The next time you eat out, do me a favor. Double tip your waiter. No, actually triple tip. Seriously. I realize that waiters do what anyone can do. Carry shit to your table and ask you what you want to eat. But trust me, it’s a bitch waiting tables. Not only because you make a dime a day (or at least I did, because I sucked), but it’s an insane business. Waiting tables was one of the most brutal times in my life, and I’m a comedian and a sales person - I know brutal.
My parents’ neighbors’ brothers’ fiance was running this restaurant in midtown. She needed help for the summer, and I needed a job. I had met her once. She saw me docomedy, and she seemed okay. But I should’ve known; she had really curly hair.
My first day at the restaurant, like at most jobs, I was lulled into a false sense of happiness and security. Crazy Curly kept telling me how happy she was that I was there. She loved my comedy and told me I was going to fit in perfectly. We talked about her upcoming wedding. She was so in love with my parents' neighbors' brother. She was crazy excited about her wedding, and I was overjoyed for her. She saw me as her younger sister, taking me under her wing and showing me the business. We talked about guys, sex, drinking, and crazy jobs. We became “besties” overnight. I had just quit a sales job working for a single-neurotic-angry-upper-east-side-corporate-America bitch. Having a fun summer job with a cool boss was just what I needed.
I met everyone on staff, and they all seemed friendly enough. There was some girl who was new to the country. A gay guy. A drummer. The bartender was a pot head. A hot-ass sandwich maker who didn’t speak any english and didn’t need to. And an assistant manager who dreamed of opening his own cafe. Nobody really spoke English, but there was this other white girl who worked there. She was like me. I was pursuing comedy and this was my day job. She was a director and had started working at the restaurant a few weeks ago as her day job. We quickly became friends.
It felt pretty cool to be surrounded by all of these people. Artists and immigrants following their dreams of art or of coming to America. It all seemed romantic. And then I stood on my feet for 14-hours straight and thought about how much it sucks to have to support yourself while you’re an artist. Much better to be rich and have someone support you. Now that would be romantic! I had so many standing on my feetproblems while I worked there, I wondered if I’d become crippled in my 20s. It was horrible, but who knew that standing on my feet would be the least of my problems?
TO BE CONTINUED...