For the last three weeks, I have been training at another job so I took some time away from the service industry to focus on my new career which has no trays or aprons involved. The new job is great but I can't tell you how many times I have reached down to a non-existent apron to grab a pen. I may have to start wearing one at the new job because people need to learn how handy they are. When I wait tables, my apron has the following in it at any given time:
- wine key
- pad of paper
- spare change
- cell phone
- tissue and napkins
- Trail Mix
- Justin Bieber
- notes for the blog
- a copy of Catcher in the Rye for when it gets slow
- several corks that I am saving to make one of these
- and Play-Doh (don't ask...)
Last night I realized that I missed being a waiter. It was nice to interact with customers again. When the lady at table 21 asked me if she was ever going to get to place her drink order, I was happy to tell her that she wasn't in my station but Jasmine would be right with her. Two minutes later when I walked past the lady again and she sarcastically asked me, "Are you Jasmine?" the urge to burn her eyebrows off wasn't even that strong. I simply smiled and told her, "No ma'am, I'm not Jasmine."
When table 35 called me over during the show to tell me something, I was eager to go hear what he had to say. "Would you tell those ladies at that table back there to shut the hell up?" he told me. "Yes sir," I replied and went right over to the two women. I didn't tell them to shut up though because that would affect my tip. I just asked them if they needed anything and they quieted down. The man at table 35 assumed I told them to shut the hell up, but I am a professional and know how to appease two tables at once.
When table 27 stiffed me on $84 because they thought the tip was included, I didn't mind. "Oh well," I thought. "I'm sure it was an honest mistake. Maybe next time they will tip better." They had also told me that they were coming back next week to see another show so I took a mental note to remember to not bust my hump if they happen to sit in my station.
Yes, it was good to be home again. There was a smile on my face, a pep in my step and a second glass of Chardonnay hidden on the shelf behind the coffee filters. Maybe waiting tables isn't so bad. Could it be that I like it? Could it be that serving people makes me feel good? Possibly. When I punched out and was stumbling towards the F train (thanks to the third glass of Chardonnay I had in a paper cup with a lid and a straw so it looked like I was drinking ginger ale and I was able to leave it in plain sight right next to the credit card machine), I realized what I liked about waiting tables. I had $91 in my pocket for an easy four hour shift and I had a damn good buzz that I didn't have to pay for.
I am a waiter and there's no place like home!
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