This is from one of my old journals. An oldie, but a goodie.
October 11, 2004 (waiting table’s at the Yankee Silversmith)
It was super busy tonight. I was crabby and in the weeds when I got sat a two top – a mother and a daughter who just moved to town.
The mother says to me, “This is a nice area, are you from around here?”
“I’m from cheshire.”
“Where’s that?” Every question is sinking me deeper into the weeds. I’m impatient while she’s calm and chipper.
“It’s the next town over.” The woman kept staring at me so I keep talking, “It’s nice there, too.” Still the woman stares like bovine. “It has a nice high school.”
“Oh is that where you go?” [I’m 24 and she’s asking if I’m still in high school]
“No, I graduated.”
“Where do you go now?” Oh damn it to hell lady.
“I’m in-between school’s right now……It’s complicated.” My face flushes, I start to sweat. Again, she kept on staring at me. “I don’t go to school, sorry.”
“So what do you do?” Mother-fucker-god-damn-it lady. I’m trying to fucking wait table’s!
I start feeling ashamed like I always do when I’m confronted with that question. The daughter is starring at me now – just like her mother. She start’s giggling. Where the hell are these freak’s from?
“I’m a starving artist.”
“Oh really?” She keep’s her broad smile. “What kind of art?”
“I’m not a starving artist. I have no art. I don’t know why I said that.” Both Mother and daughter burst out laughing. It’s like something out of the twilight zone. Is this really happening? Oh yes, yes it is.
[This really happened. I changed the words around a bit to make it blog-friendly, but it’s exactly how it happened word for word.]
“I have to go check on a table.”
The night was so busy that the dishes were flying everywhere, and a few broke. Mr. Masite would talk about how we have to pay for them out of our check.
“Plate cost a 14 dollar’s, they’re expensive.”
“Well Mr. Masite, what if I gave you $20 for the plate so that way you can put $6 of it towards your yacht fund.” [I never actually said this to him]
I would have to work one and a half hours to replace one $14 plate if I was making banquet wages. The very root of my existence in this world for that hour and a half would be to simply buy a new plate. Working a banquet at the Yankee is like being at the hellmouth (Buffy the vampire slayer term). Up and down flights of stair’s carrying tray’s stacked to the hilt with dishes, full water pitcher’s, cocktail glasses……etc. Sweating, and hurting my back at the hellmouth for an hour and a half for a plate I can’t even keep for myself.
I cringe when I think about how much money they’re making off of one banquet, and how much I’m getting in return compared to how much I give. Oh how cruel the world can be!
Have you ever thought about how much ten bucks an hour is? It mean’s that you can work non-stop for 24 hours at the hellmouth and only bring home $240. If I worked for plates, my labor would equal out to be 17 plates for 24 hours of hard labor.
Maybe that can be a new value system. Instead of judging people on their house’s and car’s, judge them on how much they’re worth in plates. “Hi I’m Melanie, and I’m worth 17 plates.”
Let’s say I work a 40 hour work week. That sets me at a value of 28.5 plates, but I have to divide by 7 to get my true value of 4. I’m only worth 4 plates a day. Let’s say I break all 28.5 plate’s. Mr. Masite would want me to pay for them, but this time I have to add in a six-dollar penalty per plate that would go towards his yacht fund. I now owe him $570. Thankfully he let me work an extra 17 hours that week to pay off the new debt I owed him.
Mr. Masite now has $170 towards his yacht. Instead of putting himself thru some hard labor, he want’s me to keep working and “donating” money to his yacht. Six dollars to every plate I’m worth. I’m worth 4 plates a day, so I’ll have to give him $24 a day, 42% of my pay.
If his yacht cost’s one million dollar’s, I would have to work 83 years to pay for his yacht.
However, if I was able to keep the missing 42% of my pay, it would only take me 48 years.
If I keep this ten-dollar an hour job, and the government would stop taking out taxes, I can buy a yacht in 48 years. Something to think about.