Waitressing at Byerly’s

7 Sep

This is a picture of Bob Besser and me shortly after Halloween one year. He had decked himself out as me and I was getting back at him by wearing a cook’s outfit and pushing my ears out. I miss the color of my hair–it never lasts that color after I have it dyed now, but I don’t miss the braid. The picture represents one of the happiest times I experienced during my sixteen and a half-year tenure, the last two years at the Roseville Byerly’s rather than the Edina Byerly’s where I had most of my experiences. To think I took the job in 1981 because I was worried about making car payments! Scott is my best friend in Minneapolis and he also worked there, but there were two groups of people I liked very much and Bob belongs to the first one.

I had never planned a career as a waitress, which is how it turned out. Three things drew me initially: paying off my car payments, not working at a desk, and trying to get over my shyness. I had an English Poli./Sci. BA, but not much ambition. About halfway through my work at Byerly’s, I applied for grad. school and then did both for a number of years.

I think everyone should work as a waiter. It’s amazing what you learn about people–good and bad. Barb Osborn and I really liked the men who came to the back counter, including Norman, Howard, and Wes. I used to do the New York Times Crossword Puzzle with them during the slow times. We also had a good group that came in the restaurant from 5-7–mostly WW II couples my parents’ age. And then there were the others! I definitely didn’t get along with drunks, which made me a weaker waitress during the late night shifts. I hit one guy, whom I actually liked, on the head with a tray when he wouldn‘t behave. Another time I had a conversation with a man who didn’t like his pork chops, telling him sweetly that he couldn’t throw his napkin into the booth behind him. Scott and I waited on an ex-lawyer frequently, who used Q-tips to take the wax out of his ears and then used the wax to plant said Q-tips on the front counter. Come to think of it, in some ways I had pretty good preparation for becoming a teacher.

2 Responses to “Waitressing at Byerly’s”

  1. Rhonda Mapes September 10, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    This picture is so adorable. Enjoyed the story except the gross part about ear wax. EWWWWW

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