When a co-worker fondles you in front of customers while on the job at Waffle House you know its time to hang up your grease splattered apron and see if there are any openings at Denny's.
This apparently happened to a poor woman in New Orleans, who was allegedly groped multiple-times by a fellow waitress at the popular franchise.
Working at any kind of restaurant or 24-hour diner is the pits. It's a labor intensive, semi-honest way for anyone to make a buck but the downside is that you're going to be the only normal person working amidst a sea of scumbag co-workers, psychotic dishwashers and trashy customers.
I know this all too well after twelve years of having forks chucked at my head by mentally unstable restaurant managers who learned their people skills in jail. You might walk away with cash in hand every night, but it comes at a price and that's the conundrum of working in a restaurant.
I spent years on end living in terror of criminally insane line cooks I worked with who wouldn't get orders right because they were too busy speculating what my cup-size was. The coked-up owner of whichever hell-hole I worked for at the time would then scream at me for getting things wrong and costing him money while right behind his back the dishwasher stuffed slabs of bacon from the walk-in down his pants. The managers were all stealing from the owners, the bus boys sold drugs out the back door and by the time each shift ended I could have filed between 2-3 sexual harassment suits.
I said I would never strip, but after the end of a morally degrading shift where you whore yourself out for other people's pleasure, what's the difference?
Corporate chains aren't much better. I was treated like a criminal and had to open my bag and get patted down at the end of each shift by a manager who was accusing us of stealing from the register. The atmosphere was pretty intense for a crappy bagel cafe until we learned that our manager had been arrested because she was the one who had been breaking into the safes and stealing all of the money from locations across the region. So much for that 3-day seminar you had to attend and 40 page test that had to be completed before you could smear cream cheese on a bagel sandwich.
There was little solace to be found in the customers either. I waited on drunk college students who barely tipped or on one special occasion decided that instead of a tip they would leave me a photo copy of someones bare ass.
A few years ago I worked my way up to waiting tables in a vegan restaurant in NYC where surely the customers had to be better, but no. I found myself in a screaming match with a man who had brought in his own jug of unpasteurized goat milk, spilled it all over me and then didn't leave a tip.
The food industry is a lawless universe where only the deranged and dumb survive and I am still not sure how I made it out alive and well. All I can say is that "it gets better" and that's because I quit and you should too.
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