Working at a restaurant isn’t for the faint of heart. For some reason, before I got my job at a Mediterranean restaurant on the Upper East Side, I thought I was a natural-born server. Describing food to people is basically my hobby, and if I could get paid for it? Dream gig.
I was so, so wrong.
Before reaching server status at this restaurant, I had to do some time as a backwaiter. Backwaiters are glorified busboys. They’re integral to the operation, gracefully pouring water and pulling empty plates – and, of course, taking the bus bins upstairs to the dishwasher. This part was rough. On my second day, I managed to drop a bus bin, filled with dishes, down the stairs. The chef came out and screamed a million profanities at me. I cried in the bathroom.
Though I eventually became a server as I had wanted, that position came with a host of new challenges and agonies. Not to mention the substance abuse. While it was a daunting era of my life, I do think it helped me build some character. It’s been almost five years since I left that gig, and I still laugh at memes about serving as if I’m still in the weeds. Here’s hoping they make you laugh, too.