inessential by Brent Simmons


My sister Melissa now has her rŽsumŽ up. Whoever hires her is damn lucky.

Sheila has been having mass fun with her new Wacom tablet.

I wonder what my rŽsumŽ would look like?

Busboy busboy busboy busboy busboy busboy busboy UserLand.

Luckily -- very very luckily -- it doesn't matter.


Which restaurants did I work in? Seattle-ites may recognize the names:

Trattoria Mitchelli
McCormick and Schmick's
Red Robin
CafŽ Casino

Plus one day, just one, at the U District International House of Pancakes. (I just couldn't stand it.)

Being a busboy was a pretty good gig, at least at the better restaurants on the above list. I'd work for several waiters, and they'd all tip me a portion of their tips. So I went home with cash -- not quite as much as a single waiter, but pretty close.

And I didn't have the responsibilities of a waiter. No adding up the checks at the end of the shift. I refilled people's water and coffee and stuff -- but mostly the waiters dealt with the people. So it was a very physical job, running around, carrying trays and wiping down tables.

All emphasis was on speed. And I was damn good at it. But it made me sick after about ten years.

Jobs like that, it's the same thing every day, there's no such thing as accomplishment.

Every day people have to eat, and they make a mess, and that's it, and then there's tomorrow, same fish bones and half-empty glasses of wine and children's crayon scribblings on the table.


You have no idea how common it is for people to leave their doggy bag in the restaurant. I'd almost say it was most of the time. People don't really want to take the food with them. It's a fiction.

The worst thing I ever saw -- and I saw this many times -- was a well-dressed man and a woman leaving their table, man first -- and then the woman grabs a few dollars from the tip lying there on the table and squirrels it away. Her petty grab is unseen by the man, who's invariably smiling and leading the way to the door. A good joe, prolly.

I'd like to tell people like that that their heart is made of fish bones.

But what I would do is just clean up, and then some other people would sit there.