Slip Sliding Away

So I tempted fate a few days ago by writing about dropping trays. Thankfully, I made it through my next shift with my trays as steady as ever so I thought I would take another gamble and write about something else that can plague a server: falling on your ass. It’s happened to most of us and if it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will. It’s inevitable. I’ve written about when customers fall but who really cares when they fall? As long as they didn’t hurt their wallet or break their credit card, I’m good. But when it happens to one of our own, it’s a true tragedy.

The last time I fell was when I worked at VYNL. Part of the kitchen and all of the storage was downstairs so it was ripe for accidents. Plus the stairs were made of metal, always greasy and they were so steep that we may as well have called them a ladder. Going down them once to fetch some ice, I slipped and ended up in the basement flat on my ass and in a pile of nasty stagnate water that no one wanted to fucking clean up. I guess since it was only stagnate water in the food prep area, everyone thought “meh, it’s cool.” It hurt though. And I have a skinny little bony ass without much padding. But worse than the physical pain was the humiliation of ending up on the floor in front of all the cooks. Most of them didn’t speak English, but laughter is universal. They laughed at me in Spanish and I was mucho embarrassed.

The thing about falling at a restaurant is that when you fall, it’s always onto the nasty ass floor that was slippery with salad dressing or fajita juice or whatever the fuck. And whatever made you slip is what you end up sitting in. And when you do fall you’re usually in a hurry which contributed to the fall in the first place so you never have time to go clean up. You just pop right back up and carry on all the while having a big glob of 1000 Island dressing smeared all over your ass. Now don’t misunderstand me. There is a time and place to have 1000 Island dressing smeared all over your ass but that time and place is not while you’re at work.

Of course falling can be avoided. If you take yourself over to Payless, you can buy some skid-resistant shoes for $24.99 and they really help. Spending $24.99 on something crappy for a crappy job is not fun, but let me say this. Not falling at work is a good thing too. And not having 1000 Island dressing smeared all over your ass while at work is an even better thing. Save that for your private time.

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30 thoughts on “Slip Sliding Away

  1. Anonymous

    Have you ever thought of making a tv series out of your post. Your stories alone would make a great show… Lol if you do ever make a show let me know I would love to watch it. By the way you could start and end the show with you talking about what's going on in the show and the middle of the show could be what is actually happening. It would be so funny.

  2. Anonymous

    The other day I tripped over a purse on the floor / rogue child combo… with a water pitcher in my hand and I fell onto another customer. Of course I had to be all, "Little demon child, are you okay?" While no one asks if I am okay or takes control of said demon child…

  3. Joshua Gavin

    Nothing can be worst than falling at work, the moment everyone staring at you and some of them laughing is really embarrassing, this is why you should be more careful at work.

  4. Krissy

    I brought a pair of $75.00 Skid Resistant Sketchers. Those damn things are not what they say they are. If I knew about the Payless thing I could've saved $50.00

  5. ...

    VYNL used to be one of my favorite restaurants (mainly because of the record-album-cover menus); however, I had no idea the poor waitstaff had to hoof it up and down the stairs to bring food (I was probably too busy spooning up Thousand Island dressing to notice). In your honor, I vow to avoid any restaurant with a basement kitchen and no elevator. :o)

  6. Athena

    Falling is horrible. I once fell over a stupid metal pole on the terras, whilst carrying two beers. Resulted in beer falling all over woman's jacket, and me busting my knee. So there I was hurt and bleeding whilst apologizing for ruined jacket. And did anyone ask if I was ok? nooo..

