Sunday, April 02, 2006 by Ospite.

I'm watching a live clip of Hendrix...sitting here sipping a 15 year tawny, wearing my vintage 1940s hat, thinking over a 12 hour work day. Apparently this is how I unwind.

"This is Sunday, man...our day of rest! Why are all these people here?"

Mal was right. One of our other bussers was out of commission for the night, so Mal was clearing tables alone. Alone on a Sunday when we had a surprisingly long wait at the front door. Of course every single customer was in a Sunday Driver mood and all of them were setting up camp at their tables. There's nothing more frustrating than not being able turn over tables. The line kept growing.

The floor was mine for the night. I brought them in, I strategically sat the floor, I watched the line and called the shots. And to be honest, I wish I could have called in sick today. There are times when the responsibility is great, and others when you wish you could lean on someone else for awhile. It was ecstatic to see Tony walk in so I was no longer bound to the front door when there were customers present. I threw him the book, and retreated to the back.

A nice espresso and a tiramisu got me back on my feet. I ran to the line, checked my kitchen staff, lapped the floor a couple times, talked to several mildly disgruntled customers, and then wandered back up to the front once they were happy. As I approached the podium I saw money change hands between a customer and Tony as the former exited.

Let's back up just a bit for a profile. Tony is young, conservative, and a bit of a ladies least he thinks he is. He likes to make side comments about some of our staff, but he's very tactful about them and he never says these things in front of the ladies. He also believes himself to be very suave.

So when I walked up front and saw the money change hands and the look the customer gave him, I couldn't help but chuckle a little bit. I sidled up to see the look on his face. He appeared shocked.

"I think I just got hit on." he says staring blankly at the door.
"Yeah?" I reply grinning ear to ear.
"What was the tip for?"
"That guy just tipped me for 'being cute.'"
"Part of me is flattered, the other part is a little scared. Do I attract guys? I like women. Not men."
"Well, you don't attract me, but then again, I'm married to a woman."
"Hm. Should I tell him I'm straight if he comes in again?"

It's funny how time stands still in the middle of a fierce onslaught customers just so we can laugh.

Sitting back and sipping the port, my wife asleep in the next room, I still chuckle at the look on his face. Elvis is on my screen singing "Heartbreak Hotel."


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At your service, Ospite

I am not in the restaurant business, I am in the people business. I use every opportunity to people watch, because to me, even the most mundane is fascinating.

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