. (And wince at the memories of the ways I was occasionally clueless once upon a time!)

jeanie said...

I had a Chrystal/Tiffany/Amber that I worked with once - in an office (yes, they do other jobs too) - there is a problem being hired because of your hemline when all of the male bosses have had enough of the view and ineptness - you eventually end up with female bosses who don't care how good your legs are (and may well be bitches).

Not that I was a bitch. No.

Rose L said...

So sad that you gave the girl such a difficult and complicated task to do. What on earth were you thinking?!!

River said...

Looking at my floors, you'd be forgiven for thinking that perhaps I don't know how to vacuum. And my name is neither Crystal or Tiffany or Amber.

Tempo said...

Ahh, a repost. I guess some people might not notice but we, your stalkers notice everything....

chlost said...

If you think Crystal/Tiffany/Amber is frustrating, imagine my fristration with a Crystal/Tiffani/Amber. I swear that the intelligence level goes down with each "i" in one's name.As to not knowing how to vacuum, that;s pure genius! What better way to get out of a hated chore?

Powdered Toast Man said...

Crystal/Tiffany/Amber must be a tough name to have.