Edward Hopper [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The One Time Slip-Resistant Shoes Fail

Nearly three years ago, I began my first job serving in a restaurant. The dress code was nothing special, just a t-shirt and blue jeans. All servers were also required to wear slip-resistant shoes to prevent injuries caused by falling while waiting tables or running food. The slip-resistant shoes allowed all of us to walk around without fear of falling, whether there was sweet tea or ice on the floor. Although not the most stylish or most comfortable, the shoes never failed. Except for this one time.

It was a typical Sunday, and the restaurant was packed. Servers were continuously walking from their tables, to the wait stations, to the kitchen and back. Our slip-resistant shoes were put to the test with all of the spills caused by busy servers, frantically refilling their customers’ drinks. None of us were slowed down by the messes made on the floor, up until the last hour of the shift.

One server was waiting on a group of elderly men and women. She brought their drinks to the table, took their orders, and made her way to the kitchen to wait for their food to be ready. Meanwhile, one of the older gentlemen at the table felt the need to go number two. Unfortunately, he was unable to make it to the restroom before doing so. For whatever reason, which I still have not figured out, the old man decided not to tell anybody about the incident, and he quietly returned to the table. Even stranger, somehow nobody noticed what had happened. Or maybe they chose not to report it. The evidence of the gentleman’s mishap remained unseen until his waitress was walking back to his table, carrying the tray with his and his friends’ food.

The waitress, with her head held high and the tray held above her head, stepped in the old man’s mess. She slipped and fell. Her slip-resistant shoes had failed her!

Luckily, the talented server never let the tray get below her head, so the food was saved. Her clothes, on the other hand, suffered from the fall. Covered up to her knees in the old man’s mishap, she stood up, laughed, and said, “Shit happens!

Although the server didn’t seem to be shaken by the fall, she never returned to work. We were still required to wear the hideous and uncomfortable slip-resistant shoes, and as far I know, nobody fell again. We all quickly learned to watch where we stepped.

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