Down at Table Six

January 19, 2010

Comic is…finished, and technically it’s still monday right now so hurrah. No snow on the ground here in Toronto, so hurrah to that too, i’m goin’ for a bike ride.



PS: Fairly heartened by the international response to the Haiti situation, but media-wise i’d sure like to see an end to shit like this. And i’m talking to the press here. Like a great man once said, It’s a round world the last time I checked, so enough with the regionalism already. Just a pet peeve i guess.

65 Responses to “Down at Table Six”

  1. K.U. Says:

    I loved this. It’s really the little things that keep you sane in jobs like that.. I wish I had thought of something nearly that awesome.

    I also am not encouraging people to actually do these sorts of things.. I think you’re right, the threat alone is good enough~

  2. michaelezra Says:

    I’ll never ask a restaurant server to appear in a porno again. Thanks for the valuable public service announcement, Winston. 🙂

    On a more serious note, I agree with you about the territorial media emphasis on casualties from the target audience’s nationality or ethnicity. It’s not as if an earthquake checks to see whether individuals are Haitian, Canadian, Jewish, Christian or Voudon before it kills them.

  3. The Yellow Dart Says:

    I always feel a need to comment when I have certain suspicions.

    Is this “great man” you mention Bill Hicks, or was there a great man that he too was referencing?

    Anyhow, I really love your comics. Now I shall return to my lurking status.

  4. JTWilson Says:

    I applaud your going for a ride! Nuts to working! I worked 12 hours today! And more tomorrow! But its all of my own doing. I still applaud going for a bike ride.

    Did someone mention Bill Hicks? He is indeed a great man. One of the greater ones, if you don’t mind me saying.

    I am not sure what the tipping rules are in Canada, but in the US they are woefully unequal and illogical.
    You tip someone who makes your coffee, you tip someone who brings your food and you tip someone (ridiculously) who cuts your hair (especially if yer a woman). You tip them for their hard work and for the fact that they get the shaft from the government.
    Yet you dont tip the same people who work just as hard or harder at gas stations, supermarkets, fast food places. Anyway.

    Tamponing. That is all.

  5. Dusty668 Says:

    Bravo from the foodservice industry survivors! God ha’ mercy on their souls.

  6. *takes a break from Descartes and painstakingly long animation*

    Just wanted to give my usual bucket of freshly fried and seasoned congrats, good sir.
    Keep up the traditional comix while I draw things over and over again as they fractionally move and then try and scan them with a woefully moronic scanner.

    I have also discovered Rush. Thought you’d like to know.

  7. franky Says:

    hm… did I get it right? she has to pay taxes based on like, turnover (=order), not income (=tips)? true? *confused*

    PS: couldn´t you give formerly pink haired girl a really nice day once in a while? a dinner invitation, great music, with a nice guy (or girl) or so?

  8. GerryB Says:

    A fine return to form Winston – truly ‘turning the tables’ on the customer, lovelily done.

    On Haiti, here’s something to heat your haemoglobin:

  9. Buldwren Says:

    The mental image of tampon-coffee has scarred me.

  10. simon Says:

    I drink tea (from tea-bags) so the image is significantly more disturbing.

  11. simon Says:

    Plus, please PLEASE Winston, give her a break! Have something nice happen to her. Give her a winning lotto ticket or something, I can’t stand that she had to lose so much just to stay alive. I know most of us make the same journey through life; the compromise of principals is more of a sneak attack rather than a frontal assault, like slitting your wrists in a warm bath, but you might think at least she has her memories of having pink hair to sustain her? It’s not enough! C’mon Winston, at least have her winning a Badminton tournament against the Sphinx, or something.

  12. Sarah Says:

    Funnily enough, we were talking about this at work today. Lucky I work at an arcade instead of a restaurant, I guess. XD

    (PS I am considering this a birthday present, it is a good one.)

