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4.18.2012

MIG WELDERS, WAITRESSES AND YOU

Short of being a mig welder, I have done a lot of things in my life.  Come to think of it, I also have never been an astronaut or a nurse.  I just don't have the math and science skills for them.  I don't think one occupation is necessarily superior to another.  Maybe easier, better paying, etc.  Nor do certain jobs of influence, education, or money make anyone better than someone else.  We are all though wired differently.  Destined to do different things.  All jobs are necessary to the movement of society forward.  That is part of the premise of the show "Dirty Jobs" with Mike Rowe.  Who, by the way, when I was single I thought would have been fun to go on a date with.  He never called though.  The show highlights a dirty job, one that most people wouldn't want to do.  It illuminates the fact that without someone doing those jobs there would be a need or service or product not available that is necessary to a functioning society.  Each job has a function.  It also has a best way to do it, to present the service, the product, the end result.  Waiting tables for instance.  Since pay is partially based on tips, good service and etiquette is vital.  Now etiquette is relative to the type of restaurant.  But, for subject sake, we will stick to middle of the road or nicer end restaurants where waiters, waitresses and staff do not de-clothe or dance on the bar.
My husband and I quit going to a restaurant we once loved because the waitress became too overly comfortable with us.  We would go to eat there to be with each other or meet friends, and she would sit down and join us part of the time.  Though she is a great person, I did not ask her to dinner.  That crossed a line to us.  She was like a house guest that over stayed their welcome.  I have waited tables in my lifetime.  It is a bit of a sales gig.  You gotta work the crowd/tables you have.  Charm has to be balanced with not overstepping your role of service.  You are NOT an invited guest at the table.  You also have to be professional while maintaining a connection to those you are waiting on.  It is not about you nor did those people come to see you.  Rather, they came to eat a meal they did not have to cook and enjoy time with family or friends.  Last night, with my husband and a couple he was interviewing for a position with his company, we dined at a nicer restaurant.  The waiter was a bit unpolished.  He would interrupt while we were talking without saying, "excuse me".  When he put things on the table it was not fluid or graceful.  He was awkward in his personal presentation and confidence.  There was long pauses where I think he just didn't quite know what to do or say.  I like a little shucking and jiving with a waiter or waitress.  A little.  And, not when I am having conversation with those at my table.  If you are a waiter or waitress and sit down at my table I will not leave you a good tip.  If you have that much need to "perform" then take to the theatre stage not an empty seat amongst my dinner guests.  When I am done eating and have to sit there needlessly without you bringing me the bill, it annoys me.  I don't want to have to wait to leave or flag you down.  Pay attention to your tables!  If I do have to wait 15 minutes to get my bill your tip will not be as good.  You can be the best waiter or waitress and unfortuantely get stuck with assholes at your table that don't tip.  Maybe because I was a waitress once, I am a good tipper.  It is quite the performance based profession.  But one that I am thankful exists.  Not having to cook dinner and being served is occasionally a very nice extra in life.   

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