My first job as a waiter was at Bennigan’s in Houston, Texas. After taking their ridiculous amount of tests and quizzes, I was finally given my flare and suspenders and let loose in the world of food service. I had at last moved up the restaurant hierarchy and was a step up from bus boy. I was a waiter. It’s funny, but I can remember the day that I was hired as a waiter and I felt like I had really made it. A hundred years later, not so much. Anyhoo. I learned a lot at that first job. One waitress in particular really showed me the ropes and I looked up to her immensely. She was my trainer, my mentor, my idol, and my dear friend. I don’t remember what the bitch’s name was. But I think I owe a lot of my stellar attitude to her. For the sake of convenience, let us refer to her as Ann B. Davis. (You know I loves me some Brady Bunch, right?) I knew that I was going to adopt her attitude within hours of meeting her. Let me pass on some pearls of her wisdom:
One day when her table needed some more coffee, I let her know. I saw her pour a cup of decaf and start towards the table. I stopped her to inform her that they wanted regular coffee and not decaf. Her response? “Oh no, everyone in my station gets decaf all the time. I don’t need a bunch of hyper people in my station. “Brilliant, no?
Another time an old lady slipped on a knife that we had left on the floor. The lady fell pretty hard and I am pretty sure some bone fragments from her hip hit some people at table 203. As I rushed over to see if I could help her, Ann B. Davis came up to me with her face showing concern. The old lady was from her station and I was genuinely impressed that Ann was so worried about her guest. “Oh my God, I wonder if I can get her anything,” she said. “Coffee? Tea? A splint?” What a bitch. God I loved Ann B. Davis. Or whatever her freakin’ name was.
My favorite memory of this amazing server happened towards the end of my tenure at Bennigan’s. At the end of her shift after she had punched out, Ann was sitting at a table enjoying her shift meal. A table nearby who didn’t know that Ann was off duty asked her if she could please go get her some more Ranch dressing. I heard the whole thing and was surprised that Ann got up and walked towards the kitchen knowing that she wasn’t on the clock. “Are you really gonna get that for her.” “Please,” she laughed. And then she proceeded to sing that song by En Vogue, as she walked into the kitchen and out the back door. “Never gonna get it, never gonna get it. Never gonna get it, never gonna get it. Never gonna get it, never gonna get it. Never get it. Whoa whoa whoa whoa.”
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