Have you ever heard of the play, "The Actor's Nightmare"? It's inspired by a typical nightmare that actors have where they're thrust upon a stage and can't remember their lines or don't even know what play they're doing.
I've never had that dream before.
However, I've had more than my fair share of waiter nightmares. Man...they are the WORST. I wake up in cold sweats, in a panic, and utterly exhausted. I don't know if this happens to people in other professions, but at least among my co-workers, it's pretty common.
My typical waiter nightmare usually involves the restaurant being in some bizarre location...in a mall or a 5 story building or a football field or a supermarket. And I have tables in locations that are impossibly far apart. Plus, I have a million tables and each of those tables has some kind of special request. And ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS... the computers are down.
A couple weeks ago, I had that nightmare become a reality. First, I started taking tables early (and didn't get to take a break) because it was really busy. Pretty soon, I had 3 tables on the patio and 4 inside and they were all pretty needy... and then... wait for it...
THE COMPUTERS CRASHED.
For a good solid 30 minutes, I had to hand run every drink and food order to the bar and kitchen. I had to hand write receipts and add up the totals and calculate tax. I had to get manual imprints of credit cards.
I came very, VERY close to murdering someone.
Luckily, my managers stepped in and were able to help at least a little bit and I explained to my guests what was going on so they would understand why I was sucking it up so bad. By the time the computers were back up and running, my tables outside had finished up and things were going much more smoothly. But it was still a very long, very busy night, and by the time it was all over with, I was ready to collapse.
I read this article. I think it's bullshit. It starts off with a waiter nightmare, but you know what? All waiters have those. It's because our job kind of sucks. But I wouldn't trade it for being a desk jockey in a million years.