5:05 pm: I clock-in and find the reservations are light. It should be an easy shift.
5:16 pm: I'm seated with two ancient people who remain convinced they're in a Chinese restaurant, even though I've told them twice that the Chinese restaurant is next door.
5:20 pm: I go to the bar for my first drink order, a gin with a splash of tonic. I drink it swiftly.
5:33 pm: After more than fifteen minutes of deliberating, the ancient couple decides to go next door to the "other" Chinese restaurant.
5:44 pm: Shanna and Janna come in, order their drinks from the bar, and seat themselves in my empty section. I'm hard-pressed to tell them they can't sit there, what with no customers and all, but I'll find a way.
5:58 pm: Bob, a business man from Northern California, sits in my section. He's friendly, easy to wait on, and he keeps the drinks coming. Which reminds me...
6:03 pm: I go to the bar for another round of gin and tonics, one for me, and one for me for later.
6:08 pm: Shanna and Janna ask me to bring them another round from the bar, which would garner me no money. I tell them I can't because I'm swamped, pointing to my customers (Bob).
6:20 pm: Even though the restaurant is mostly empty and a few servers have zero guests, the host takes a break from staring blankly into space and gives me two four-tops at the same time. The lone positive byproduct? Shanna and Janna are relegated to the bar, and I appear too happy imparting this news.
6:25 pm: Both of my new four-tops claim to be in a huge hurry, so I apply the breaks. I consume my back-up gin and tonic and procure another one.
7:00 pm: Despite having claimed to be in a hurry, both of my four-tops pitch tents and camp out looooooong after their bills are paid.
7:14 pm: An exceptionally rude woman flags me down. "This burger's not at all like you described!!!!!!" she wails. "That's probably because I didn't describe it," I say with as much cunt as I can muster. "I'm not your server." And then I skip off to find more gin.
7:45 pm: I get pissed when throngs of people arrive at the same time, putting us on a brief wait. I say a quick prayer that the power will go out, or that the wood-burning stove will catch fire. Instead, I'm sat with three tables at once, all of whom tell me they're in a hurry. I move like a tortoise.
7:55 pm: A mere five minutes after placing her order for a well-done steak, one of the many people in a hurry asks where her food is. "If I were a betting man, I'd say the kitchen," I reply.
8:15 pm: All of the food for all of my tables goes out all at once, and thanks to the chef and the food runner, it's all wrong. "How did this happen??" asks the moronic frat boy food runner, who's looking at his phone while he asks, just as he was looking at his phone while running the food.
8:45 pm: We're off a wait and dying down. Of the three parties in a hurry, only one makes haste after paying their bill. The other two parties camp out, and I transfer them to a newer server. We often play this fun game where he quizzes me on the menu, and I tell him to go fuck himself.
8:50 pm: I fake my way through my sidework, lie about the number of roll-ups of silverware I've done, box up a 1/2 chicken that was made in error, and forge the signature of the head server who's supposed to sign me out. Was it an honest day's work? No. But I take my earnings and head home proudly. For yet another week, I'll be able to afford shoes, weed, and gin.