Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cloth napkins or brown paper towels?

I got to go out on a date with my man a while ago.  We went to the little diner in town.  Such a treat for us.

While we were eating our waitress had a tizzy!  She was cussing and hollering at the cooks in the back about the work schedule the boss had put out.  She thought it was stupid and wasn’t afraid to let the whole restaurant know.  One of the old men at the counter chuckled at the end of her tirade and she looked at him and said, ‘I told you I was in a bad mood!’  Meanwhile, Brian had his empty tea glass sitting on the edge of our table for fifteen minutes.  As a former server, that is his pet peeve, because he NEVER let a glass go empty!

It reminded me of something my dad told me when I was little.  He said that waitresses did basically the same job in a greasy spoon and in a high class restaurant.  They take and fill food orders, and keep the glasses filled.  But the waitresses who worked at finer establishments could expect large tips while those at less expensive places would make just enough to screw up their taxes.  I can’t remember my dad’s intended lesson, but the illustration has always stuck with me.  What I get from it is that if you are going to do a job, do it well enough and respect yourself enough to belong at restaurant with real tablecloths.  You may imagine why all of this came to me while on our date!

This woman, I am sure, felt wholly justified in eviscerating her absent boss.  I can only imagine she thought she was establishing some sense of camaraderie with the line of men at the counter when she cursed and told them to be quiet.  And I think she pictured herself as being so smart and helpful to her co-workers by pointing out the holes in the boss’ plan.  But all I could see was a woman whose boss should fire her on the spot for ruining the meals at the ten or so tables within earshot of her ranting and for treating her boss with such disrespect and cowardice. 

This woman does the same work as the ladies and gentlemen who work at nicer establishments.  It goes without saying that servers at more costly and fancy places get upset with their bosses from time to time.  But I don’t think they would dream of ever actually hollering across the room, cussing or telling customers to stop talking.    

We all have the same types of struggles in life.  We all have to get up, get going and get the job done.  How we approach it is what defines us.  I need to remember that next time I get righteously indignant.

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