Bad tips, bad customers, 3 full services, cheap bottles of red wine, heart-shaped desserts, split bills and tap water

This is what Valentine’s Day means to people who have to work it

by Marley Sniatowsky

Coatrooms appropriated for flower storage; February 14th is the pits. 
Thank God it only comes around once a year, otherwise staff would wise up but for some reason the defense mechanism of suppression, we use to get us through the shift, back fires and we forget, just 12 months later, how terrible it truly is.
Valentine’s Day is the worst of the major holidays. For most wait-staff, bar-staff, kitchen-staff, Christmas day can be smiled through, everyone who dines or drinks on December 25 does so in good fun with little expectation and with a spirit of giving. 
New Years isn’t dreaded either. For the most part, staff  invited to drink with the customers and everyone has a gay-old time ringing in the New Year.
But Valentines Day is bad, every couple expects a romantic evening on the same night, waiters/waitresses are expected to dote on every table and cater to their asinine requests for sappy slogans slapped onto soufflés. 
The thing is we aren’t embittered by footsie on any regular night; romantic gestures are only looked upon with such disdain on the nights that they’re obvious and expected. 
Just like a compliment they are better appreciated when they’re not predictable. This is our quarrel with this most Hallmark of days. It’s the reason why mass-weddings make people cringe, like a whole tub of ice-cream and one spoon; too much of a good thing makes you sick and Valentine’s Day is gushy overload, especially when you cannot participate. 
At least there are post-service drunken inter-staff steam-blowing hook-ups.

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