I lost both of my parents by the time I was 19 and there wasn't any money to be had - the joys of not having any family savings or life insurance - not to mention I had to help pay for my sister's expenses during her senior year of HS. So I paid for my entire college education myself. I went to an expensive Ivy League school, but was given generous loans, grants and scholarship money that paid for about 75% of my tuition not including living expenses. The rest I earned during the school year and summers. I worked as a waitress 4 nights a week, and did work-study 15 hours a week or so at the library so that I could study while doing my 'job.' Besides freshman year, when it was required, I lived off campus because it was cheaper, and didn't participate in a meal plan because again, going independently was cheaper, especially when one meal per waiting shift was free. Waiting tables more or less saved me because there was no way I could cover the other portion of my tuition, all of my living expenses and still send a hundred or two home each month to help my sister out for things like prom, or new shoes, or whatever, if I made minimum wage as opposed to the 100+ a night I made as a waitress. I also graduated a semester early, which made up for a semester I took off to save money and work two full-time jobs and which also helped to decrease the cost of college. When I finished up, I only had about 20K in loans, which is not so bad considering the cost of one year of tuition alone was, at the time, about 18,000. It was a lot of work, but I had a ridiculous amount of fun too and have gained the most enormous sense of accomplishment and pride from the challenges I've overcome! And, my best friends from college are yes, some of my classmates, but my very best friends are all my old co-workers. Honestly, I don't think I would have changed much about the whole experience.
While I usually keep a stash around just in case, I seriously spend way too much on keeping my lady parts looking nice/working/taken care of during my time of the month so for this one thing, yeah, I think a dude should buy them. I mean, I have yet to date a guy who was like, yeah, we'll totally go 50/50 on the pill and tampons and Midol. So yes, dudes need to buy their own darn condoms, but if you're out, I'm prepared.
@Lauren Sometimes I think of the crazy things people have said to me or coworkers and I get why the writer of the list might be angry. Real things that have happened to me while serving: Instead of a tip, my customer, a dentist left his business card saying he could 'fix' my teeth; being asked to mail a check for 2 cents to a customer when I overcharged on a tip by 2 cents because of the principle of the thing, and he wanted to make sure I never, ever repeated that mistake again and wanted me to 'learn my lesson'; a customer requesting that I cut his steak and butter his bread for him by yelling "butter my bread. Cut my steak!" whenever I passed by; being told I would not get a tip unless I sang "I'm a little teapot" on the floor, complete with dance; ass grabbing; customers grabbing some part of your body (usually arm) no matter what you are doing because they want your attention RIGHT THAT MINUTE; cleaning up vomit; drunk customers running out on the tab (not the worst thing ever, but still frustrating); being tipped in ugly sweaters; being tipped in pot; being tipped in porn; being tipped in free promotional DVD's of Everyone Hates Chris; (seriously, all I want is cash); customers demanding you stop lying to them when you insist that yes, you really are part Asian; blatant racism; blatant sexual harassment. There are probably legit reasons why the writer of the article is sounding bitter, but it also sounds like he's got the server burn-out and it's time to move on to temping or something.
@thecoffeestain OMG, I would read waiter rant religiously after my shifts! Anyone interested in this topic at all needs to read him immediately!
@aetataureate Ahh, maybe I'm misremembering the temperature - this was about 15 years ago. It was something hot, with an 4, maybe 104, or 124, but I remember that thermometer and being so incredibly freaked out becuase it was my first job and she seemed mean, until the other girls I worked with were like, no, she's not a local but a rich awful person with a weekend beach house, and to not worry about because she was awful.
@redheaded&crazy I don't know. Probably the kitchen guys aren't wearing hairnets and shed a lot . . . Line cooks in the back are supposed to wear hair nets or hats or something, but they never do. I mean, I think about all the hair that falls out of my head on a daily basis and I just . . . can't. Ew. Honestly, not too many people do anything if someone is rude other than get drunk after work and talk shit, but I did food service for almost 8 years total so you are bound to run into the crazy angry people at some point after all of that time.
You don't pay US taxes on money you make abroad if you make less than something like $90,000, unless that has changed, but I don't think it has. This is only applicable to money you make in country, so if you are, say, a freelancer for the Village Voice, you're paying taxes, but if you work for Le Monde it will all be US tax free. So you really are only paying that country's taxes and not the US taxes. It's some sort of tax exemption called the "Foreign Earned Income Exclusion" and it was amazing because 1/2 of the taxes I paid to the Japanese government when I worked in Japan were also returned to me by the Japanese gov't because they knew I would not be taking advantage of things like social security, so the time I worked abroad was more or less tax free.
People who hate customers should really work here: "Weiner's Circle, the famous Chicago eatery, is notable for two things: Its rude vendors, and in a distant second, its hot dogs. But it may have finally met its match. Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33zPlnhymCU&feature=player_embedded
My first service job back in high school was as a barista and I was too scared to do anything in terms of retaliation, even though I had a woman who insisted her coffee be served at exactly 84 degrees, and asked to use a thermometer to check. No joke. I hated her. But everyone else was super nice, mostly because I grew up in a smaller beach-side community near LA where everyone knew everyone, and most people were pretty laid back to begin with. BUT! Once I started waiting tables in NYC, there was some serious retaliation. Spitters were more common (not me tho, I like you to know I'm messing with you, none of that passive aggressive stuff for me). I knew a girl who would take your hamburger bun and rub the grilled side on the bottom of the oven where all that nasty floor and grease stuff coagulated and the customer couldn't tell because it just looked grilled. Some people, especially if you took both receipt and had no proof of what you paid/tipped, would add on a few dollars for tip as a service fee for you being an asshole or tipping 10% or less. There was also a girl who would find rude or poor tippers on-line, either via personal webpages or FB and let them know what awful human beings they were (remember, if you use a corporate card, or even just your regular credit card with your name on it, and we overhear your conversations about anything moderately identifying, then you can be found pretty easily in most cases). The worst story I heard from a friend of a friend was that if you were an asshole, the person would take down your credit card information when you paid, and then sell that info to some chinatown gang for 35 dollars apiece. This was about 8 years ago tho, so I don't know if people still do that. Me, I was just rude back to people (I really don't know how I didnt' get fired sooner/more often) because if you are a jerk, I want you to know I hate you right back too. Fortunately, the place with the highest concentration of asshole customers had the most tolerance for snappy waitresses, so it worked out ok for me!
I love this article! And I don't think it's weird at all that they should live together. @slutface - My roommate and I have lived together for almost 8 years now and it's great. Definitely not a loser thing at all. It's great to have a good friend to share your space and time with, when you are at home, and the consistency of a living with the same person is priceless. It helps we are both super busy and rarely home so we don't overlap too much but still. Randoms you meet on Craigslist may be crazy, and boys may come and go, but if you have a solid roommate/good friend to live with, having a roomie is a great, great thing. You're never lonely if you have a night in, and crazy shenanigans can happen at 2am on the couch watching bad infomercials. Who knows when we will get married/move in with our boys, and when that day comes I'm sure it will be all kinds of bittersweet, but choosing my long-term roomie was definitely one of the top 5 awesomely wonderful decisions of my life.