  13. Cam Says:

    I agree with JTWilson. For two miserable summers I worked at Sheridan Nurseries, a little chain garden center in Southern Ontario. My job primarily consisted of carrying bags of dirt/sheep manure/really heavy river rocks to peoples’ cars for them. Every now and then somebody would slip me a dollar, which I was required by the store to turn down. Though I never actually refused a tip, I still made less than $5 a week this way. I never quite understood why somebody who hands me a bottle of beer at a bar deserves an extra dollar for it, but I didn’t deserve anything for cramming a metric ton of compost into somebody’s mini that’s parked 100 meters away.


  14. D Hue Says:

    Of all the webcomics I read, the pink haired girl is the only one I feel connected with. I guess it’s that she deals with the real shit that us real people also deal with… that’s real. Uh, yeah, anyway, damn you and your snowless Toronto. I haven’t been able to bike in months. I shouldn’t complain though, a Winnipeg January hovering around minus 5 is nothing to complain about.

  15. Dear Winston,

    I too, would like to see formerly pink haired girl (hereafter FPHG) get a break. But then I always wanted Charlie Brown to kick the damn football too.

    Maybe even if it happened in a dream sequence, so her overall bleak, post industrial life doesn’t actually go off message? That might work. Could she, I don’t know, have sex woth the sphinx or something? They BOTH seem like they could use a break.

  16. Shaun Grey Says:

    Nice to see the Waitress Formerly Known as Pink-Haired Girl again.

  17. Man Says:

    Hey how bout a dude in one of these comics that’s actually the good guy?

  18. EthZee Says:

    Wow. I don’t think I’ll be eating out again.

  19. J Says:

    Having worked as a waiter, I can confirm that it is indeed a thankless job. I only wish I were a woman and that I could have tamponed (great verb by the way) some douche’s coffee.

    Personal ranting aside, I have to say that I really enjoyed this week’s comic. The humiliation of being asked to appear naked in a music video on top of the shitty tip and overall shitty job really makes the joke seem all the more plausible. Very good work here.

    Also, I love the little green splotch in the speech bubble where he throws up. Classic.

  20. Melvazord Says:

    I for one DONT want FPHG get a break, thats not how life works, sometimes shit just happens. Then happens again. And again.

    Just look a Haiti for zombie Jesus sake.

  21. Gary Watson Says:

    Great comic, so I gave another donation. If you also like his work and want more of it, please go to the viruscomix home page and click the little “donate” button and give WR at least $50US for each comic that you like. Much more useful than sending money to that douchebag politician or crooked charity you were thinking about.

  22. the BCth Says:

    “Like a great man once said, It’s a round world the last time I checked.”

    And I just listened to his “Rant in E Minor” for the first time yesterday. Fuckin’ awesome.

    FPHG, we’re rootin’ for ya.

  23. darkwillow Says:

    Any comic with waitress girl in it is an automatic winner.

  24. jb Says:

    do not. again. do not. fuck with the people who make your food. oh, and have a nice day.

  25. Suntiger Says:

    Hah, good going Pinky! Showed them what’s what. ^_^

    Considering how Pinky is stuck in a shitty job at the moment and still managed to own those two sleazeballs I think it’s safe to say that she’s still the same girl.
    Her hair may be brown, but it is still pink “on the inside”.

    They can take her hairdye, but they can never take her pinkness, sort of.

    And yes, don’t screw with the people who bring you food.
    In the military there were three kinds of people you under no circumstances ever should piss off: The Doc, The Cook and The Quartermaster.
    Even an NCO can’t (quite) make your life as utterly miserable as one of those three can if you get on the wrong side of them.

  26. Tomas Catz Says:

    haha, that is some kind of beautiful right there

  27. Juliana Says:

    It’s sad how this gets more relevant by the year:

  28. curlpop Says:

    *sigh* but It’s snowin’ here now.

  29. Kristy Says:

    On behalf of all servers everywhere, thank you!!

    franky: yeah, that’s pretty standard, actually. Some restaurants have you declare your tips instead of auto-calculating them, but that’s far from the norm, and even then there’s usually a minimum amount you have to declare whether you made that much or not. And in any case there’s usually other people you have to tip (an expo, a busser, a hostess, etc.), and that IS based on volume. So yeah, remember that next time you stiff your waitress, kids – you just made her pay for the privilege of waiting on you.

