Sunday, April 29, 2007 by Ospite.

Every shift there is a table that all the other waiters are envious of. Whether it be their demeanor, their excessive wine count, whatever. The make-up of this table is all relative. My turn was with 5 ladies ranging from 35-45 years old. And it was a birthday. And they started drinking at the bar already. This is my kind of table.

Most waitresses hone the flirting skill to use at tables with men who are hoping for a little extra service along with their food. The good ones can get a table of guys wrapped around their little finger.

Waiters have a different approach...the cute, loveable, mildly flirty, exceptionally polite, witty, and chivalrous man gets the best tip. It's even better when it's a birthday celebration. It means I get to sing.

Women get a certain way when they're sung to...I'll leave it at that.

So this smashing gaggle of girls was a complete riot. There's always one that takes the lead, is the primary talker and the decision maker. In this particular case, she was 38, blonde, dressed very nicely and bearing a remarkably bright rock on her left hand, and noteably beautiful. She was also the most flirtatious.

Prima Signora: "Ok, so who's drinking what here? I'm going with white, you two always do red, and you two always get what I get. Should we grab glasses or a bottle?"

Me: "Well, with a bottle you average about 4 full glasses. You want a bottle of each?"

Seconda: "Ha! I'm keeping my eye on're good. Up-sell, up-sell, up-sell." which she followed with a wink.

Me: "You kidding? 5 fabulous ladies out for a night on the town? You better believe I'm getting you as much alcohol as possible."

Prima: "Oooh. I like you. And I like the way you think. Give us a sauvignon blanc...this one here, and a DOCG Chianti."

Me: "Well, I certainly like you and the way you think. I'll be right back."

The wines flowed freely and the conversation grew to deafening volumes. I was fine with this, the Trattoria was particularly loud already, and it kept me informed as to their enjoyment level. Finally the birthday cake presentation was underway, I sang, they melted, and eventually I dropped the bill.

Prima: "Ok, let's close this up so we can go over ot the bar."

Me: "Oh no you don't. If you're staying in this restaurant, there's no way I'm letting you leave this table."

Prima: "Aren't we holding you up? Slowing your turnover?"

Me: "Of course. But I get a kick out of you ladies. You're my table of sanctuary. My other tables are stuffy and uptight and clearly not having any fun. So I come over here as a relief. In fact, I may keep you here until we close."

Prima: "You see this? This is my phone number."

..she wrote it on some paper in front of her...

Seconda: "He's married remember? He's not going to cheat on his wife with you."

Prima: "Hey, married people don't cheat. They have affairs."

Seconda: "Not gonna happen." She snatched up the piece of paper.

Me (trying not to laugh uncontrollably): "now that we know who's really running our lives, shall we drink?"

Prima: "Of course. Grey Goose and tonic...heavy on the goose, and two limes."

The rest ordered dessert and drinks and they remained for almost another hour. What I had said to them was not a lie. Certain tables you find relaxing to be around and it's a pleasure to have them there. Sometimes the sanity is worth slowing the turnover. And sometimes if you're lucky enough, the tip ends up more than what two tables would have been. They ended up literally being my last table of the night. I added up my checks and went to cash out. Their tip made up 1/3 of my earnings for the night. You can be sure I'm keeping an eye out for them again.


Blogger Manuel said...

Hey, I thought i left a comment for this post already. Whats the jig here?

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you know Prima is 38? Is there something you're not sharing with us?

2:22 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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