September 4, 2011

The Lessons You Learn

When you serve in a restaurant, tables start to take on faces instead of the numbers they're assigned.  After you've worked there for a while, you'll start to associate certain customers that ate there with that table, and whenever anybody else sits there, you compare them.  

At the first restaurant I worked in, a privately owned place in my home-town, 504 became a group of Saturday-night-friends.  They'd come in the first night that I was closing around midnight, and I stopped by their table a few times throughout the night to make sure they didn't need anything else.  The girl on the left was passed out in her boyfriend's lap.  The other two people at the table were in their own world, and didn't really respond whenever I stopped at the table.  The boyfriend was the only person ordering drinks, and he must have been the Designated Driver because all he ordered were waters, one right after the other until 2am when we closed.

305 became Ellen- an older woman who came in every morning at 11 or so for lunch.  Every day she'd tell us stories about her late husband Edward and the conversations she'd heard on the bus ride into town.  More recently, she's started telling us about her boyfriend, a man who she says is younger than her and who she promises that maybe one day, she'll introduce us all to.  


601 was a group of older couples, old family friends of one another out for dinner together.  The oldest man at the table choked on a piece of steak from his salad, and I remember having no idea what to do.  I just kept running back and forth between the server station and the table, grabbing piles of napkins and glasses of water for him.  Eventually he coughed it up, and his family had the salad wrapped.  

Given time, I feel like every table will have a face instead of a number.  That it will take time, but eventually, every table will be a reminder of a lesson that a customer taught you at one point or another, and even when you leave the restaurant you'll still carry the memory of that table with you.

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Or am I just getting too philosophical concerning my waitressing jobs?

<3 Kiersten

6 comments:

  1. A really great post. This idea could really be flushed out as a story or even short Novell; it could be quite fascinating.

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  3. You should write a story or memoir about this. It would be interesting!

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  4. Thank you guys! I'd definitely like to make it longer - this was written last night after work, but I think if I work on it, it could definitely be much longer. :)
    <3 Kiersten

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  5. This is a great piece of writing, and I think it would make an excellent book topic one day :)

    xoxo
    Tara
    www.greeneyedopinions.blogspot.com

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