Saturday, December 29, 2007
Something about this time of year seems to bring out some of the strangest looking people. You might guess other times of the year to be the "hot" times for the odd and the ugly, but really right now is prime people watching time in my restaurant.
We've had a rash of extroverted pug fugly single women coming in by themselves. I found myself laughing tonight when one of our newer young college age guys found himself at a table with a very large, very sweaty, and very homely young lady about 10 years his senior. She was nice, but she wanted to talk. A lot. Poor guy hasn't learned the skills necessary to extricate himself from this situation. His other tables were dieing for drinks. People were walking his food and getting his refills. He was "being nice" but was killing his tips. I'm all for making people feel good, that is basically the primary component of our job - helping people enjoy themselves. But we aren't your shrink. We aren't honestly all that interested in your life story. Become a regular and we'll get to know you if you tip well, otherwise we honestly aren't all that interested for the most part. Sure we'll feign an interest if we think it'll pad our tip, but otherwise save it for someone else.
Literally after 7 or 8 minutes, I went and rescued this young lad. I interrupted, let him know he was needed in the kitchen. He quickly made his way back there (where I informed him he wasn't "needed") and he thanked me profusely. He said he felt bad for her, and wanted to be nice. I gave him some pointers on how to be nice, but how to spread his contact time out over the span of her visit, not getting caught at the table and killing his tips on his other tables. Rookies.
This is among the services I provide to my coworkers. Some of my old coworker friends and I used to have a code that would alert any other server in the vicinity that we were in need of rescue, a physical sign. If I told you I'd have to kill you, but it really did work. When someone else would see it, we'd come and let the other person know we were being called for in the kitchen. It saved us all more times than I care to recount.