    JTWilson: I think the difference is that the traditionally tipped jobs are ones where the employees are literally relying on the tips for their income. Sure, fast-food jobs suck but you’re going to at least make minimum wage there. Servers at a sit-down restaurant don’t make minimum wage. They make maybe $3 an hour. Tips aren’t a bonus, they’re a paycheck. Same thing with hairdressers. The salon doesn’t pay them – instead, they usually rent their chairs from the salon. The salon makes money from the rent and most of the price of the haircut, and the hairdresser (manicurist, waxer, masseuse, etc.) makes their living – plus the cost of renting the chair – from tips.

    That’s why. It’s not that there aren’t people in other industries who work just as hard or harder, it’s just that those people are actually being paid by the companies they work for. That’s the difference.

  30. Chicago Sometimes Says:


    Um. Sorry for the caps, it’s just that I just got off work at my restaurant…that same scene happens in my head twice a day.

    Great job as always.

  31. Anonymous Says:

    Poor pink haired girl 😦

    That’s kind of why I hate eating outside. I would rather not have servants working for me.

  32. Kat! Says:

    Am I the only one who considered this a win for the FPHG?
    Relative to her other events?
    I mean she made a guy throw up.

  33. Line Noise Says:

    “the customer is always polite” … or else!

    As for Haiti:
    We keep invading them and toppling their governments every-time they vote left of centre. This has let a string of uber-corrupt governments flourish, and has led to 3rd world standard building practices and fragile social support networks. Perhaps the next time they elect to redistribute the wealth in Haiti we should just let them get on with it.

    I suspect we have been sticking our noses ( and armies ) in these peoples internal politics for far too long. I fear that our “rescue” efforts will just be to send in “experts” to administrate the recovery for them. Thus insuring that they once again are stymied from forming grassroots/local organizations of there own that they can and do trust.

    It may sound odd, but i think the thing that they need from us the most right now, more then ever, is to be left alone.

  34. Spike Says:

    I once found a pubic hair in a burger I was eating. I just fished it out and continued. For some reason I just can’t get grossed out by that kind of stuff anymore.

    My theory is once you’ve dumpster-dived food a few times, your threshold for visceral disgust rises logarithmically and never resets.

  35. Mr Mysogynaecologist Says:

    Oh yes, it’s “tamponned” with two ‘n’s, from the latin former past tense. Sorry! Did she get the job from a tamp agency? At least they weren’t ragging on her. Are you sure you didn’t pad out the strip a bit? Kept us stringing along anyway. So she tamp-ered with their drinks? I didn’t order a bloody mary, blah blah.

    FPHG can’t have been using tampons anyway, I can’t see her parachute, hang-glider or rollerblades in any of the panels.

  36. GerryB Says:

    Mr Mysogynaecologist, your name is funny.

  37. GerryB Says:

    If I told you it should be misogynaecologist would your posts get funnier?

  38. GerryB Says:


    Too cooked in woman soup to make chopsticks of it all.

  39. Mr Misogynaecologist Says:

    /me dreads the eventual decline of a major character into sparkly vampirism.

    By the way, Winston, I tried to look through the archives tonight but although the news posts were OK clicking on the thumb brought up the current strip and not the old one. What’s with that, is it the same deal as with airline food?

  40. John Hoffman Says:

    My experience is people who once worked for tips are the best tippers. Empathy is way better than sympathy!

  41. Entropicage Says:

    I make damn sure to give a good tip, regardless of what I think the “quality” of service was. At least, in regards to waitresses. For all I know, they’re just having a bad day, or bad run of customers, or just got off having a HUGE party of people (god, have I been there.) And honestly, should I come back to the restaurant the last thing I want is to have made an enemy of the serving team. If it’s consistantly bad, I’ll stop going someplace, not take it out on the server.

  42. No Hablo Ingles Says:

    What do you do when your pad is on fire? TAMPON IT!

