I have been working as a food server off and on since I was fourteen and it never gets any less interesting. This is not about fine dining, its about the flip side of the industry working in the trenches of the massive national restaurant chains. Laugh or cry, people!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Waitress “C” Threw up in the Trash Can Next to Me

I’m not kidding.

C was so sick and trying to make it through a shift that she tossed her cookies in a trash can right next to me. What was going around?

H1N1, that’s what.

Another server had to rush her child to the emergency room the previous week. The manager on duty asked her if she could try to cover her shift while she was en route to the hospital. Her boy is only six years old and he has so much damage to his lungs that he will be a permanent asthmatic for all of his days….

There is no sympathy among the management at our restaurant.

You had better be here.

They don’t care if you could infect every person in this city.

They don’t care if you need to take care of a sick child.

They don’t care if you have a fever.

They don’t care if you have time or are well enough to make the required phone calls to cover your shift.

Recall we don’t get paid for sick time.

They don’t care.

When C threw up in the trash can next to me.

I offered to do her side-work and roll her silverware.

The MOD said, “I need you on the floor. She can do it.”

They really, really don’t care.


  1. Not cool and it happens alllll the time. In the state where I live, and in most others I'm sure, it's a violation of health code to allow an employee to come back to work or be near any food if they're showing symptoms of:

    ... it's a really long list, let's just put it that way.

  2. I know we all have our coworkers who call in sick because they got concert tickets or their tax return came in, but when full time servers call in sick, they can't pay their bills. I can't believe people aren't outraged about this.

    I am very careful to wash my hands and cough into my elbow when I have a cold but I know for a fact that if I can get dressed for work, I will be there whether I'm contagious or not.

  3. I had to go to work for five nights, including a mandatory meeting discussing, I kid you not: whether salt or pepper shakers go into the caddy on the table first, with the swine flu. I infected multiple coworkers, I wasn't allowed to get a smaller section, I was given a banquet, I couldn't trade headwait duties to someone because of overtime: It was awful.

    I'm so sorry for your coworker, this is atrocious.

  4. Malachi - It is absolutely imperative that we discuss table condiments. If you can't understand that your health and well-being come AFTER salt and AFTER pepper, well I just can't help you.

    Next Meeting Topic:

    Malachi's Priorities and the Importance of Ketchup