My first day back waitressing had an auspicious beginning. Of course, that’s minus the calamitous nature of my “back in the swing of things” jitters. First days at a job always seem to do that. It must certainly be that element of newness and the short-term memory jumble. Also,“drawing a blank” is not a flattering feature on me but commonplace on those first days.
I am back at the Palo Verde Cafe and Lounge in Quartzsite, Arizona working with the very same people I worked with on this job back in 08/09. That’s saying something for the restaurant business. Good people! People doing what they love to do. Everyone should experience at least one job like that in their work lives.
There are some things I learned the hard way that day. They have either humbled me or brought me to tears from laughing. Not one to let a good mistake or laugh go unnoticed I will include a list herein:
- Don’t try to balance a tray on a counter corner; it will fall. It’s only a matter of when. When it happens, laugh, clean it up, and don’t do it again. Blessings to my boss who saw it but let me learn the hard way.
- That corner mirror is there for a reason. I must look in it; alert for other speeding, errant, “100 things on their mind” waitstaff. A near miss that day!
- To the gracious, dear lady at table #2: I am so sorry I filled your coffee cup so full. Causing you to bend over to sip from the cup while it was still on the table. In spite of that, you announced, “excellent service” as you were leaving.
- No matter how hard I try, a mop carried sideways through a doorway will knock me back each time. Sometimes I think I could have been the 4th Stooge.
- That toddler sitting right next to where I’m standing with the slobbery hand is just waiting to reach out and….! Reminder: discreetly sidestep the gooey hand.
- For those times when the ridgy little creamer packs fly out of my hand and land in the ranch dressing, just chuck them. Washing them off is near impossible and only brings weird glances from the cook. Really, I am not weird!
- The best thing I learned was to act like something outrageously funny is going to happen any minute. It eases the tension and keeps me on laugh alert!
Today I return to the scene of my food server misdemeanors. Let’s hope my customers are as happy, patient, and forgiving as they were on my first day.
(aka Tin Can Traveler)