I spent most of my college life waiting tables. The heftiest chunk of that time was at the Chevy's in Times Square, where I spent weekends and evenings singing their bastardized version of "Happy Birthday" to the legions of yahoos who lied about it being their birthdays so they could get a free cartoon sombrero. I worked double shifts for measly ducats and endured name-calling, inappropriate touching, and serving entire off-off-Broadway casts who enjoyed dining on only free chips and salsa and paying in terrible renditions of Les Mis songs. I Dreamed a Dream, and that shit did not involve bringing you 50 baskets of chips in return for $5.
Honestly, waitressing wasn't all bad. I'm outgoing, enjoy making new friends, and love stealing fresh tortillas from el machino. In general, pouring giant pitchers of muy autentico bright orange mango margaritas to wannabe boy bands and tourists could be a good time. Sure, I suffered physically; if you're running around for twelve hours straight, your back and legs will pay the price. I could easily laugh off the losers who beckoned me to their table with, "Hey, red!" — they were the sad idiots eating at the Chevy's in Times Square, and I was laughing all the way to the bank.
However, let me be clear: the laughing to the bank part is key.
As Chelsea Welch, the waitress who was fired from Applebee's last week after posting a picture of a receipt, on which an idiot customer wrote "I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?" as her "tip," has spoken out in a new post for the Guardian: