Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Outback Chronicles: The Hostess Stand

I had shoulder surgery on January 29, 2010. While the residuum was mentally euphoric, it was physically taxing. I quickly became:

1) A drug addict.
2) Constipated.
and 3) A worthless human being to society.

I somehow miraculously found it within me to keep up with my schoolwork, which gave me the upper hand when dealing with the number of absences in my classes later in the semester. But I needed money. And pronto. After applying at a slew of degrading and brainless jobs, I came across an old place of employment for one of my roommates: Outback Steakhouse.

I'm a fan of the restaurant industry. Not because of the shameless, dirty managers who get off on hiring 16-year-old blonds with an IQ of 5, and not because of the sexy, undeniably flattering outfits, but because I can manipulate innocent people into giving me free money.

How much cash I walk home with is dependent upon the intelligence level of my tables, how much twang I can incorporate in my dialogue, how much ass I can kiss and how many jokes I can crack without genuinely offending people. I'm just shy of lowering my moral standard to a point where I'd let people know that I'm a single mother who needs to make enough money for her infants as to avoid having to resort to stripping. We're all aware of the "Angel of Cloud 9"...

I'd make serious bank with the pity card.

Anyway, the Outback Chronicles are not to justify why I prefer serving food than folding clothes in order to have some kind of pre-career income. No, the Outback Chronicles are to inform the world of the slovenly servers, ridiculous banter, useless busboys and inexorable drama that occurs daily. Today, I would like to take the time to dispel the wonder that is: The Hostess Stand.

You see, because I had shoulder surgery, I was unable to do anything physical. Not to say lifting trays of hot food is a heart-racing workout, but I was incapable of doing anything pertaining to my shoulder. So, Outback management let me hostess until my shoulder was back to useful. Then I would be promoted to server.

As a hostess, you are expected to have both the IQ and the responsibility level of a 7-year-old. You keep your area clean, appear polite, and understand how to read and count. What they don't tell you in the job description, is that you're inadvertantly the Dr. Phil of the restaurant. Servers and busboys alike approach the hostess stand with this wistful look on their face that makes you wonder if someone put an "I CARE" sign on your forehead while you were dozing off.

Personal problems, shit-talking, life struggles, unwanted opinions, physical ailments... the list goes on. Once someone outside the hostesss realm leans against the stand, peers over to look at the floor chart and lets out that sigh of weariness... you know something of said characteristics is coming. At which point you can either look busy, or accidentally make eye contact. You decide your fate.

But really, you don't. Because if any employee has a spare 15 seconds, any and all of that ear-bleeding vernacular is fair game to besprinkle upon open ears. I've decided the best thing to do is nod. Any advice given will only prolong the hostess-stand confession, and give the impression that you're siding/supporting whatever and whoever approaches.

Sometimes I wish I were deaf. Maybe that will be my next table-serving scam. Everyone likes a deaf girl.