I went out to eat a few days ago with 5 guys from my company. We didn’t go to 5 Guys, but now that I see the word play possibilities I wish we had, because the older I get the more I like dad humor (I can’t tell you how happy I was a few months ago when I needed some staples, and walked into Staples and asked the goth high school cashier if they carried staples. It was hilarious, trust me.)
We went to a barbecue joint we like. We sat down, the only patrons there aside from one other guy, and our server approached. Average-looking, friendly woman in her late twenties.
“Hi guys, what can I get you to drink”
“Um, I’ll have a water”
“Hold on, I don’t have a pen.”
Me: “I think I have a pen you can use. Yep, here you go.”
When she brought the drinks back she started by giving me a Cola instead of my water. Then she gave every other person the wrong drink. A little weird, but not the end of the world.
“Are you guys ready to order?”
“Well, we really need to look at some menus first, do you have any?”
“Oh, ya, no problem.”
The menus proved enormously helpful in understanding what dishes the restaurant was offering. 15 minutes after ordering, everyone received their food except me, for some unexplained reason. Mine was another 15-20 minutes, even though it was basically the same dish as the others.
The final test for our waitress was when Jack, and Jack alone, asked for a drink refill.
“Let’s see if she can get this one refill right.” we exaggerated, knowing she could obviously get that much right.
She took his glass to the soda dispenser 20 feet away, filled it, brought it back, and looked at me with a furrowed brow.
“Is this yours, er…?”
I love when people end a question in “er.” One of my favorite ways to end a sentence. Second only to “so.” It means “I’m basically already sure about this, but I want to be CRAZY sure, but I really don’t even need to ask, it’s mostly me just being polite and deferential.”
I pointed to Jack, then put my face in my arm and giggled uncontrollably (after she left). Poor girl.
Her only problem was that she lacked the specialized skill of remembering who ordered what. And the talent of having something to write down orders. As well as the gift of remembering to bring menus. And every other facility a server needs. Kind of like a doctor who is super friendly but vomits at the sight of blood and sickness and who went to crabfishing school instead of medical school.
But none of us were upset. She was just so nice and it was the funniest lunch I’ve had since last week (when I ate lunch while listening to my daily Wanda Sykes podcast). And I can relate. I’ve done things that I was just absolutely the worst at. I hope she finds her thing someday, be it landscaping or PR or bicycle design. But it’s not waitressing. And it’s probably not professional memorizing either.