Tuesday, August 15, 2006 by Ospite.

Ungodly slow. Today was horrific. There's nothing quite as unbearable as sitting around for an hour waiting for your first table. I'd rather deal with pissy customers that sit there doing nothing.

Finally 59 minutes pass and I await the :59-:00 count to an even hour. My first table walks in. Middle age couple. Well, first they stood at the door for about 4 minutes chatting. I know this because Tyler knows this. And because I'm near the clock. And I think the lack of patience is making me lose my mind.

Finally they sit. I approach and they ignore me completely. Still chatting.

Me, chipper as always. "How are you folks doing today?"
Him, visibly annoyed. "Uh..we're good."
Me, ignoring his attitude. "Clearly you seem familiar with our restaurant so I'll save you the spiel."
Her, unpleasantly cold. "Yeah, that'd be good."

I skip it and move on, get their diets and bread and the usual.

"Have we made any headway on the menu?"
Her, light-hearted, almost giddy. "Ha! No. God no."
Me, trying to shy away from bi-polar comments. "Tell you what, I'm here for awhile. Just flag me down when you're ready to order."
Both nodded and resumed their conversation. Lovely. Back to boredom.

I go back to my perch and zone out completely. To that point where my internal soundtrack kicks in and I look at life like a movie. "Life in slow motion, somehow it don't feel real..." Waiters moping about. Chefs barely paying attention to what ingredients go in. Customers talking with their hands.

I get smacked on the head.
"You were humming again. And singing some 'da da daa daa dah...' thing. ...and swaying."
"Table 70 wants you."
"Nice. Maybe they'll just sit there and talk while I stand next to them for company."

I ooze off the stool and crawl over to the table. Waiter grin.

"All set?"
Her, slightly grumpy now. "I just want something like pasta. Rigatoni. Can you do that?"
Me, wondering what this guy put in her drink. "Would you like anything on it?"
"Red sauce or something. I'm not really here to eat. I'm here to talk."
"No worries ma'am. Take your time and I'll leave you be."

At this point I was actually glad to simply sit. I'd lost the will to stand, much less wait tables. For the following hour and twenty minutes, I visited the table twice. To drop the food, and to quality check. Then, I left them be until they flagged me over for the check. The tip: 25% even. The internal soundtrack kicked back in ...

"While I was watchin,' you did a slow dissolve..."


Blogger Arhyarion said...

Ah, the beautiful Fight Club allusion.

6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha I thought the same things about the Fight Club reference.
If you haven't, read the book.
It's so much better than the movie.
Then read everything else by Chuck Palahniuk.

9:22 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Forget Fight Club, nice David Gray drop.

I shall now be humming and swaying for the rest of the evening.

3:29 PM  

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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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