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Monday, March 03, 2008

The Waitress

Sometimes I think I should put up restaurant reviews on this blog. Except I rarely eat out.

The reviews would be different, of course. Like I'd leave out the food part.

For example, yesterday I had the pleasure of taking my niece out for lunch in the German Colony. She chose a fine french (kosher) sidewalk cafe.

The waitress is the hostess and busboy, too, and gently guides us to a table by the window. She changes the table cloth while we wait and we sit down. I can watch everything from where I'm sitting, it's perfect.

She's of medium build, wearing black slacks and a black blouse that's a little too big. Her hair is dark, skin pale, and her eyes are that chocolate brown that draws you in. Seems to me, however, that she's forcing herself through her day, not smiling particularly, and is avoiding eye contact.

Except she knows she can't, because she has to do the job and seem friendly and helpful. That's the job, right? And if you want gratuity that's gracious, that's what you do.

Now, I've got a touch of whatever is going around, and only want a bowl of soup, but FD and my niece order nice lunches. There's no way that even healthy I could have had more than that soup, a marak kruvit, cauliflower soup, light but believe me, not so light.

We caught up on life and I suggested dessert. The tarts and mouse beckoned us, and we settled on a lemon meringue and creme broulet. The waitress, I see, is sipping from a glass of red wine at the counter.

I'm not used to this, but it makes me feel bad. We savor the sweets, pay the bill. I tip a little more than usual.

Out on the sidewalk I turn to my niece. "She seemed so TRAGIC, no?"

Yes, she agreed. You noticed, too!

A different kind of restaurant review.

therapydoc

16 comments:

Syd said...

I watch people quite a bit and have seen waiters who were tragic. I remember one lady who I thought might have been abused. She apologized for everything and was very jumpy. I don't think that I could ever wait on tables. I would not have the cheerfulness needed. Or the patience probably.

Texaco said...

That reminds me so much of a Patty Griffin lyric:

Every day I take a bitter pill
That gets me on my way
To help me with the aches
The ones I have from day to day
To help me think a little less
About the things I miss
To help me not to wonder
How I ended up like this


(at least she has the kind of job where you can gas up the old girl to get her to run, you know what I mean?)

Essiewb said...

When my daughter and I eat out, we always wind up noticing the people around us and discussing their mood and actions afterward. Your restaurant review is our kind of reading.

Anonymous said...

Crème brûlée svp (aren't we striving towards perfection? :-)

brûler = to burn

therapydoc said...

Tex, I know!

therapydoc said...

ESS, we used to do the same thing, but we'd give people motives and lives, draw them, so to speak, with our own charcoal.

AND ANON, Yes, I know the spelling error's there. Thanks. I usually check them, but I'm on vacation and had to make that choice, do I edit this or go out and play (or should I blame the fever?)

I chose to play, I guess.

therapydoc said...

And if you weren't anonymous, I could have used you for all of my french words. :(

Syd said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. It's fine to use anything that you find there for the Carnivals. Thanks!

SeaSpray said...

I think most people are so busy they don't notice when people are hurting and sometimes compound the problem with their attitudes.

She was fortunate to have you and your niece there. She probably felt the compassion and your generous tip would've let her know that you thought she was worth it.

Interesting post and you're onto something here...a different kind of review. :)

Julie, writer Surefirewealth.com said...

Whatever is bugging her, we would never know. I would hate to be in a situation wherein I have to force myself through the days. Hopefully, the tip had a positive effect on her life. Even if the thought of someone appreciating her existence might do wonders for the rest of her day.

MT said...

Of course, the tragedy could have had to do with cauliflower, for all you really know.

Jace said...

Thought your readers may be interested in a mental health campaign I'm helping to start called everyminute.org that is fighting stigma in trying to organize a grassroots lobbying force to secure more research funding. We just launched our website last week at http://www.everyminute.org Please check it out if it sounds interesting to you. Thanks!
Jace

gypsy-heart said...

Now this is the kind of review I am interested in.

Hopefully your good energy circled and swirled..right into her heart.
I have felt such an energy when needed.

therapydoc said...

ha! to the cauliflower joke.

MizFit said...

laughed at your "you dont eat out enough" comment as I think of that every FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD thursday at my site.

I do (fingerquote) cook (unFQ) but not like most of american.

Im always thinking I should just cease & desist with my recipe offerings :)

MizFit

Malefic said...

I know I am quite late in commenting on this topic, but people don't realize how lost many people in the restaurant business are. There are no background checks required so that is where many of the drug addicts and alcoholics find employment that pays cash daily. I am not stereotyping by any means. It's just the truth. I've worked in the restaurant industry for a long time now and many would be surprised at what I've seen. It can be so hard to force a smile and be gracious when you are crumbling inside. I enjoy your blog, by the way, and appreciate the topic!