the official shelbytown FIELD GUIDE TO WAITERS (part 1)

5 Jun
Over the next few nights, I will be exploring some of the key types of waiters who work in the restaurant business. If you are or ever have been a server, please don’t think that I’m pigeonholing you into one of these stereotypes – perhaps quite a few apply to you!

1. The Boomerang – This guy got fired once for keeping a flask of gin in his apron pocket, quit two times to go work on Fire Island and on the way out the door spilled a drink in my face, but still somehow works every Friday and Saturday night. Over the years my dad became notorious for enforcing the “forgive and forget” employment policy and like so many other winning qualities, I inherited this habit. The Boomerang is clever and hardworking. He never comes to work on time, and is unapologetic about that. The only time he shows remorse is when he comes in for a drink on one of his “payroll breaks” with his tail between his legs and has to beg for another chance because life just isn’t the same without his old job and he has such a charming puppy dog face! And like a sucker, I say “come on back! You’re family!” and the next day he shows up late with a wrinkled uniform, and the vicious cycle ensues. You never need to call the boomerang to pick up a shift in a pinch, because when he’s not quitting or being fired, he works pretty much everyday.

2. The Serial Dater – While most people consider serving tables a job, some look at it more as an opportunity to find love, or at least a blow job. The hormone levels at the restaurant ebb and flow depending on the demographics, but you can bet your ass that when the Serial Dater comes on board, he’s going out for drinks with the staff after his first night of training, sleeping with a fellow employee within a week and dating another one two days after that. There is absolutely no joy for the rest of the staff when the Serial Dater finds a victim (or rather, girlfriend). Nobody needs love blossoming in their face while they’re carrying someone’s half-eaten veggie burger to the back and getting yelled at by the chef for using the wrong seat numbers on a table’s entrees. If you call the Serial Dater to pick up a shift in a pinch and his flavor of the week is working, you can bet your ass he’ll be on his way. If she’s got the day off, don’t expect him to answer his phone. He’s busy.

3. The Weed Dealer – He’s not who you think, they never are. The weed dealing waiter shows up early to his shift and stays late. His uniform is always up to par, nothing more nothing less. He regularly indulges in a fresh spritz of cologne. He’s a chain smoker, so you don’t get suspicious when he’s outside all the time. He knows lots of people who come into the bar, especially the ones who order a soda and fifteen happy hour appetizers. If you call him to pick up a shift in a pinch, he’ll answer the phone straight away and say yes, but he’s gotta make a few stops before he can come in.

4. The Jappy College Student – For whatever reason, these guys and girls decided to get a job even though there is absolutely no pressure coming from the homefront. They transferred to a local school from Emory because there was some drama with sorority girls, Listerine and Martin Luther King Day that they really don’t want to discuss. They drive a base model luxury car, listen to gangster rap and use personalized stationary to take orders. They wear $200 work shirts, take off whenevsies to go to the beach, and most importantly, they know 3/4 of the customers at the restaurant. If you call the jappy college student to pick up a shift in a pinch, she’ll be on the train going to the city to see her camp friends who all have internships and are staying at the NYU dorms. She’ll feel really bad though.

5. The Recently Financially Independent 21-Year-Old – It is imperative that this person make more money than anyone else during each shift, or at least that’s what they think. These gals can’t afford to make their car payment at least once a week, but are the first ones at the club getting shitty on Saturday night, wearing a brand new outfit from Joyce Leslie. They are constantly broke, but absolutely cannot work on Sundays or Friday mornings because they can’t deal with kids or women when they’ve got a hangover. And if you call them to pick up a shift in a pinch, don’t expect it to go through. Their cell phone got shut off this morning because they didn’t pay the bill. Typical uniform for this type of server is a wrinkled shirt, dirty apron and unkempt ponytail. The only makeup they wear is leftover stamps from the club and caked eyeliner from the night before.

….Stay tuned to tomorrow’s post for Waiters #6-10!

And now, in celebration of Charlie’s new job, a haiku!!!

Asian Gay Waiter

You’ve left me for 9 to 5

Fuck you I miss you


2 Responses to “the official shelbytown FIELD GUIDE TO WAITERS (part 1)”


  1. the official shelbytown FIELD GUIDE TO WAITERS (part 2). « shelbytown - June 6, 2012

    […] night we discussed some classic server types that you might find serving your jambalaya. Tonight I bring you numbers 6-10, no less significant […]

  2. shelbytown - June 8, 2012

    […] the boomerang […]

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