All In A Day’s Work

ALL IN A DAY’S WORK

by Mark Warneke

Characters

BITSY – a waiter with an attitude, always looking down his nose when  addressing KYLE. His eyes should follow KYLE when KYLE is assumed to be onstage, even though the audience never sees KYLE. (It is recommended that the person playing the part of BITSY read a few blog posts on http://thebitchywaiter.blogspot.com to get a feel for the character)

KYLE – never actually seen, KYLE is being trained by BITSY.

Time & Place

The present.

A restaurant, the waiter’s service alley

BITSY: (enters from offstage, stage right, laughing, but stops laughing the moment he faces the audience.) Always laugh when they laugh. Rule number one.

KYLE: Doesn’t that seem kind of phony?

BITSY: Kid, you want tips, you have to learn right now that phony is the only way to get ’em. (points upstage) You know how to make coffee yet? Yeah? Good, make a pot of decaf for me. No, put it in the regular pot.

KYLE: But it’s regular coffee. Doesn’t decaf go in the orange pot?

BITSY: That’s what the customers think. They see you pour from the brown pot, they think it’s regular. They see you pour from the orange, they think it’s decaf. We don’t sell enough of it to waste two whole pots. A customer orders decaf, we pour some from this pot into the orange and serve it to them. No one orders decaf, though, so we won’t have to clean the pot at the end of the night.

KYLE: I’d be a little upset if I ordered regular and got decaf…

BITSY: You don’t tell them it’s decaf. They can’t tell the difference. Now, look, we just got sat.

KYLE: We got sat?

BITSY: Sat. The hostess seated someone at one of our tables. Just follow me and watch what I do, listen to what I say. (walks offstage, stage right) Hey guys! It’s good to see you, my name’s Bitsy, I’m your server tonight. This guy behind me is…um…Kyle. His name’s Kyle. He’s training tonight.

KYLE: Hi.

BITSY: Mhmm… Yeah… You’re right, it is colder than usual for this time of the year, isn’t it? What’s that? Sure, did you want regular or decaf? Regular? Great! And for you, sir? Oh, I’m sorry, Utah state law doesn’t allow us to sell alcohol before noon. How about an Arnold Palmer? Half iced tea, half lemonade. Great! And for an appetizer would you like–  Sure, no problem, we’ll be right back with your drinks! (enters from stage right)

KYLE: Kyle?

BITSY: That’s not your name?

KYLE: My name’s Fernando. I told you that twice already.

BITSY: Right. Fernando. Sorry. Kyle’s the white guy.

KYLE: What?

BITSY: Do me a favor. Look in that fridge under there and grab me that purple kids’ cup. Just set it over there. (points offstage, stage left) Thanks. Can you grab that Arnold Palmer for me? You’re a doll. (Walks off stage, stage left, returns with a small, purple plastic cup that has a lid and straw on it) Ok, now pour a cup of decaf and put a spoon and napkin next to it on your tray, and carry it out. When you hand her the coffee, tell her it’s hot because you just brewed it. She’ll think you made it just for her.

KYLE: Ok. Should I see if any of the other tables need refills?

BITSY: (shrugs, watches KYLE leave, then speaks to audience) I hate training people. I really do. (sips from cup) It’s enough to drive a guy to drink. Which, by the way, I’m doing. Wine. Only way to get through these shifts. (walk towards stage right and looks offstage) See that couple over there? Looks like a nice, happy couple, don’t they?  She has no idea he was in here last night with another woman. Or the night before with another other woman. (nods offstage) That guy over there? The drunk? Baptist preacher. I’m actually surprised to see him here right now. He’s usually here on Thursdays.  Every Thursday night, same booth. Drinks a whole bottle of wine… I think my drink is courtesy of him, actually… oh. A whole bottle of wine and a margarita. Of course, we have to serve food with the alcohol. Utah state law, you know. So he orders chips and salsa. Looks like he had a few before coming in this afternoon, doesn’t it? I feel kind of bad for him. His wife ran off with a deacon. I only know that because my sister’s boyfriend’s mom’s hairdresser likes to gossip.

(sets down drink)

I’ll be right back. Kyle– No, his name’s…Ramon? Anyway, the hooker stopped him and I don’t think he knows the answer to her questions.

(exit stage right)

Oh, hey! It’s good to see you again! I love the hair. What color is that, exactly? Interesting. I saw you talking to Kyle here, so I thought I’d check up on you. The fish? Oh, no. No, it’s tilapia. I’m only telling you that because you’re my best customer. We’re supposed to tell you it’s fresh halibut, but I know you won’t say anything. (fake laugh) You’re so funny! I’ll be back to check on you when your food comes out, ok?

