20 May 2010

the kindness of (virtual) strangers.

Working as a waitress can be a demanding, exhausting, soul-sucking job.

"This beer is flat!"
"I want my fries extra crispy!"
"Yes, I do want exact change for $8.98 from a ten dollar bill!"

Sometimes, I want to kill my customers.

But, then there are my regulars. The singles and couples, after-work drinkers and after-school wing eaters, who - week after week - find a table in my section, plop themselves down and proceed to plaster a genuine smile across my face as I rush them their beers (two at a time) and potato skins (extra cheese, side of hot sauce.) Some call me by name, others silently revel at the fact that they needn't actually order out loud any more, and some go out of their way to brighten the day of a tired, blister-footed waitress.

Last night L, one of my Friday evening regulars stopped by the pub. He asked if I had a moment and pulled me to the side of the bar.  The 50-something gentleman proceed to open a black briefcase filled with smooth, circular, wooden bracelets.

"This is my last week in town. So, for always remembering my Rickard's Red and extra sauce for my fish - I'd like you to choose one to have for yourself."

As I looked more closely at the beautiful jewelry, I recalled a brief conversation a few weeks ago, where L told me about the wooden jewelery, bowls and other works of art he creates. I was so deeply touched by this man's thoughtfulness and generosity, not to mention giddy with the acquisition of new jewelery!

Its the L's of the world who make my job a pleasure and even a joy. They get me through the "sauce on the side! Where's my bill??? Just give it to me to go!" kind of days.


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