Squawk Radio

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Back in high school, I was desperate for money. I was also desperately in love with the under-chef at DeToy's Dinner Club. One thing led to another, and before long I was a waitress at the Dinner Club. It still comes back to me sometimes in the dark of night, with a shudder.

First of all, there was a costume. I think we were supposed to look faintly like Swiss maidens--who knows? Anyway, the uniform was a gathered, off-the-shoulder white shirt with a short black twirly skirt.

Fine. At that point in my life I actually liked my knees and I could handle it. BUT...it was a Supper Club in the rurals of Minnesota. Translation: no liquor license. Hey, no problem. the intrepid owner came up with a list of drinks, came them fake names, and kept the liquor in the back (for people who "belonged" to the supper club, get it?).

So if a customer asked me for a Red Ruby Tomato, I was supposed to remember that what he really wanted was a lemon drop martini. Well, not really because they didn't have lemon drops in Minnesota back then, but you get the idea.

Well, put together my hideous memory, my unfailing ability to be distracted by my favorite cook, and the truth that I was new to waitressing anyway -- you have it. The worst job of my life. The job in which I was the most incompetent and caused the most distress to customers (who couldn't complain outloud when I brought them the wrong drink because the police chief always ate out with his wife at the supper club). They retaliated in the tipping area, which means that it was also the least well paid job of my life.

How about you? What was your low -- and why?
Eloisa James, 2:48 PM