  43. Nat Says:

    Great comic. I didn’t know that it was common practice to assume a 15% tip average and calculate tax and sharing on that basis.

    On the bright side, doesn’t this mean that if someone hands you a big fat tip, you get to keep everything over 15% w/o sharing or tax?

    Hopefully FPHG’s 8% tip will get evened out by a couple tables of six with mandatory 18% tip 🙂

  44. simon Says:

    That was the worst tampon pun ever. Period.

  45. Charlie Says:

    So I have this dilemma.
    On the one hand I really love the art and about 80% of the stuff you do, it’s really thoughtful and enjoyable.
    but then there’s this 20% that’s just like hinting at this complex turmoil, this veneer of misandry and misplaced contempt.

    it’s like, it’s weird for me because I almost always find myself agreeing with your strips and even some stuff I disagree with I find really funny and provoking.
    but this, this was just like misplaced meanspiritedness, it’s like they were supposed to know that PHG gets taxed 15% of their bill ( which I didn’t even know) and she tips out to the kitchen.

    which again…wha?
    so then for their ignorance they should get as one so mature put it “owned”?
    the worst thing about this is that I’m usually a big tipper, but I did notice the whole ” the customer is always polite or else ” while at the same time someone saying that they always tip well regardless of the service because the waiter/tress could be having a bad day…but then, what if the customer is having a bad day?
    fuck them? cuz they are all rich and…uh…rich people don’t have bad days or even stressful days?

    Yeah…I know it’s just a comic strip and I can take it or leave it, it being free and all, but It just seems so out of place when the same strip is usually filled with fun and awesome stuff.


  46. Mr Misogynaecologist: Yeah, the older blog posts don’t link to the actual comic unfortunately (my mistake), so you’re better off just going via the main site.

    Charlie: Hey, if you like as much as 80% of my stuff then that’s fantastic (that’s more than i like!). And i’m glad you disagree with 20% because you should always disagree with some part of what you like, that’s one of the lessons of life if you ask me, as opposed to a dilemma. I’m not even sure what to say beyond that. You like most of what i do but you’re willing to speak up and take issue with things that conflict with your beliefs (or at least appear to), so you sound like the ideal audience member from my perspective at least. As a guy trying to build an audience i guess i just hope you can get past my flaws, perhaps in a manner analogous to skipping the weaker songs on a favorite CD (examples, anyone??). I WILL occasionally disappoint you, that is a promise.

    (in regards to this comic, I will say that those guys didn’t get owned. They owned themselves, if anything (and PHG is still left with an 8% tip at the end. Plus she pays tax as a result of their dinner, while they legally write it off as a business meeting). And they don’t represent my view of “customers” or “rich people” or anything else, they’re just two guys who left a lousy tip and then assumed the waitress was as scheming as they were. What i was mostly going for was conveying the notion that small tips are not tips at all, so if i was successful only in that then i’m satisfied.)

  47. Masha Says:

    Erm, I don’t see how showing two vaguely asshole-ish people act stupid is misandristic…

    Also, great comic. I haven’t had the “fortune” of working as a waitress yet (mostly because I haven’t been able to find a job, period), but I always try to leave big tips when I do get to eat out.

  48. Rose Says:

    Wait how does she know they’re gonna ask her to be in a porno?
    Or does she tampon their tea because they don’t tip her?

  49. Masha: I don’t see how it’s misandristic either. It’s anti-asshole, if anything.

    Rose: She doesn’t actually do it, they just assume she did something to the coffee because she’s mad about the tip.

  50. Patricia Says:

    Oh, I hope Pink Girl doesn’t get fired over this. Then again, maybe that could be the spark that drives her to find something better.
    (Still hoping for something better myself, as I continue to seek my next job…)

  51. zambia Says:

    Don’t you think something nice happening to Pink haired girl would sort of ruin her a bit?

    A PHG comic always cheers me up most of us have been in her position or one like it. PHG sort of makes me feel like I’m not the only one.

