Before I got my job at Gurl.com, I was just another teen girl looking for a quick way to make money to buy the important things in life: you know, clothes, shoes, makeup… and I guess sometimes to pay my phone bill. So, when I was 15, I got a waitressing job, realized I could walk out at night with a fat wad of cash, and kept waitressing for the next seven years.
I’ve waitressed at four very different restaurants – two fancy ones and two semi-decent, huge chains. They might have different atmospheres, but one thing has always remained pretty much the same: what actually goes on in the kitchen. I’m willing to break waitress code to tell you guys this: sometimes, it actually is as gross as you think it is. I’ve seen food that was dropped on the floor and still served, I’ve spotted dishwashers eating the food off plates that customers are finished with, cooks touching everything with their bare (dirty) hands, and servers snatching food off of plates right before they’re brought out to the table.
That last one? For seven years, I literally saw it happen at least once during every shift I’ve ever worked. It’s true – before you dug into those french fries, someone else already started to. Sadly, I have to admit that I’ve totally participated. I know, I know! It’s totally gross! It’s disgusting, actually. I can’t even believe I did it, and now whenever I go out to eat, I am painfully aware that it goes on.
Let’s just say that if you get fries, there’s a 98% chance that someone, or multiple people, snatched a few off your plate before it went out to the dining room. Fries are obviously the easiest thing to grab and eat quickly, and seriously – how hard is it to resist them? Most nights, my dinner was made up of an accumulation of French fries I took off of people’s plates.
If you think that’s gross? I’ve only just begun. At one restaurant, my co-workers and I waited for mixed vegetables to be served so that we could grab pieces of broccoli, carrots or snowpeas. While I drew the line at fries and veggies, most people took it even further. There were countless times that I saw servers picking at lettuce in salads, stealing a small piece of shrimp or chicken, taking chicken fingers, and even grabbing a fork to have a little bit of your pasta or a spoon to have some of your mashed potatoes.
In defense of my admittedly disgusting actions, I’ll just say this: waitressing is really hard! Servers work anywhere from 4 to 10 hour shifts, and we’re constantly on our feet, running around like crazy people carrying heavy trays of food and drinks. We have to be over-the-top polite to customers who, most of the time, are rude, inconsiderate and demand perfection. We don’t get breaks, we make way less than minimum wage ($3.00 an hour at one place!), and we multi-task like you wouldn’t even believe. Also, we’re around yummy smelling food that is shoved in our faces for hours – seriously, what would you do?!
But even I know that all of the craziness that comes along with waitressing doesn’t justify eating other people’s food. Forget the fact that it’s gross – it’s completely against health violations, and if anyone was ever caught doing it, they’d be in huge amounts of trouble. But that doesn’t stop servers from doing it. Even managers and owners do it too. Sorry I had to be the one to break this to you guys, but, yeah, it’s true… restaurants are kind of gross.
Have you ever been a waitress and done this? What’s the grossest thing you’ve done at your job? Tell us in the comments.