"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Saturday, March 21, 2015

First, Laugh and Laugh First!

So I guess it is past time for a “funny post”. I probably should show y’all I still have a sense of humor. Yes, I said “still”.

I have a few stories to share of me as a waitress. Yes, that is about the funniest thing I can think of right now. Me? Waitress? I avoided it for 55 years or so, knowing I would never be good at it. And I was certainly right.

I finally gave in to the idea, when a friend from my church approached me about working in their new restaurant. She knew I had just closed my coffee shop and she thought I might need something to do.

It wasn’t a huge restaurant, so I thought maybe I could handle it. After gaining a bit of experience in that type of work from the coffee shop, I had gained a little confidence. Not much, but a bit. So I told her, “Sure, I will give it a try.”

I probably should have listened to my first instinct. I was not good at waitressing.  In fact, I think I was terrible.
For starters, I just am not a good conversationalist – never have been. And the truth of the matter, one does need to be able to talk to people to some degree if one wants to be good at that job. You know, a little "personality". Not me. I don’t like superficial conversations. I have always liked my conversations to be a bit more substantive. And I don't like to talk if I don't know you. Period.

People I know generally know I am not good at conversation, and if they are not a close friend they avoid me like the plague; fearing, I am sure, they will get themselves into one of those awkward silent moments. They are right. There will be some of those with me…and I ain’t gonna be the one to help out, or break the silence. It’s just the way of it.

Along with this drawback, I also am at the age where I really can have an issue with my memory! Especially when it comes to learning something new. Now if there is a second attribute that is key to being a good waitress, a good memory would be it.  Buzzz! Fail!!

Now, I can beat myself up about this, because I know well enough that I do have an excellent work ethic. I have had many bosses well-pleased with my work and I have appreciated them telling me so. Even the owners of the little restaurant appreciated me, but I am sure they could also see my downfalls.

So, I woke this morning with a specific incident on my mind, which is really what prompted me to write this post. The memory that came (for whatever reason) caused me to think of the many “fails” I had when I was a waitress.
I remember the first time, I had someone pay with a gift card. It was a table full of police offers, I think around 8 men. I was so pleased to be able to serve them. I wanted to serve well those who serve. I worked hard to get it right. I even was able to make a bit of conversation. Things went really well. When it came time to pay, they all paid individually which was to be expected in a group like this. One of the men had received a gift card he wanted to pay with. That should have been no problem for me, but being the new-be that I was, I blew it. The transaction paying for the meal and tip were just a little different than what I was used to with other types of payments. I ran the card, thinking all was well. The table of officers left the restaurant pleased. When it came time to adjust for the tips somehow I had ran the entire amount left on the officer's card. When I realized it, I called my boss to come help.

Please come check this, H. I think I made a mistake!! I think I took the whole amount of money left on his card!!

My boss checked it and calmly said, “Yep, you did. But don’t worry; we can fix it." He proceeded to make the correction.

“The only thing is,” he warned, “it will take a day or two for the bank to correct it. If he tries to use his card again it will be declined.”

I was heartsick!! If he ran that card before the bank credited his card, he would think I purposefully stole all his money! I told my boss my worries. I don’t think we had his name to contact him.

“Well if he calls I will explain,” H. sympathetically told me.

Ugh!! Never heard the outcome of that one! I prayed desperately he didn't have to use the card again until the money was credited back. Of all the people for it to happen to though. A cop! No, not for that reason!  I simply wanted to serve him well.

Then there was the time I served the elderly couple that chose to sit quietly, out of the way in the corner of the restaurant. I don’t think they were the type to go out often. They were certainly not the type to complain or draw attention to themselves. We were extremely busy that day, and except for the cook, I was by myself. For some reason, I kept forgetting they were there. I forgot to get their water, I forgot to get their order. I forgot to refill their coffee. I totally forgot they were there. Finally, I had forgotten one more thing! I don’t remember what it was. But I was at the cash register taking a payment from someone, and when I looked up, I looked directly into the eyes of that gentleman and his wife, who had been so patient with me. I audibly sighed! Oh my goodness, I forgot them again! I ran to their table to apologize one more time.

“I don’t know why I keep forgetting you! I am so sorry. You are stuck here kind of out of the way.” I tried to explain. Apparently I failed miserably at that, too. When they had gone, I saw they had "stiffed" me! No wonder, I thought to myself! I deserved that.

Another of the worst experiences I remember was when I was serving an old man coffee. We were extremely busy, and I was extremely inexperienced. The restaurant had just opened and my boss opted for a grand opening on the very first day, rather than a "soft opening" which would have given us time to get our footing, before hosting a very busy grand opening. UGH!! He had advertised, newspaper, radio and T.V. The opening day was one of the busiest days we would ever have. And it was one fail after another for me!! But here I was serving a wonderful, elderly couple. The man kept lifting his coffee cup for me, every time he wanted a refill. He was shaking so badly, I thought for sure he was faking it to make the coffee pouring difficult for me. I mean otherwise wouldn’t he just leave the cup on the table for me to pour it there? Besides he had a twinkle in his eyes like my grandpa's. I was sure he was teasing me. I told him to quit shaking like that and playfully slapped his hand. No. Wrong. Fail. His shakes were real and I had probably just offended a kind old man, trying to enjoy a relaxing meal out.

And then there was the time I asked the guy named Mohammed, if he wanted bacon on his sandwich...

Oh yeah; there's lots more, but you get the idea.

"Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can."


  1. I enjoyed reading about your waitressing days. Now that Karla moved away and I'm not running into you at her house, I need to remember to come read your blog sometimes! :)

  2. Hi Farrah!! I know! I miss our visits! I was thinking about you, too, not too long ago. Probably after reading Karla's blog. I will have to remember to go to yours, too! Thanks for commenting! I hope all is going well! :-)