Saturday, 13 November 2010

The badge of servitude

The other night we went to Ping Pong in Marylebone and the waiter was wearing this T-shirt. In case you can't make it out, it says, 'Don't Shout At Me, I'm New'. Isn't that just the saddest thing you've ever seen? It just seems to take away all his humanity and make him into this tiny cog toiling away in the grinding machine of the Ping Pong chain empire. And does it mean that when he's no longer new, we get to shout at him?

There's something so humiliating about wearing written messages when serving others. It's like you can't speak for yourself. I've always liked the fact that John Lewis/Waitrose employees don't have to wear name badges. In all my joe jobs I never had to wear a name badge, thank God. Though when I worked in Jigsaw briefly, during their January sales, all the other employees had proper Jigsaw clothes they got at a special discount, whereas I got a huge navy T-shirt that said, in capital letters, SALE.


  1. I think the shirt is somewhat sweet! And possibly means he doesn't get shouted at. It might even be a conversation starter. Then again, I've never worked as a waitress so I don't know what that feels like.

  2. Hm. I don't know if someone who shouts at waiters would be deterred by a T-shirt. It sort of smacked of McDonalds to me.
    Anyone else out there ever worn a name badge to work?