    Great work. 😀

  52. Great comic. I love (formerly) Pink Haired Girl. She’s a kind soul. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for waiters and waitresses to mop up after our sloppy selves. Tip them well, they deserve it.

    Tiny nagging about colors : a bit hard on the eyes to have nothing but black panels. Plus it drowns her with the background since her outfit is all black too. Hard to see.

  53. Great comic. I love Formerly Pink Haired Girl. She’s a kind soul. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for waiters and waitresses to mop up after our sloppy selves. Tip them well, they deserve it.

    Tiny nagging about colors : a bit hard on the eyes to have nothing but black panels. Plus it drowns her with the background since her outfit is all black too. Hard to see.

  54. Rose Says:

    Former Pink Haired girl’s hair has really poofed out.
    Her hair then:

  55. hellblade Says:

    speaking as a physicist novice, i gotta say symmetry is like the best thing ever 🙂

  56. Charlie Says:

    I meant Misandry on the whole…not this comic specifically.

  57. Suntiger Says:

    Ah yes, I see what you mean by them owning themselves. I thought her quietly vehement speech about her job and the tips was intentional to get their minds working in a certain way.
    Like a chessmaster, she maneuvered them into trapping themselves in their own petty paranoia and prejudices.
    Didn’t realise it was actually an unintentional side effect. 😉

  58. Da Says:

    Yeah, the symmetry setup is pretty clever. I just don’t buy the mental leap from “I get an idea” to believing that she put a tampon in the coffee. It seems like the kind of people bold enough to ask a random woman to star in their soft core porn wouldn’t be paranoid enough to assume she fucked with their food with barely any prompting. Especially since she gave them the drinks before they made their Modest Proposal.

  59. Maximo Says:


    They got the idea from the mention of the 8% tip. If you look at panel 2 she’s looking at the bill she gave them. She then decided to mention it later (losing money due to the 15% tax on their bill with an 8% tip). Since they knew they tipped like cheapskates they automatically jumped to the conclusion that something had been done with the coffee, especially since she brought it out after seeing the tip.

    As far as the strip goes, once again, great stuff, and I’m always eager to read whenever new ones show up! =D

  60. Nathan Wilson Says:

    I liked the comic, especially the fact that she didn’t actually do it. I mean, imagine what a hassle it would be for the girl to actually do such a thing? It would have to be her time of the month, and she’d have to have another, (She definitely couldn’t wear it again after dunking it in someone’s coffee) Or if it wasn’t her time of the month, she’d have to put one in, take it out, dunk it in the coffee, and then throw it away? kind of a waste of money, (and your emergency tampon). Also, depending on how much moisture it had already managed to sop up, she’d have to refill their coffee cups partway too. This is the kind of thing it’s much better to scare people with.

  61. Fan Says:

    When will she die her hair back to pink? Its who she is! PS. Where is sphnx( however that is spelled)?

  62. Pay No Mind to Me Says:

    Gotta admit… I like Miss Formerly-Pink’s style. Tampons in coffee? Mmm, tasty.

  63. Steve Nordquist Says:

    The moral is to put concepts first. And expect paranoid neurotic accuracy when it comes to putz characters? Doh.

    In actuality, I don’t think I got it. Must’ve been a proletarian in joke….

  64. Trevor Says:

    I simply like the fact that their work is a reflective of the ADD lifestyle in America. It’s an idea, well funded, followed by working your ass off for 2 days. It’s an empty husk, really.

  65. SotiCoto Says:

    As an alternative to revenge, or even imaginary revenge… try just being nice to dicks, because sometimes they’re just a dick because they’ve had a bad time of things.
    Revenge tastes nice at first, but it has a kinda sickly aftertaste…

    … until you’ve eaten enough that you begin to appreciate the flavour.
    That is when you become the dick.

    *Cue that Circle of Life song from The Lion King*

    In the end we don’t really want to get revenge on everyone. We just want to bring them round to our way of thinking. But that is impossible. So making them suffer sounds like an appropriate alternative, even if it isn’t.

    *Unclips his sage-beard*

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