Friday, August 31, 2007

Party Like a Waitress

So, I'm thinking Shabbat will be relaxing, afford me an opportunity to sleep, to rest, to catch up with people, enjoy a beautiful Kabbalat Shabbat and the like...right? Wrong.

No, now I'm a waitress!

This is Chana's life, you understand, and this is how events work out. Hence my being a waitress on my very first Shabbat back at Stern, Orientation Shabbat, no less, at which there are at least 350 people (only to be outdone next week by the TAC/ SOY Shabbat with God knows how many. We can't even fit them all in Koch.)

So, what does it mean to be a waitress at Stern?

It means:
  • Showing up at 1:00 on Friday to set tables/ prepare salads/ refrigerate food, etc
  • Learning very interesting things about how the food is prepared
  • Meeting new people (if it's your first time, which it isn't for me), the majority of them French
  • Not having to pay for Shabbat/ being paid for your time ($70 if you're on work-study, $35 if you're not; the rest is put on your caf card)
  • Having lots of fun assuming that you're waitressing alongside friends (which I am)
  • Getting to eat cupcakes when nobody else can (because there are a couple left, which means you can't serve them, but you're not just going to throw them out, are you?)
  • Throwing out incredible amounts of food (this is really sad, but there's a law that you can't serve it once it's already been out on the table. And you can't donate it because of that, as well.)
  • Having to appear posthaste in front of a group of demanding people who are annoyed that their food is taking so long (often, this is not our fault)
  • Or somehow being given some awesome table of really sweet people who completely get that we get to them as fast as we can
  • Having to come early to every meal in order to set up (you can't daven at shul; you have to do so on your own) and stay till the very end (in order to clean up)
  • Having to wake up early on Shabbat morning (some people don't like to do this; I'd do it anyway)
  • Having a party

Anyway, it's going to be good fun. What I like best about being a waitress is that I get to move around as opposed to having to stay stationed at one solitary table and stare about dismally. Not that you have to do that, either, but it's quite difficult to get anywhere on these crowded Shabbatonim unless you're carrying food, in which case all make way for you. I get to see all the new faces and new people and go into my shpiel (it's invariably, "Hey, I'm Chana; what's your name? Do you know what you're majoring in yet or are you undecided? Oh, undecided, that's fine/ Oh, humanities and arts; I love those too/ Oh, science and math; you're aeons ahead of me!/ How'd you choose to come to Stern? Oh wait, they're calling me, I'll get back to you later!") then dashing off to whomever is signaling me, then returning and so on and so forth. It's basically all a dance. Waitressing is just that, an elaborate dance. You also have to dance through the tables (it takes good form and practice.) I enjoy all of this.

Word to the wise, ask questions after Rabbi Kanarfogel's speech on Orientation Shabbat and he remembers you. I did, and he remembered me during our recent encounter. So if there is some reason you need to make an impression on Rabbi Kanarfogel, you can do it this way. The deal is that most people are too scared and shy to talk (not my problem, alas) and so when a freshman does speak up it's very exciting.

*sings* I'm a waitress, I'm a waitress, I'm a waitress!

Party time!


PsychoToddler said...

Make sure Fudge gets something to eat!

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Sounds like a new musical (or Stern play):

Chana, The Dancing Waitress.

Shavua tov...

Erachet said...

Hope you had fun! Do you have any fun plans for sunday and monday? I am still trying to decide what my fun plans are. =D

Ilana-Davita said...

Why "most of them French?"

Rebecca said...

Wow, I'm impressed that you actually want to waitress. Hope you enjoyed!

Nachum said...

Ah, I remember being a Shabbos waiter back in my YC days. It was a blast, and exhausting. I think I passed out the second my head hit the pillow Friday night. This was back in the days when YU first started attracting huge numbers for Shabbat.

Geez, I feel old.

Ezzie said...

As a former waiter and cook for a number of years...

Learning very interesting things about how the food is prepared