Thursday, April 05, 2007 by Ospite.


With a stretch of good weather, we've enjoyed a pick-up in the pace of the Trattoria. Spirits have been up and we've brought some newbies onto the floor. It's always a positive experience to bring on the fresh meat when the energy is good.

Lunch today was normal Thursday fare, a solid mix of business and casual diners. I must admit, it came as a surprise, due to the splendid weather fleeing from our presence. I expected a dead calm with the icy winds blowing what I swore was snow sideways across the doorway. The only effect it had on the lunch crowd was that they were running, rather than walking, in the door. And coffee sales were high. Beauty of a day for our Cap machine to cease functioning.

I stood next to said farce of a cappuccino machine talking to Lynn when i saw myself sat...4top. At least things were staarting to move now. Bread, and other sundries in hand, I approached the table which was on the far side of a small wall. As I rounded the corner, I saw a 3top at the far end of my section, out of view from the rest of the dining room. How had I missed seeing them sat? Since I had already opened my mouth to greet the 4top, I couldn't exactly skip over them. As I placed the bread on the table, the 3 women in suits shot me a hideous look. I was screwed. It was early enough in the shift we were obviously not slammed. There were no other assumptions to be made besides that I had been ignoring them.

The greet at the 4top was smooth, they were regulars, knew what they wanted and ordered their main course with their drinks. I tried not to sprint across the dining room for more bread for the 3top, pretending they had been sat second. Bread, greet, orders...the whole process was awkward as if they were holding a dreadful secret against me, waiting for me to slip up. I could tell they had a speech prepared. Their eye contact amongst each other was far from subtle. Thankfully, the meal was swift, and the speech came in the form of a 10% tip. For once, it was my fault

"Hey, how long was 72 sitting there before you sat the 4top?"
"You mean the 3 business women?"
"Yeah."
"I don't know...about 5 or so minutes."

At lunch, that's an eternity that they clearly held against me. In the back of my mind, I was thrown off, just a bit. The image of a cartoon Central American emperor dancing around and bumping into a little old guy crept into my mind.

"You threw off my groove!"
"I'm sorry, but you've thrown off the emperor's groove." I sighed and continued the shift.

I had a couple hours between shifts so I decided to go home and clean so the wife wouldn't have to when she got home. Her Med School friends and she were planning a Scrabble extravaganza. I was glad to be working...Scrabble's not my game.

My guitars and sound equiptment back in their rightful homes, I set off back for the dinner shift.

As clearly expected, there was a large list of un-sat waiters standing around praying for their first table. I had some time before I was to be sat. I was silently thankful my section was different from that of the lunch shift.

We waited. And waited still longer. It was not at all what you'd consider a rush. My first table had a very upset young boy who had just awoken from a nap and seemed pissed about it. My second table took 7 years to order their drinks. Then the entire restaurant just sat. This is when our groove is the worst. We lose track of time, and the sense that we're actually waiting on people. Finally table three for the evening decided to order wine.

The bartender was busy retrieving things for her bar customers and I reached up on the rack to grab two wine glasses. One stem was pulled tight against my finger, slipped quickly and the alternate motion sent it sailing off the rack, bouncing off the head of the bartender, skipping into the shelf of well drinks, and shattering on the floor. It was almost impressive. And it was also right then, that all 3 tables needed something. I was destined to be out of whack all night long.

3 Comments:

Anonymous JulieAnne said...

Don't you just love those days?!? Atleast they do not happen very often!!

10:25 AM  
Blogger me said...

yikkes!

8:24 PM  
Blogger Augs Casa said...

Sounds like one of those days. I hope it got better as it went along.

8:58 AM  

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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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