Before work today, I was in a Hallmark store browsing Father’s Day cards for my father. I began my adventure at the beginning of the Father’s Day card aisle and browsed through a few of the ordinary “Happy Father’s Day Dad, you are my hero” type of cards. Then I got to the more specific cards like “Happy Father’s Day from your spoiled little girl”, “Happy Father’s Day to one red hot lover from your sexy wife”, “Happy Father’s Day from the pooch woof woof!”…you know, cards catered towards all types of card-givers. Next came the “Feliz Dia De Los Padres” cards for the Spanish speaking card givers. Hmmm, to be expected, I thought, America really is becoming a melting pot. I quickly glanced over them so I could have a little idea of how to wish the male kitchen crew at my restaurant happy father’s day. When I felt that my arsenal was sufficiently full of Spanish phrases praising dads, I drew my attention to the cards at the end of the aisle. DID YOU KNOW THAT HALLMARK HAS AN ENTIRE SELECTION OF CARDS SPECIFICALLY MARKETED TO AFRICAN AMERICANS??? I was astounded. Overcome with curiosity, I picked up a card with a nice looking African American family pictured on the front with the words, “You go dad!” across the top. When I opened up the card, I read, “Today’s your day, dad. Can’t nobody hold you down today!” I flinched and immediately returned the card to its home on the rack. Not sure whether I felt awkward or proud of my multicultural country, I buried the memory, chose an appropriate card for my own father and proceeded to work.
When I walked into my inner city restaurant, I was immediately bombarded by hosts begging me to clock in so they could seat me ASAP. Already dressed and ready to make some cash money, I told them all to fill up my section with anything and everything. After mulling over the racially diverse selection of Father’s Day cards available for Americans earlier on in the day, I decided that I felt good. I felt empowered and privileged to be working in such a multicultural restaurant setting in which diversity was very apparent. I was ready to start wishing all the fathers at my tables a happy day!
First table was a large party that consisted of one fatherly figure, one motherly figure and seven children ranging in age from newborn to fourteen years of age. Shit show. Thank goodness for gratuity. Second table was a church going family who preached to me about the importance of a strong father to head the household. Great, but uh, your prayer card does not pay my bills or buy me nice things. Third table was a fairly young foreign couple on a date. After my first two tables, I was fairly hopeful that this couple would be the type to over tip because they don’t know any better. False hopes it turned out — two dollars. Great. I was on a roll.
The rest of the night consisted of long ticket times because the kitchen was backed up, angry customers because the hosts drastically underestimated their wait time, lack of toilet paper in the restroom because whatever manager orders the restaurant supplies clearly forgot that it was Father’s Day weekend, melted ice cream because someone decided to turn the ice cream freezer off, and a seemingly endless flow of baby daddies who just did not know how to tip. Or maybe they just read a greeting card that empowered them to not let nobody hold them down — including the American system of tipping wait staff.
All in all, the day was a complete fail. I put up with way more bullshit than on a usual inner city restaurant day, but made half the money despite the double volume. I love my job!
I hope you had a fantastic Father’s Day!