(enter stage right)

She gets on my nerves. Every single day she’s in here with a different wig, and every single day I have to pretend it’s the greatest thing ever. She tips two dollars. No matter how much she spends, I get two dollars. Cheap ass hooker. (looks at audience) No, seriously. Literally. She’s a prostitute. She works the corner outside my apartment. What? Give me a break, I wait tables for a living. We make two-thirteen an hour. You thought I lived uptown? (looks to stage right)

KYLE: Hey, do we have limes?

BITSY: We have lemons.

KYLE: I know that, but this guy wants lime.

BITSY: We have lemons.

KYLE: But he wants– Forget it.

BITSY: (looks back to audience) Where was I? Oh, right. (takes long sip from cup) Let me tell you, waiting tables isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. We have to put up with the most ridiculous crap you’ve ever heard. People wanting to sit on the patio after it rains, then complain about it being wet. People order gelato and complain that it’s too frozen. Our prices are too high, the music’s too loud, that other waiter still hasn’t brought the drinks. I mean, really? That other waiter? I’m the only waiter in this place!

(walks back to stage right and looks off stage again)

Ah, it must be twelve o’clock. The bartender just came out with a beer for the preacher. Must really be a bad day if he’s drinking beer. And you see that guy over there? Closet case. (looks at audience) I know that for a fact. One night stand, you know? It’s too bad he’s a  manager here. Too bad for him, I mean. How do you think I get away with drinking on the job?

(looks back offstage)

Oh, look! The hooker just sat down next to the preacher. This should be good. I think she’s– Yep. She’s rubbing his leg under the table. (takes a step back)

KYLE: What do I do with all of these empty glasses?

BITSY: Um, take them to the dishwasher?

KYLE: Do you think it would be ok if I took a break in a minute?

BITSY: I didn’t know you smoke.

KYLE: I don’t.

BITSY: Oh. No break, then. If you smoked, you could take a smoke break, but you don’t, so…

KYLE: (clearly irritated) Whatever.

BITSY: (watches KYLE leave stage left) He’s a touchy one, isn’t he? Kind of cute, too, from this angle.

(walks offstage, stage left, following KYLE)

(silence for almost a full minute)

KYLE: What the heck?! Did you just grab my–

BITSY: Sorry, you had pasta sauce on your pants. I was just wiping it off.

KYLE: Right.

BITSY: You seem kind of uptight. Why don’t you take a break?

KYLE: You said–

BITSY: I lied. Go take a break.

KYLE: Ok, thanks. I’ll be back in ten minutes.

BITSY: Take fifteen.

KYLE: Awesome, thanks!

BITSY: (enters from stage left) Poor kid. I should probably tell him he’s allowed a half hour for lunch.

(walks to stage right and looks offstage)

Look at them. All of them. This really is a thankless job, you know. The preacher’s going to leave me ten dollars and some change, and I’m going to feel sorry for him for the rest of the day. The two dollar hooker, I couldn’t care less about, but she wants to be my best friend. The old couple– Oh, crap. I never did go back for their order. Hold that thought!

(walks offstage)

I’m so sorry, you guys! Kyle had an accident in the back and I was taking care of him. No, he’ll be fine. He just needs to rest. But I was so worried about that poor boy that I forgot you hadn’t ordered yet! I’m really, really sorry about that. I hope you’ll let me buy you dessert after you’re through with your meal. Oh, thank you. Not everyone would be as understanding as you guys are. I appreciate it. Now, let me guess. You look like a steak man, am I right? Medium, I bet. Oh, medium rare. I was close. And you, ma’am? Oh, the pasta is excellent. It’s my favorite dish! Now, when you say extra cheese, do you want that on top of the pasta, or in a dish on the side? On the side, got it. Ok, I’ll get this in and have the kitchen put a rush on it!

(re-enter stage right and walk towards audience)

I’ve got to get this order in real quick. My relief should be here any minute, so I’m going to wait outside for her. If you folks see Kyle… Ricardo? FERNANDO! If you folks see Fernando, tell him I said to go to lunch. (finishes wine and looks at audience)

Thanks for keeping me company.

(a big, fake, grin crosses face)

You guys are the greatest. You really are. Y’all take care and be sure to come back and see us again real soon!

(exits stage left, and a moment later,   a door slams shut offstage)

Author’s note: For the properly formated script, just go to this link- All In A Day’s Work

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