I waitress part-time at the Palo Verde Cafe & Lounge in Quartzsite, Arizona. Here’s what waiting tables at the PV requires: humor, speed, humor, agility, humor, organization…. oh, and more humor among other things.
A quick wit helps too. Something that has always been a shortcoming of mine. Encountering a witty remark, I’m the sort of person who thinks of a come-back line, oh, about two days later.
But here at the Palo Verde I get to work on those “come-backs.” Sometimes, I swear it’s not me. I think some old waitress ghost being takes over. Words come out of me but I’m only the mouth piece. There must be a “Flo” waitress ghost that takes control. Me, I just keep running like a nut. Hoping my Flo appeases the occasional customer who likes to taunt and tease.
One day a table of four were sitting and chatting over empty plates. I went over and began clearing them away. The guy to my left looked up at me with seemingly serious intent and said “don’t you touch my plate.” I put my hand up to cover the left side of my face and said to the other three, “ would any of you three nice people like some dessert?”
It brought out laughter from the whole table. A good time along with a meal is the nature of the business, one of the perils/rewards of the job. People sometimes expect a little human interaction. Not just the “I’d like this to eat and that to drink.” They appreciate a bit of attention, sometimes it’s like dinner and a show!
That is, until January which is now! It’s the one month where people pour into the town to take advantage of the shows. There are gem shows and RV shows throughout the area. Many vendors come in to set up shop and take advantage of the human influx.
In the restaurant there’s non-stop traffic. Tables turn over as fast as people are finished eating and willing to relinquish their seats. Soon there will even be long lines of people waiting to be seated.
The restaurant business is not without its own set of apprehensions. Sometimes at night when we’re getting ready to close there can be concerns about robbery.
One night as we were rolling and wrapping silverware I noted that there was one lone male customer left in the restaurant. The staff was down to two waitresses and a bus person; all females.
I mused to them about our safety. The bus person, a petite, muscular gal said, “No worries! I can take him!” The other waitress said, “Yeah, and I know one of those brown belt thingies, one of those ‘ah-tays’ like karate. No, I think it’s pilates.”
With that we all broke out laughing. Just imagine someone robbing the place. The waitress immediately sits down and assumes a “threatening” pilates move. That in itself sounds like an oxymoron!
It’s both odd and wonderful to be working at a place where talk of possible danger brings about peals of laughter and…… a story to treasure.
(aka Tin Can Traveler)