A couple of days ago, my wife texted me an article about a restaurant in California that hired a fake “priest” to hear the confessions of their waitstaff in order to uncover suspected wrongdoings by their workers. They got busted and were fined $140,000 to punish them for this and other labor infractions. I laughed when the local Catholic diocese issued a statement saying this faux cleric wasn’t one of their priests. “We may be guilty of a lot of things,” they could have said. “But this isn’t one of them.”
Since I’m both a former seminarian and waiter, this bit of news was right up my ecclesiastical alley. “I sense a business opportunity,” I texted back to my wife. “Have stole will travel.” Therefore, I’m announcing that I’m now available to hear the confessions of restaurant workers for a reasonable fee and free meal. So, I dusted off my copy of waiter canon law and came up with a few suitable penances for your review. So, without further ado, I present:
List of Penances to Be Administered to Restaurant Personnel
A) Penances For Waitstaff
- Late for work? – One Hail Mary.
- Arguing with the bus people? – Two Hail Mary’s and one Our Father in Spanish. Don’t speak Spanish? Google it my child.
- Dropping a tray full of food? – Mea culpa to the chef. Then tip out the bus extra for cleaning it up and say three Our Fathers.
- Stealing a co-worker’s pens or wine opener? – Sigh, four Our Fathers and replace the items when you inevitably lose them.
- Showing up work drunk or stoned? – I’m drunk so I can listen to this crap. Four Hail Mary’s and give me the name of your dealer.
- Stealing extra shirts and aprons out of a co-worker’s locker? – You’re a piece of shit, but God is infinitely merciful. Four Our Fathers and four Hail Mary’s.
- Impure thoughts about your coworkers? – Tell me more. Tell me everything. I want details. Thank goodness I’m wearing a cassock.
- Foisting a double tip on an unsuspecting patron? – Depends. Was the customer an entitled asshole? If not, donate the amount you stole to a worthy charity like me.
- Oversharing your personal problems? Romance dramas, psychological issues or that rash on your ass? – Take a vow of silence for two shifts.
- Talking shit about the owner’s predilection for strippers? – Say two Glory Be’s while getting a lap dance in the Champagne Lounge. Who said confessing can’t be fun?
- Losing a customer’s reservation because they are an insufferable jerk? – Free pass.
Prayer of Absolution for Waiters: May the Autograt in the Highest shower you with lucrative Saturday night shifts, may all your tips be over 20%, and I absolve you of all your sins in the name of downtrodden waiters everywhere. Go in peace and, if you’re hot, slip me your number.
B) Penances for Restaurant Owners
- Cutting waiters from the floor after they’ve shown up for work? – Pay them full minimum wage for the time they would have worked complete with an apology.
- Threatening to call La Migra on your undocumented cooks? – Work in a homeless shelter with immigrants for two months.
- Charging waiters for “shift meals” while giving them nothing to eat? – a diet of bread and water for six months. You’ll enjoy getting scurvy.
- Not paying your sales, liquor or payroll taxes? – The government will inflict a penance far worse than I can. Enjoy your new ‘roided out cellmate.
- Saying those desserts are homemade when you bought them at Costco? – Walk naked through the streets while being pelted with frozen chocolate lava cakes by the food critic from the New York Times.
- Refilling those top shelf bottles with swill? – Replace your top shelf cocaine with homecooked meth. I hope you have good dentist.
- Making fun of people because their gay, lesbian, or transgendered? – You’ve got to come to work in drag and like it. Make sure your belt matches your six inch stilettos.
- Sexually shaking down desperate single moms for shifts? Three kicks in the balls administered by said mother followed by writing six hundred Hail Mary’s on a blackboard – in Latin.
- Not paying waiters minimum wage for the hours of sidework you make them do before and after every shift? – The Rack. Nobody suspects The Spanish Inquisition!
- Skimming from the tip pool? – Forget what I said about infinite mercy. God hates those motherfuckers. Penance? Burning at the stake of course.
Prayer of Absolution for Exploitative and Abusive Owners: There is none. Enjoy Hell.
I’m sure some of my readers can come up with some additional restaurant sins with appropriate penances in the comments section.