Chapter

Diners and Downward

Alison Owings

in Hey, Waitress!

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780520217508
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520931220 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520217508.003.0007
Diners and Downward

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This chapter focuses on waitresses in diners, which started out as lunch wagons on wheels. It shows that diner waitresses used to enjoy good tips, but now they can encounter several nasty customers and poor—and sometimes nonexistent—tips. A serious waitress who hardly smiles describes the way some customers order their meals, the type of customers she encounters, and the kinds of tips she gets. Another waitress feels like she belongs in restaurants, and stresses that the tipping system is the one constant thing in waitressing which she likes. The chapter then turns to an account of a waitress whose job got in the way of her marriage, a waitress who shares some dramatic events that occurred during some of her shifts, and a former waitress who realized that waitressing was not the job for her.

Keywords: diner waitress; customer types; tipping system; dramatic events; shifts

Chapter.  19885 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Occupations, Professions, and Work

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