  7. zeebee

    Work shoes are a pain in the ass, period.I have to buy new ones every month or so, no matter how good the grip, the grease on the floor just eats the sole. And worst thing now is the store I usually get shoes from have plastic soles. Not rubber. Plastic has zero grip. So now I have to spend three times as much on shoes that'll last me the same length of time, if I'm lucky.I fell on my ass yesterday. On some water people pretend never actually gets spilt, during a busy period at the end of our breakfast shift, we had next to no staff, and I was the best server on. My knees still hurt like hell, but just like you, I had to get up, brush it off. My manager looked so scared, like I wasn't going to be able to move off the damn floor. Like we have any choice in those situations …

  8. Troy Barrington

    I've just started following your blog, my wife works in the food service industry and she slips every now and then, flats help if you're allowed to wear them…waiters / waitresses work so hard…

  9. Jodi

    I have taken a fall a few times… once combining the tray spill with the fall which was the worst! A table dropped their ramekin of ranch on the floor which I promptly slipped on spilling a tray of 6 glasses all over myself and the legs of the people sitting at the table. It wasn't my table, and they were the cause of my fall which caused the entire dining room to turn and stare as the loud crash of breaking glass tends to draw attention. This also generated a lot of clapping and laughter from other co-workers. I only wish I had gotten them more wet with all the pop and ice tea on the tray ha. Kudos for getting right back up!

  10. blackout

    i havnt fallen at work yet [now watch me do it next time im there, lol] but i do have slip resistant shoes, and they dont work on the greasy kitchen floors. i have come close to falling more than once. you should totally share your experience with spilling things. i once spilled a shake on a table in the middle of a rush, it sucked. luckily none got on the customer.

  11. Star1964

    I feel your pain, literally. I fell while waitressing (gulp) 20 years ago and my back still goes out now and again to remind me of that day. I was working at a sidewalk cafe in Coconut Grove FL. I fell on my way into work in the front of house, not even on the clock yet…no workmen's comp and I was wearing sneakers!

  12. Taschima Cullen

    @Ivo Belfo Im pretty sure the person writing is a guy…(are you a guy?)I just recently started following your blog, but I think that if you put your mind to it, this blog could be the start of a great funny book on waitressing. Kind of like The Nanny Diaries, but on waitress style. Something for you to think about.

  13. Shadowfire

    LMFAO! Omg! That bit about the dressing on your ass while at work vs private time is too much! I hated working in a restaurant. They never had the floor dry in the kitchen, and stored utensils and things outside in the back parking area behind a fence to save space in the kitchen for extra mops, that I don't think were ever used.Falling at work is horrible. Thanks for the laughs bitchy waiter! You're the best!

  14. Liz

    I don't recall ever falling in my waitressing days, but I have dropped food once or twice. The first week on the job, I was carrying a tray of waters to the booth, and the family had moved the baby carrier from the seat to the floor, right in front of the booth where I managed to trip over it and spill all the waters on the table. No, the baby was not in the carrier at that point. Yes, I turned bright red and almost cried (I was only 16, gimme a break!)

  15. OO

    I've only recently started following your blog but if you haven't already (plus, I have no idea if this has ever happened to you, but I'm assuming it's common in the dining service world seeing as how it happened to me) you could talk about if you ever spilled an order or drink on one of your customers. For me, it was a scalding hot cup of coffee lol

  16. Barbie and Hazel

    Falling at work. The WORST. Especially if it's because you were made to wear ridiculous heels and the kitchen peeps decide they are going to spray water EVERYWHERE. (Happened to me) Or if you are walking down the stairs from the attic office, your foot goes through a crappy old step, you fall, tear the tendons in your hand, have to get worker's comp and will always have two bent fingers on your right hand. (Happened to my boyfriend) Restaurant falls are

  17. aletorro

    Happened to me once, after a few laughters of the prep guy, delivery guys and dishwasher guy they wondered if I was okay. I just smile, said yes, blamed them all for not cleaning that mess, blamed my shows for being so slippery grabbed what I was looking for and went back upstairs. I had to deal with all the pain, later, while sleeping, is there really any other way?

  18. Cynthia

    I've never understood the rationale of having a restaurant with the kitchen in the basement, forcing the waitstaff to hoof all those stairs while carrying heavy, loaded trays. Elevators or escalators – now that's the way to go!


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