UnderCover Waitress: Dear Abby Advice Column

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dear Abby Advice Column

Remember Dear Abby supporting the waitresses  who complained that they could not read minds and should not be expected to? The issue was over separate checks; some customers want them and some do not. No customers back then thought to communicate their preferences to the waitresses.

Nice Handwriting!
This next letter to Dear Abby is from The Evening Independent dated August 30, 1971. Long before the days of the computerized point of sale (POS) system, this waitress told it like it was. Separate checks were a bother. Extra writing took more time as did trying to make change for numerous people at one table. And all the while, her other tables were wondering where she was while they decreased their tip due to the slow service.

With POS systems in many restaurants today, it is not as big a deal to give separate checks, but customers are well-advised to request separate checks at the beginning of the meal. This gives the waitress a "heads-up" to keep her notes regarding who ordered what.

Of course, Abby's response is priceless. Her father would tip 25cents for a 10cent cup of coffee. She quotes him as saying that waitresses are "...nice, hardworking girls who have one of the toughest jobs in the world."

The Toughest Job in the World


  1. To tell you the truth I have done both, handwritten and POS [yes I am that old] and the handwritten checks were easier to separate than the computerized one as the c/ones have a tendency to confuse the kitchen on firing times if you don't input it in exactly right and in some instances we couldn't get it done "right" because the computer wouldn't allow it.

  2. I want to make one of "but technology makes our lives easier" jokes :-) You know, the one said with a sarcastic tone of voice while somebody goes to war with a computer.


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