Things That Won’t (Necessarily) Get You Fired From a Restaurant

by ANDREW HICKS

Every restaurant has its very own Server Who Hates Every Customer.

Depending on where you work, you’ll have a strong chance of keeping your restaurant job after doing any of the following:

  • Being a homeless dishwasher who bathes yourself in the guest men’s room. Hand soap costs mysteriously shoot through the roof, yet you still smell like straight B.O. and urinal cakes.
  • Tossing and serving a house salad that contains a half-smoked Black-N-Mild which was tucked behind your ear.
  • Tossing and serving a house salad that contains a used latex glove.
  • Tossing and serving a house salad that contains a rotted-out (presumably Mexican migrant) tooth.
  • Making a roast beef to go and having your bloody Band-Aid come off somewhere in the sandwich.
  • Being under the influence of twice your dosage of half a dozen prescription pills. Every shift.
  • Being a busboy, cleaning up a booth that has just held a breastfeeding mother, then announcing loudly to a server across the room (during the lunch rush), “Dude, there’s breastmilk all OVER this booth bench!”
  • Giving away free things to friends, regulars and/or random customers to increase your tip.
  • Calling in to work with the excuse that you’ve been “kidnapped,” but reassuring your manager you will be back to work tomorrow.
  • At one restaurant job, the opened bar stock was in a side room in the kitchen, accessible to any employee at any time, provided they were willing to take the bluff that no one would review the security camera footage. Employee drink cups were frequently spiked, but only two people ever got fired for drinking on the job.
  • Gathering a group of coworkers to sit in the restaurant and play poker until damn near 5 a.m. Around 2:30 or so, it’s time for one of you to go in back, turn on the pizza oven and bang out a couple 16″ Deluxes for everybody.
  • Calling in three hours before your scheduled shift with the excuse that you didn’t hear your alarm because you were sleeping on your good ear.
  • Showing up with a massive hangover, then spending the entire shift sitting on crates in the walk-in cooler, vomiting into a trash can.
  • Leaving your blunt-rolling mess all over the top of the toilet tank and toilet seat in the guest bathroom.
  • Purposefully neglecting to tell your large party a gratuity has been added to their bill, in hopes they will double tip you.
  • Running your pants through the dish machine during your shift because you don’t have access to laundry facilities at home.
  • Dropping a giant stack of plateware that cost the restaurant several hundred dollars.
  • Taking large amounts of Ecstacy just prior to your Saturday lunch shift.
  • Starting fights with management so you’ll get sent home early.
  • As a manager, deciding to close the restaurant early because it’s dead. Inevitably in this scenario, two diners show up five minutes before the end of your posted operating hours, pull on the locked door, then call corporate to complain.
  • Serving regular coffee to everyone who requests decaf, just because you hate people.
  • Selling bootleg DVDs of new movies camcordered in crowded theaters.
  • Taking a giant paper bag into the walk-in to do your grocery shopping.
  • Not showing up to a dozen employee meetings in a row.
  • Playing favorites as a hostess by giving your boyfriend all the good tables, and giving all the crappy tables to that cute girl he’s always staring at.
  • Challenging a 16-year-old busboy to a wrestling match on the wait bench, then tossing him into a plate-glass divider. (This one happened after the restaurant was closed, at least.)
  • Being a manager who lets it be known that, if you buy her Avon products, you’ll get a better schedule.
  • Accidentally running the entire amount of a large party’s bill on the debit card of one customer who had a separate check. Now, the server realized his mistake and immediately ran the card for the correct amount, but the first swipe caused the customer’s bank to put a $325 hold on her account just as she was about to leave for the airport to head on vacation and spend that $325. Which caused this customer to come back to the restaurant during a dinner rush to confront the manager on duty. Meanwhile, the customer’s daughter was outside, calling the restaurant’s general manager and cussing him out while he was on vacation two states away. The restaurant ended up loaning this lady the 325 bucks out of the petty cash supply, and she did eventually pay it back.
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