Being a Grown-Up is Hard, so instead…

I’m an awkward person for serving. I don’t practice personal filtering or fake enthusiasm. I’m immature and have a passion for inappropriate banter. For the most part, my sarcasm and sick sense of humor have worked to my advantage.

My biggest weakness is idiots, and if you serve you know this is part of the job. Just nod and smile, right?

For me, it’s never been that simple. How do they get off tipping me bad, talking down to me, or making impossible demands of me as if I’m their personal slave? I’ve had a few nasty exchanges and the lectures that follow, I have learned to run through a few questions before I decide on my reaction:

  • How badly do I want to ruin my shift/day because of one idiot?
  • Do I want to listen to the lecture about being the bigger person?
  • Do I want to be written up?
  • How badly do I want to keep my job?
  • How much do I like the shifts I’m getting now?
  • How bad of a tip do I want from said idiot and the surrounding tables?

In an attempt to avoid lectures and job preservation, I develop a passing moment of maturity and force myself to look at the big picture. Fear not, though, I don’t take their criticism lying down.

I have learned to satisfy my inner 15-year-old male by developing an elaborate story line that emphasizes on their stupidity. Here’s a story from last week about a fresh 21-year-old douchebag who left a sour taste in my mouth.

You just turned 21 a few months ago, so that means you’re in now. You’ve had a few months to explore all the coolest bars and nightclubs, know all hotspots and places you wouldn’t be caught dead at, and you can finally go out on all the cool after-work field trips with the older crowd. Man, you sure have it good. Finally feels good to be treated like an adult, sipping your Greygoose & Cranberry juice. You don’t drink the cheap stuff.

It was kind of annoying earlier, though, when the waitress chirped a Happy Birthday! at you after she looked at your ID. I mean, c’mon. That was four months ago, it’s almost June. This same pretentious waitress had listed off all the mixers that would go with Greygoose when you asked earlier, and she had seemed so cool then. She must be bipolar.

In fact, what she did was so ridiculous you think, I’ll go ahead and have an intellectual discussion about it with my new grown-up friends while I sip my expensive Greygoose & Cranberry.

“Can you fucking believe that?” you ask as intellectually as possible, “My birthday was four months ago and she said Happy Birthday. Who the fuck does that?”

Your friends are so astounded by how astute you are, they can literally not fucking believe that she would be so pretentious as to wish you Happy Birthday just because you recently turned 21. They are staring at you, dumbfounded; you are sure there must be a light shining down on you in this rare moment where you provide a fountain of knowledgeable discussion.

But your dreams are soon shattered when you come to realize their blank looks are not at you, but past you to the waitress behind you. The bipolar bitch seems to be wearing some sort of smirk on her face, probably the voices in her head telling her a joke.

You pretend not to be embarrassed and quickly reassure her, “I… I’ll tip you really big?” You give her a what can you do? shrug, only stuttering to make her feel like you really care that you just got caught talking shit about her. Your friends admire how cool you are after your quick recovery and they return to whatever conversation they were having about the bipolar server.

Man, you think, sometimes its hard being so fucking grown-up and cool.

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