Diaries Magazine

An Open Letter to Kyle Smith

By Blairbarnes

Dear Kyle Smith:

I have been a server in various NYC restaurants for several years. I
am college educated, with a Bachelor’s in English Literature. I am
also a writer and a freelance publicist. I was not in the drama club.

For forty hours per week, I am on my feet answering questions, solving
problems, dealing with special dietary needs and constantly trying to
hold back my eye roll when a customer shoves his empty plate in my
face, smirks and says “clearly I haaaaated it.” Or keeping a straight
face when a woman asks me how her steak will come out if she orders it
medium-well. Or maintaining composure when an inebriated customer asks
me to please bring him a plate of cock. Yes, cock.

I love food. I love restaurants. I dine out at restaurants often. I
also love wine. I love communicating that love to people who are
interested in learning about how dishes are made and what goes into
sourcing those ingredients. I can tell you what breed of pig from what
farm is used to make our pate. I can tell you the name of the farmer
who hand picked our heirloom tomatoes. I will take the time out of my
very busy evening to explain to you the different between a pinot noir
from France and a pinot noir from California. I am happy to do that
because I love what I do and I want you to appreciate and enjoy your
dining experience.

You clearly have a different view on dining out. That’s fine. You are
welcome to feel however you want to, as long as you leave Jason his
20% tip at the end of the meal. You have no idea how hard we work.
When I get off work my legs are sometimes so swollen that my jeans
don’t fit right. I have constant back problems. I work holidays. All
of them. I explain to my family why I miss Christmas dinner, or why I
couldn’t get to that baby shower last week because I had a 14 hour
shift to work with a one hour break in the middle. I work. If you
don’t care about what you’re eating or how wide my smile is when I
describe how the truffles are sourced out of the ground in Italy and
then shaved onto your pasta, that’s your loss and your problem. But
leave me my tip.

I hope I never have to tell you tonight’s specials.

Best,
Katie Anne


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