Where I write

Where I write

July 13, 2012

Old Waitresses Don't Die..their feet just hurt

I recently heard a woman explain she had to stop working as a waitress because "her feet hurt." One of the pitfalls of the trade, and one I suffer from myself, are sore feet. When I first became a server, many many moons ago, I wore sexy, fun shoes with heels. Now I wear shoes like the one above, sturdy, sensible and ugly, but I don't care. I've come to the point in life where sexy is not as important as safety and comfort. I want to be able to walk into my senior years.
How in the world do these young women serve food and drinks in shoes with heels high enough to give them a nose bleed? How can they smile? Sigh. I used to be like them. I wore cute little outfits with sexy shoes to carry a tray with napkins around a room. I remember one of my first banquet server jobs in Denver. I wore high heels. I remember the old hags (the elderly waitresses) scowling at me and making comments about my poor choice of shoes. Those old hags were probably the age I am now, but at the time I saw them as nothing more than mean old women.  All I could think then was at least I wasn't like the old women in their boring ugly shoes. No. Instead I had aching sore feet. Young and dumb.
My best friend Gloria's mom, Trudy, was a waitress. She used to wear uniforms which looked like this, minus the hat. She always looked so professional and neat in her uniform. I admired her. She had a job and made money on her own! In the old days, most all waitress uniforms were black, with a white apron and nylons. This was the standard uniform for waitresses throughout America. Those days are long gone.  My own work uniform looks something like this:
Go to most restaurants today and your server will look like this gal pictured above. Nowadays they seem to want the server to just blend in with the crowd. I miss those days when the waitress stood out from the customers! Though, come to think of it, I wouldn't want to wear nylons or a hat. Black is smart because it doesn't show all the spills, but it's hard during a summer in Phoenix when it is 115 degrees to don a black outfit.
I've worn all sorts of uniforms in my waitress career. One of the worst was one which looked like this, only with a longer skirt. It was orange with stripes and puffy sleeves. The restaurant served Mexican food. Every time I put the uniform on, I felt as if I should start singing. I don't know why. I just did. I also felt stupid.
I've bought and worn countless white shirts for waitress job. One restaurant required us to starch our shirts. I walked around serving pizza feeling like I was in a cast. Another standard uniform for servers is the black pants and white shirt. To this day, I can't wear black pants and white shirt without feeling as if I am going to be slinging hash. I avoid that look.
Finally, the tie. One of my server jobs required we wear a tie. I had the worse time figuring out how to tie the tie. Mine always looked sloppy and people would say, "your tie is wrong" and I would nod and look embarrassed and ask for help. After reading Fifty Shades of Grey I have learned there are other uses for ties which sounded more fun than serving food.

Uniforms are the bane of not just servers' existence but other jobs, as well. The best part, I guess, is that you don't have to buy or ruin your own clothes. The worst part of any uniform is the name tag. I've gotten in trouble for not wearing my name tag. I've lost my name tag. I hated when people called me my name because it was on a name tag. So, I've become very creative at making up names for my name tag.   Sincerely,   Minerva


Rita A. said...

Shoes are so important. Whenever I had to wear uniforms I was glad that at least I didn't have to make that decision.

C.B. Wentworth said...

You know, I've worn my Converse sneakers on every job I've ever had. They don't look it but they are incredibly comfortable! I just bought a new pair for the start of a new school year - I'm known as the teacher who wears sneakers by both students and faculty. ;-)

Charles said...

Years ago, in the late '60's, I worked for Circle K (convience stores if you're not from my area) We had to wear black, clip-on bow ties. Swear to God!

SunsetCindi said...

Yesterday I was in Pita Jungle in Mesa and all of the girls/servers and hostess and bussers all wore their own clothes, which was surprising to me, but nice. they were all college girls and sweet and it was a very laid back atmosphere. They did have sneakers on for the most part or flat shoes. It was refreshing to see that but I liked wearing a uniform when I waitressed as it made it easier on my own clothes.

Erin E. McEndree said...

Hi! Reading your post made me think of all the 'jobs' i currently hold: wife,mom,zoo keeper of 13 animals, teacher, maid,chef, writer, laundry, committee chairman, doctor... I think of Isaiah 52:7 "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news." Keep, keeping on and finding time to share your good writing!!