Friday, April 15, 2011

My People, Our people

     My Thursday morning started as usual, nice and steady as we eased into a great and boarder-line hectic lunch rush. One of my first tables was a one top woman about my age, (too) late twenties if you must know pfft. As I approach her I see a book laying face down on the table and I definitely recognize it.
After dropping of her drink she was ready to order and I ask what she was reading. She happened to have been reading a restaurant related book, which I have sitting on the bookcase in my office at home. I mention that I have my own copy but haven't had the chance to start it. Anyways, it's her favorite book and she is now a bartender and lives "the biz". She was super cool and super low maintenance because it was her morning off. As the restaurant filled and the only other server and myself started spinning I knew the mystery bartender at table 28 was fine with me ignoring her and allowing her time to read, and I knew she was content doing absolutely that: not having anyone to answer to, make any drinks for, stir drinks for, or poor beers for. It was her morning off, yet, this lady was in her comfort zone. Our packed crazy and not-so-spacious dining room was her existing in her element as she read and watched as others were taken care of. And I get it. Let someone else take care of you for a change. And it's even fun watching how other servers or restaurant people work differently together and interact with you (me).
     The mystery girl did look vaguely familiar and, yet however much I don't get out anymore there's a chance I could have see her at a bar in the past. She only had a salad and some mussels, but left me big cash. That's what we do, or should do when those of us who do appreciate our industry jobs dine out and receive good to great to excellent service. Hook it up! Like an unspoken bond, she just knew where I was mentally during my crazy lunch rush and I wish I was where she was mentally: relaxing in a contently crazy restaurant dining room with great, fresh food and a good book. Thank you, mystery bartender lady. I will straddle or stumble up to your bar one day.

Do you have any cool stories to share about getting tipped well by a fellow restaurant lifer or you tipping well when you go out? Fell free to comment!


  1. My husband and I were just talking about this last night. Having been in the biz [me] we always tip very well. Start at 20%, but it is usually in the 30% - 40% range.

    We did have one particular server who was so wonderful, kind, nice - just the most lovely woman. We gave her a 100% tip everytime we visited with her [we always asked for her, and would wait] - and everytime she would argue that it was too much. She deserved every penny and we were happy to do it. We miss her as she married and moved back to Egypt. We think of her often and hope she and her family are okay.

  2. Skippy mom- that's awesome of you and your husband and too bad your favorite server moved. My wife and I do the the same when we are out and actually get good service haha. Read my previous post I'd Like the Table Near the Outhouse Please.

  3. Drunk people = the rule of multiplying their usual tip by about 50%

    It's why I always ask, 'Do you want wine with that?'

  4. I always tip well. Having been a server and now a manager I know how many things are not in the control of the server so I don't ever take it out on them via low tips.