That time I Was A Cater Waiter
It was basically my job to police the maple syrup table and enforce the one serving of maple syrup per person rule at the Scotiabank pancake breakfast. There were over 900 people there I had to lay down the law, a few times this morning at 40 King Street West. Was this job humiliating? That's another story.
To say cater waiters have it rough is an understatement. When my friend suggested I give it a try, I imagined waltzing around a ball room in ballet flats and a black skirt, carrying a trying of champagn for sexy thirsty bankers. I didn't expect to feel worthless, exhausted, and with feet in so much pain I nearly had to walk barefoot to the streetcar after my first few shifts with pretty buy uncomfortable shoes. The free shishkbabs and beef tenderloin smoothed things over for a bit but it didn't ever really get better. I need to be comfortable in my own skin to work like this, and size nine black leather Echos with a square toe doesn't cut it. I'm sorry, but you can't enforce maple syrup laws whilst in clown shoes. At least I can't. Out of work or underpaid entrepreaurs, actors, writers, illustrators, aspiring culinary artists, and planners do it every day though, along with Toronto's new Canadians. They work in the bowels of Toronto’s financial district, taking order from the bottom up. low-wage earners are visible minorities, immigrants and women
The conditions are usually stressful as kitchen and cafeteria staff who often work long hours, making it their life, with stickers on their very own lockers in the locker room know the floor inside out. Large events are stressful when they have to work with cater waiters, many of whom are also Canadian immigrants via for a permanent position but confused about the way things are supposed to work.
On Dec. 2 on the 4th floor staff have been in the kitchen since six, after working a 17 hour shift the day before. It’s another Christmas banquet on Bay Street, this one for about 200 young bankers, men and women who started their eating and drinking at 530 PM The vibe was cool blues, and they half heartedly encouraged us to to get into the groove. Jory is our lead, a white gay guy who probably gets paid $20 an hour to keep us organized. Today he answers to Tito who answers to Linden, a white guy who answers to…? There is also a hierachy among the caiter waiter. If you’re lucky, and white, you get to move to the 63rd floor with Jane. It means nicer views, more table service, some passing, buffets?? It’s tense but, far less hectic than the fourth floor that is so disorganized that after almost every shift someone who has more experience says it’s not usually this bad. Most of the cater