(this was written tongue in cheek)
Most of the time, when waiting tables with the geriatric public, I keep a smooth, unruffled demeanor. No matter what’s going down. Later, when I process what happened is the time I react. And then it’s only for my own benefit or that of the other wait staff.
Lately I’ve developed an internal dialogue totally different from my outer conversation. So satisfying and oddly, liberating.
Here’s an example. A customer at the restaurant was making small talk while I served his meal. Telling me about his summer place on Lake Ontario and how long he’s been coming to Quartzsite, Arizona.
Then he asked me some questions. Where’d you grow up? How long you been workamping? Suddenly, he switched gears. So, how long until you collect social security?
On the inside I screamed What! The nerve! On the outside, Ms. Cool responded, Oh, heh-heh! Are you trying to find out how old I am. Well, I’m sixty!
Was he embarrassed? No! He just kept on talking like no big deal. I continued my internal conversation. You big bonehead, knuckle dragging grit. What rock did you crawl out from under?
Maybe I’m just being a bit sensitive but it’s my right. Boy, oh boy, the things I’d like to say out loud……if my tips didn’t depend on it! Just one of the vagaries of being a waitress.
Today a husband and wife sat in my station. I went over, told them the special of the day was Boneless BarBQ Spare Ribs and the homemade soup, Cream of Potato.
The man said What’s the soup? I repeated Cream of Potato Soup a bit louder and slower than I did the first time. He said Huh? This time I said Creeeeeammmm of Poh-tay-toe Souououp. My enunciation coach would have been so proud of me! If ever I had one.
At that point, the woman interceded and said He can’t hear you!
What! You bumbling ass! Why are you even letting him talk to me? Why did you let it go on that long? Of course, that was all on the inside. On the outside I said Oh.
I suppose I’ll miss having to run back to the waitress station three or even four times because people just can’t seem to remember what else they want until I’ve made that second or third trip to their table.
Sometimes I’ll trip them up. I’ll load my tray with extra napkins, straws and lemons (for their water), mustard, tabasco, ketchup and…….packets of mayo, whipped butter or ranch dressing so they can dip their french fries! I know…… heart attack city!
When I get there I keep all that stuff on my tray above their heads. I ask politely Will there be anything else? They proceed to go into their list of demands and I hand them out one by one with nothing short of the biggest smile.
Hold my tip hostage, will you? Savage little geriatric twits! We’ll just see who’s the fastest draw in the West!
Tin Can Annie