An Open Letter to Denisse the Plastic Waitress

2021 September 14
by mockers

Dear Denisse,

Life inside this diner is difficult enough, Denisse. Most of us get here between 3 and 4 in the morning. The music is on the same candle switch that the lights are on, so the minute we groggily stumble into the place and flip on the lights, Buddy Holly and the goddamned Crickets start in with their schtick. I often wonder on those cold, dark mornings as I prepare to cover myself in flour and grease for yet another day, if one might get booted from heaven for beating the shit out of Buddy Holly. I’ve worked hard my whole life. I have taken care of my family. I have been kind to my fellow man. I deserve admittance into whatever heavenly realm comes next. As far as I know, Buddy Holly was a polite Texas kid who was kind to everyone he met, and better than most at guitar. There’s a chance we might bump into each other in heaven. Still, after 23 years of “Peggy Sue”…if I run into that guy somewhere in the hereafter, I am going to punch him in the throat.

See Denisse, I was once like you, except better. I was young, nubile, and excited for what the world had to offer. Like you, I was an attractive, generally happy person. I wasn’t nearly as fake and annoying about everything, but we’ll get to that in a minute. I cared about the people that came into this diner. I wanted to be the start to their great day. I believed the little things were the most important part of giving someone such a pleasant experience that they couldn’t help but go into the world feeling healthy, happy, cared for, and safe. I listened to their stories. I got to know them. I gave them genuine attention and feedback. I made sure their coffee was topped off. I got their orders right the first time. When I screwed up, I apologized, and I made things right. When they were finished, I meticulously cleaned up after them and reset the whole process for the next person. Sure. I was usually given a small gratuity for my effort, but that wasn’t the point. I did what I did because I was a genuinely nice person, and this was my way of helping my fellow humans.

Over the years, Denisse, my philosophy has changed. You see, working here is no picnic. I will never be able to remove the onion smell from underneath my fingernails. I am, in general, tired, and downright weary from 23 years of the daily process of prepping, cooking, and serving hundreds of greasy breakfasts and lunches for generally unappreciative folk in exchange for $28,000 a year. To put it bluntly, I am entirely worn out. My efforts to be a consistent bright spot in folks’ day did not pan out like I hoped it would, and society just got more divided and angrier with each other. I am exhausted. I am nearing the end. The breaking point is in sight. As the years rolled by, and my remaining time on Earth growths shorter, I’ve begun to care less and less about consequences.

This brings us to you, Denisse, and the reason that I am writing this letter. This job is not important to you. It is a means to some other means, to some other means, which might eventually lead to some unintentional end. I can’t tell what your goals are. I have no idea what you are working toward, or why. You stomp in here ten minutes before the breakfast rush and throw your counterfeit designer bag up on the wall by the time clock. Mark, the owner, never says anything about your tardy, unprepared entrance because you are young and attractive, and you keep the filthy old men coming back.

The “Denisse, the plastic girl” show begins as you strut onto the diner floor and start taking tables. Someone else has chipped the old syrup off the table and wiped it down. Someone else has rolled the setups. I realize you never think about these things, but that someone is always me. You use this sing-song voice that is nowhere near the vicinity of genuine. It reminds me of a series of bird calls.

I think of the Band-tailed Hornero’s alarm call as you greet old men and attempt to lure them into your section, regardless of whose turn it is. The song of the Bare-faced Curassow comes to mind as you ask if “we’re” doing anything special today. Who the hell is “we”? You’re not part of the group. You’re not leaving with them, you disingenuous tart.

I think of the Yellow-crowned Gonolek’s mating song as you hurl terms of endearment at complete strangers. “Honey”, “Baby”, and “Sugar” would not accurately describe any of these people. Yet you use these terms constantly. For all you know, that customer kidnapped a handcart full of nuns and keeps them chained in his basement…and he’s your “baby”?! Fuck you Denisse.

No matter where I go in the tiny diner, I can hear your fake bird calls. I shake my head in disgust as I consider the fact that the birds are trying to attract a mate. Your pathetic calls are designed to attract 25% gratuity from a biscuit and gravy order. Even the little message you write on every ticket makes me want to vomit. “Love, Denisse,” with a little heart dotting the “I”.

In summary, Denisse, I have endured this place too long. I have worked too hard. I have put too much of my heart, soul, and very existence into this diner to have to put up with your act. You are a whore. Instead of sex, your tricks consist of pancakes and birdcalls. I’m not going to take it anymore. I am officially threatening you, Denisse. Consider me the greasy spoon vigilante. Use your normal voice, do some actual work, refer to the customers by their names or prepare to be severely burned. Literally.


Alice from the diner

2 Responses leave one →
  1. 2021 September 14
    Mrs Metten permalink

    I could totally see this as part of a book.

  2. 2021 September 14
    lakrfool permalink


    ….was awesome.

    Take it easy on Buddy Holly in the afterlife though…it’s not his fault that every “diner,” Johnny Rockets, and their ilk glommed on to Peggy Sue. I used to be a bartender at joint where every half hour the jukebox would default to the most popular selection, and even though every time I hear American Pie I explode into a vomitous rage, I ain’t mad at Don MacLean. Spit in a neo-yuppies veggie omelette instead.

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