Monday, August 21, 2006 by Ospite.


I had the luck to open and close lunch today. Monday lunches aren't worth working unless you've guaranteed a decent number of tables. The beauty of opening and closing is, that for a stretch of time at both ends, there are only a couple waiters on. Thus all the tables go to only a select few.

My first table of the day was a group of what appeared to be what I call the "casual gaggle." A group of several 60-ish women who chat more than they eat. Obviously there for the company, they tend to ignore service, good or bad. I love waiting on women, especially older. Their tip is directly related to waiter charm.

Me: "Good afternoon ladies." (ignoring the fact it was technically 11:45am) "I'll be taking care of you today. Have you all been here before?"
Woman 1: "Oh yes, regularly."
Me: "Well I shall save you the spiel. Would anyone care for a drink while perusing the menu?"
Woman 2: "Wine. Deffinitely wine."
Me: "Ma'am, my thoughts exactly. Perhaps a house white?"
Women 3: "mmm. Yes please."
Me: "A bottle and 3 glasses coming up."

I dropped it off and gave them some time to decide on their order. They were extremely pleasant, patient, and actually a joy to serve. Which I have to admit surprised me a bit. Normally three American women in their late fifties to early seventies tend to be demanding and ultra-high maintenance.

These particulars ended up ordering only soup and salad...but kept drinking. Glass after glass, they wandered through the equivalent of two bottles. They informed me they'd be around long enough to be sober by the time they left. They were old enough to know how to be responsible. But as time went on, I noticed something particular with woman number 2. Her speeh was weird, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Finally after about 90 minutes at the table it clicks. Her accent is changing.

Her Northeast American accent slowly faded into a British accent.

This didn't seem to phase her companions at all and it didn't diminish. The next 90 minutes of sobering up were filled with giddy laughter and much story-telling. As the alcohol wore down, so did the accent. By the time I left (and they were still there) the dialect fell back to a Northeast hyperactive tone. I hope to wait on them again. Enjoyable, good tippers, with virtually no maintenance.

3 Comments:

Blogger i'llnevertell! said...

Waiter-love your blog, btw. My grandmother is from Birmingham, England, and has been in the states for almost 50 years. When she drinks, her accent is more pronounced, possibly due to the lazy feeling that wine gives you. I wonder if this is common from all immigrants?

3:43 PM  
Anonymous restaurant gal said...

Gotta love those ladies--They're our moms, our grandmothers, our aunts, and ourselves, eventually.

Thanks for liking them, too.

--The Gal

5:22 PM  
Blogger Otana said...

As a Brit living in California, I know my accent slips back again when I am tired, drunk or sick. Most of my friends ignore it, though I suppose it must be amusing for others to hear!

7:35 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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