Go Sweep the Buttway

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m insecure about a lot of things. I’d liken living in my head to hanging out in a room with a bunch of people who spend all their time pointing out my inadequacies and then one person who every so often creepily whispers, “That person walking behind you on the street is about to MURDER you.”

So when I was 20, the voice that tells me I’m a loser who’s never going to achieve anything was like, “You’ve never had a job, you fucking loser… Who is ever going to hire a 20 year old who’s never had a job?” And I was like, “YOU’RE RIGHT, VOICE,” so I went to the Waffle House and applied for a job.

I was pretty sure no one would hire someone whose only line on her resume was Dad’s Home Office Secretary, Age 12. Much to my excitement, immediately after filling out the application the manager was like, “Ok, you start Saturday.” It turns out they were in the market for a Door Corps, which is an under-glorified Hostess. Under-glorified is definitely not a term, but it applies here. It was like Hostessing lite.

You guys, they didn’t even PHONE SCREEN me!

I proceeded to work as a Door Corps for about two months, and I took it incredibly seriously. I even turned in a written two week’s notice when I quit. It was the worst job ever. ANYWAY, I have pieced together my memories of what training day was like and written it down for you. This is about 99.9% true and please do read it with an accent in your head.

JK, it was a normal Waffle House. But there were definitely days that it felt like this.

“We here are real dang proud to have y’all here as the newest members of our team and we jus’ gotta run through a quick training so you can give our customers the same Southern Hospitality we’ve been servin’ up since 1955. Now, first things first… I know it don’t sound like much, but being a Door Corps is a time honored position. Sure, you might not get tips or nuthin’ but you get the satisfaction of knowing that you opened the door for every single smilin’ face that comes in these doors lookin’ for a good meal after their huntin’ trip or Sunday service. I don’t know ’bout all y’all, but every time my Preacher gets ‘ta preachin’ ’bout hellfire and brimstone I get a crazy hankerin’ for some hashbrowns smothered, covered and chunked… Ooo wee!

Anyway, y’all are the ones that make sure people want ‘ta come into the Waffle House even when it’s at its busiest. Here are your key responsibilities:

  • Open the door for anybody and everybody who’s comin’ in or leavin’ the Waffle House.
  • Smile real big at ’em all.
  • When you notice it’s gettin’ a little busy, make sure to close the blinds so people don’t get scared away or nothin’.
  • Keep the toilets nice and clean. Now, I know this ain’t the most glamorous but it’s gosh dang important, ya hear? Like the Bible says, cleanliness is next to godliness and that sure as heck applies to our commodes!
  • Ok, time to come outside with me so I can show you a little something. Come on out now and don’t you be shy! See this little area right here? In between the curb and the cars? We call this “The Buttway.” Why? Well, because it’s where all them cigarette butts fall and we don’t want ‘ta make a bad impression so you gotta’ sweep it oh ’bout, every thirty-five minutes.

Well, I think that about wraps it up. You get two breaks a day and if you want ‘ta have yerself a smoke, you can hop on round back and take a seat on the milk cartons next to the dumpster. I’d recommend that you don’t take breaks with Leslie for the first couple months as she can be real mean to strangers. Once she warms up to you though, she’s a real darlin’ and she’ll tell you all ’bout her five granbabies and her three great granbabies and that time she unhooked Brenda’s bra while she had about five plates of Bert’s Chili in her hands. Oh boy, that was a hoot!

Ok, y’all, all that’s left is I gotta let you watch this video on our sexual harassment policies. Now, some folks have complained to our corporate office that they felt as if watching this video was sexual harassment itself, but we looked into it and it turns out they were just from Atlanta. Those city folk can be real dramatic sometimes, ya’ hear?”

In my memory, Leslie looks like this. The day before I left, she finally told me she liked me by saying, “Now, there are Door Corps and then there are DOOR CORPS, and you, you’re a DOOR CORPS.”

Peace, love, and if you work at Waffle House even your bras smell like waffles, 


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4 thoughts on “Go Sweep the Buttway

  1. Mooselicker says:

    You wrote this in a perfect southern waffle house language. Make sure you add this to your resume. It may come in handy when….okay only in this situation will it ever come in handy. Still add it.

  2. Claude Peon says:

    I’ve never actually seen a door corps at a waffle house before.

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