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Friday, August 3, 2012

Old People: Annoying But Wise

In the spirit of trying to find my softer side, I have dug up an old post that made my heart go "awwww." While it is mostly true that my heart is blacker than the mold in the ice machine, on occasion something happens that reminds me I am not a total asshole. Perhaps you have noticed that patience is not my strength. I want people to be quick, concise and to the point. I need them to get out of my way when I am trying to work and let me do my job. If someone calls me over to their table to order and it is clear that they are no where close to being ready to order, my attitude towards them will drop a few hundred points. When I see something that needs to be done, I do it. For example, last night when I noticed that my home supply of tequila was low, a trip to the liquor store happened immediately. No wasting of time.

There was show last week at work that must have had an AARP discount because the entire audience was full of people who were born at the beginning of time Most of them could probably recall the day they first rode in the Ford Model-T or what it was like when fire was discovered. They were old. Like I think one lady was the daughter of Betsy Ross. Between their age, their walkers, their canes and hearing aids, it made it right near impossible for me to serve them. They meandered around the room before the show started leaving me no place to walk with my tray. At one point, a man who was at least as old as paper was standing in the middle of the one aisle and yammering away about how when he was a kid he had to walk ten miles uphill in the snow just to get to school. I politely said, "Excuse me" but he didn't hear me. I said it again. And again. I was getting very frustrated and couldn't help but picture him in his living room on his rug saying "I've fallen and I can't get up." I tried again. "Excuse me, sir, but if I could just slide right by you..." Nothing. I looked at a woman who was watching the whole thing transpire. She shrugged her shoulders and smiled. "I am talking, aren't I? You can hear me, right?" She confirmed that my vocal chords were in fact operating. Visions of elder abuse danced in my head and I pushed them out of my thoughts. I finally gave up and went over to the stage to cross it so I could get to the other side of the room.

Coming back, Grandpa Joe was still in the aisle talking about what it was like for him to deliver mail for the Pony Express. I noticed he had a hearing aid. He had a sweet smile and kind eyes and the people he was talking to were looking at him with love and affection. I assumed they were family members. He saw me this time and said, "Oh I'm so sorry. Am I in your way?" I smiled back at him and simply said, "No, sir. You're fine." He finished his story and then went back to his seat as I patiently waited. He patted me on the shoulder when he walked by and smiled at me again. I thought about my Mamo Rita and how slowly she moved sometimes when she had to use her walker. I hoped that no waiter was ever frustrated with her and that no one ever mistreated her just because she was old. Grandpa Joe gave me a lesson in patience that day and he didn't even know it. I guess that's what our elders do for us. They teach us things. Even if it's something as simple as "let the old man finish his story" it's a good lesson to learn.

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12 comments:

www.DiatribesAndOvations.com said...

“Visions of elder abuse danced in my head” may be the most hysterical phrase I’ve ever heard from you. GREAT POST!

the_happy_hausfrau said...

Started out laughing and ended up with tears in my eyes. Off to call my grandma.

Great post.

Anonymous said...

I am a retirement home dining room server, and every time I stop to hear a story from a resident of the facility, help someone up to their walker, clean up spilled juice, or just make them smile, I realize why I work there rather than a restaurant. I am respected there, needed and appreciated, Don't worry, your grandma is in good hands, we genuinely know and care about the people we serve they teach us patience and so much more every day.
--cheryl.

jnana said...

Makes my heart aww too

Em said...

Very humble of you bitchy. Great lesson for us all!

Practical Parsimony said...

Yes, the older generations can teach us lessons!

Fireblossom said...

Hey...what is this place? A bog? Why would anybody be fool enough to hide in a bog? What? WHAT? Oh. Write in a blog, you say? What's a blog?

Practical Parsimony said...

What happened to the yelp post and the vip post? Neither show up.

The Bitchy Waiter said...

They will be back. It was a glitch. they are scheduled for later in the week.

Anonymous said...

BW!!! LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!

purplegirl said...

You've both warmed my heart and frightened me. Until another bitchy post appears, I will be convinced you have been replaced with a pod person.

Anonymous said...

I love to wait on old people, I usually get the best tips from them. I like listening to their "When I was your age we had to walk fifteen miles up hill in the snow with no feet" stories. Sadly I would prefer to listen to them talk more than doing sidework. Who wants to fill pots of coffee and cut lemons when you could hear about the mysterious non-specified war?