On the great nights

(Note: I am enjoying the final day of my mini vacation.  Having a great trip.  Met my favorite musician and a personal hero yesterday.  Today I will be taking the scenic drive through the Ozark hills of Central Missouri.  This is a post I wrote a couple months ago.  Not my standard fare, but I hope you all enjoy it.)

Some nights I just love waiting tables.  They are the nights where everything goes right.  The guests are congenial and friendly.  You make connections with your tables and they are happy.  They take your recommendations and commend you on them afterwards.  It almost doesn’t seem like work.

It is almost like I am better looking.  My jokes are funnier.  I walk a little taller.  I scoff at the weeds.  I am a well-oiled machine.  I could juggle trays of martinis while shelling a lobster.  The women flirt.  How could they not, I am better looking tonight.

It’s not just me though.  The food seems to actually taste better.  The guests love it.  That can’t be the same special nobody liked three days ago.  The wine is pairing perfectly with it.  The bottles keep rolling out.  Other tables throughout the restaurant are staring into my section with envy.  I’m running a section like Frank Sinatra would work a room.  They might as well just put a velvet rope around my section.

Tonight was one of those nights.  Well maybe not as perfect as I described above, but it sure felt like it.  Those nights have been fewer lately.  One of the worst months I have had financially in a while.  Tonight wasn’t spectacular financially by any means, but I didn’t stop to worry about it.  I was having too much fun and it all worked out just fine.

I am contemplating what made tonight so much different than other nights.  Other nights can be the exact opposite.  Tables sometime just seem to drain you.  Otherwise kind and friendly people just speak to you in short curt statements.  It is clear you are just there to bring them their food.  You are a needless expense to the meal from whom they intend to get their money’s worth of labor out of.

I think the difference it that today I made some people happy.  Tables that would have been content with the mediocre service they expected gave me a chance to do it differently.  They trusted my recommendations.  I didn’t let them down.  They smiled at me and they also smiled more at each other.  I had a few couples that celebrated anniversaries.  Both young and old.  They enjoyed their meals and each other.  I saw couples that walked in with frowns and walked out with smiles and I played a part in that.

Waiting tables isn’t the world’s most glamorous job.  Sometimes people just don’t understand why I still do it.  What they don’t realize is that on nights like tonight, I have the greatest job on earth.  I got paid to make people happy.  There are people tonight who shared their special occasions with me and are glad they did.  There are couples who enjoyed their night out away from their kids.  There are young women on a girl’s night out who had more fun because I served them dinner.  If you can think of a better thing in the world to get paid for, then you can recruit me.

Not every night is like tonight, but the internet is filled with those stories.  Tonight the internet gets a good story.  I am just as tired and just as sore as I am after any other Saturday night, but tonight was a win.  I hope your night was as well.  If it wasn’t, I hope I brought you a little faith that it will be your turn soon.

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