Why waitressing is only my temporary job

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I waited on some of the most infuriating people today. There was, to start, a table of two women and five children who spilled five drinks (and required refills which were spilled again), left a measly tip, and required a crew of three working for ten minutes to clean up their mess. A woman called in an order and I talked to her for at least five minutes, answering her questions and reading off prices in order to explain why her meal cost more than she thought it would (yes, guacamole costs extra, and yes, so does steak). After his table at been waiting for ten minutes (when the restaurant was packed, mind you), a man came up to the counter and said, "It seems to be taking awfully long for a few burritos." "They're made to order," I explained, "from fresh, organic ingredients," and I wanted to add that perhaps if he were looking for a quicker option, there's a Taco Bell just up Route 59. At one point, there were ten small children in our eight-table restaurant, with a minimum of three crying at any given time.

But this one takes the cake: After I asked one woman how her nachos were, she looked at me with a furrowed brow and asked, concerned, "Would you say there are a lot of lesbians in Nyack?"
"There is a large gay population," I said.
"Okay, I thought that might be the case." She nodded. "Not that I have anything against them! But when you bring a kid here and all..." She motioned to her twelve-year-old daughter.
"It's a very diverse, accepting community."
"Right," she nodded. "We're not from around here is all."
"Are you from New York?"
"Where are you from?" I pressed.
"Virginia," the girl chimed in. "We just moved to New Jersey."
"You know, I used to sail against Nyack in high school," the woman said, "and it just never seemed like that, you know?"
No, I didn't know...If a community had a large gay population, would their sailing team dress in drag on meet days?
"I mean, you're great!" She said. "And we love this place. The food was great. But I always just got such a normal vibe from Nyack. How are the schools, though?"
"The schools are great," I said. "It's a really diverse and accepting community."

And what else do you say to a woman like that? I ran to the kitchen to tell Alison about her - and then wished Alison, my hysterically funny, brutally honest and uber-liberal coworker had been her waitress and had had the chance to respond.

But for me, all I felt right doing was sending that woman and her daughter on their way with a smile.

photo - a nyack sunset


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