I try to be friendly to everyone I meet, but Carrie was the only co-worker that I ever really hated to work with. It actually caused me pain to even hear her name more or less have to be anywhere near her. She was just the kind of person that got under everyone’s skin!
She was an older woman. Not the best server in the world but extremely reliable, mainly because she didn’t have a life. An old “worn hard looking lady,”
Carrie swore she was not on any medications nor was she under the influence of any illegal substance, yet I always found it hard to believe that all that damage came naturally. She was thin and hunched with milk-white skin and a face like “The Crypt Keeper.” A female skull face with red lips and beautiful, jade green eyes.
Not to sound petty, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it really wasn’t Carrie’s outside ugly that bothered me, it was more the blackness she carried around with her that doomed everyone in her path.
Carrie was a walking bundle of misery. Instead of simply serving her customers the meals that they came in and ordered, she would have to serve them up a heaping helping of drama too. Yeah, don’t ask me how she’d do it, but she would manage to pull the heart-strings of kind souls that had the misfortune of sitting in her section, and next thing you know they’d be leaving her a $50 tip on their credit card when their bill only totaled $7.48. It was beyond me. She never stole the money, because I’d seen first-hand customers generously donate to the “Carrie Fund,” and then they’d say, “I’ll pray for her sad situation,” as they left.
A situation, my ass. I say, only because I too once, in the beginning, believed her tales of anguish and heartache, until I finally listened to everyone’s warning, and learned. She was a drunk that liked to gamble and piss off every cent she could make and then some on absolutely nothing. Or that’s how the stories go, because she did work, and she did earn a reasonable living for a single, bottom of the barrel kind of gal. Yet she never had anything to show for it. Who knows?
For four years I dealt with her sad stories, lack of professional skill, and what I considered “poor hygiene,” before my prayers were finally answered.
Part of my personality is that I am a “CLASS CLOWN,” and everyone at the Diner enjoyed it. That was everyone except Carrie. Somehow it bothers Carrie to hear people laugh or see them happy, which is everything I stand for, and unfortunately, the happier and sillier I got the madder she would get. She was always trying to get me in trouble too, complaining to our boss that I talk too much or tell bad jokes. “She’s always too busy goofing off with customers to properly do her job.”
But the one thing she never expected after all the years she had worked at the Diner, was that eventually, all her complaining was going to get old, (especially because our boss was fond of me and my jokes), and she would put herself in danger of losing her job. Which is exactly what happened. Even though she had been with the family much longer than I had, they decided once and for all that they were tired of marching down “Negative Lane.”
Oddly enough, after Carrie was terminated, several customers informed the owners that Carrie’s generous tips on their credit card were not meant as tips at all. On the contrary, they were loans that she convinced these poor folks to give her with no intention of ever paying them back one cent.
Despite what we all believed, most of Carrie’s regular customers were not fond of her at all; they just continued to sit in her section because they felt sorry for her “Make-Believe Tales.”
Just goes to show, UGLY is ugly, and good always prevails.
Laugh on. Peace out!
Lisa DeMarco is a waitress at Billy’s Cafe and a columnist for Villages-News.com.