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I have always loved being a waitress. I enjoy seeing what other’s will tip me. There is a thrill in the anticipation of receiving the money. I wonder what they gave me. They seemed friendly. The moment comes and you are delightfully surprised when customers exceed your expectations. When you receive less than you should have it’s a bummer of a feeling. It wasn’t worth the wait. That’s where the fun lies. In the wait, in the end a waitress wants to get tipped. There’s lots of funny moments in this career. I could tell you a thousand but tonight I will only tell you about last minute people. Whoever out there worked in a restaurant knows exactly who I’m talking about. The people who walk up to the window check the closing time. They give a quick glimpse at their watch, look at the person joining them, shrug their shoulders and say “We still have time.” They have no idea that you just ran four hours straight, did another sixty-minutes of clean-up and still had silver to roll. You were just about to marvel in the thought of the night being over. Instead you grab two menus, force a smile and attempt to sound pleasant. You would think these people would harbor a little guilt. There are some that know it was probably a bad idea, but stay anyway. There are other’s that become somewhat defensive and feel the need to talk really loud and explain why they came. You know the one’s that yell out, “I know it’s late but I’m starving.” The best ones are the people who take their time ordering. It’s like they enjoy rubbing salt in the wound. You approach the table and ask to take a drink order. No answer. They stay focused on the menu and don’t give a reply until you ask again. You bring the drinks and ask if they are ready to order. “One more minute,” they say. If only they  knew the waitress is thinking, “One more minute, we’re only open for one more minute.” By the time they leisurely finish their meal all of the silver has been rolled. Your purse is on the counter and your jacket is visible. There is no one in the dining room but you and them. You have no choice but to keep looking in their direction. Still, they remain. It’s obvious they are lost in conversation. They are oblivious to the worker mopping the floors two booth away from them. Not even a blink when bright lights are turned on.  At last you see them beginning to stir. You are hopeful this is it. One arm through a coat sleeve is a good sign. They rise to get up. You fill with relief. Trying to appear patient you nod goodbye. You wait for them to exit then run to clear the table. You scan the mess. You mean there’s no tip. Disgusted you clear the plates cursing all types of thoughts. Your mood goes from irked to down right mad. You grab the last plate and discover a folded up ten dollar bill. It was worth the wait.

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