“…check out some of these other restaurants for a job opening!”


If that’s too much asked from you, maybe you should check out some of these other restaurants, for a possible job opening!

Going home after a hectic night, I slowly walk up the hill behind the restaurant. I pause halfway up Spaghetti Hill and look back onto the bay below. The Sea Lions make their usual ruckus and I think back on the past shift worked.

I had been training this new waitress, smart, young and impatient. She wanted everything to happen now. At the beginning of her shift I reminded her that all our guests, walk-ins, reservations old or young all deserve to be treated with the same courtesy and respect and ended with: “Around here there are plenty of restaurants to choose from, our customers have made the choice to come to us. Now I expect you to show the guest that you appreciate their decision to dine with us. Or if that’s too much asked from you maybe you should check out some of these other restaurants yourself, for a possible job opening!”

I watched her taking good care of her tables and she did an exceptional job going through the bill of fare with her customers. Her explanations of all food items were accurate. I felt like an idiot! I thought I had good reason to give her a pep-talk. Two people, one customer and one coworker, had been telling me that her performance had been rather poor the previous day, on my day off. Yet she did a good job all night and by the end of the evening I was ready to apologize for my harsh remarks. A raucousness in my throat delayed my action. Before I could say what I wanted to say she looked at me, with her big brown eyes, and said, “Thanks you were right! The other night I made barely ten percent tips.” “Yes?” “But tonight my average is about twenty percent, that’s pretty good isn’t it?” I coughed, still coarse and with water in my eyes said “You did an excellent job, you really did!”

I must have been standing in one spot for at least ten minutes looking at the dark waters of the bay, my mind at this night’s business. Tired I turn my back on the bay and head up the hill to my apartment.

by helmut schonwalder