First of all, I’ve been getting questions about the tea room reviews (for those of you who didn’t know I have been continuing my “afternoon teas” with Mom since that review) and apart from being busy and forgetting to write the reviews timely, I am still trying to figure out a name for the new blog where I’ll be doing to tea room reviews, scone and dessert recipes, bakery reviews, and fun tea facts. We had almost decided on The Crumpet Strumpets, but we learned today that there is an inappropriate saying in Australia regarding crumpets, and well we know the definition of a strumpet so as cute and clever as it may be, The Crumpet Strumpets might not be the best bet. So the front runner right now is Once Upon an Afternoon Tea. Thoughts?
Back when I first started being a server, I made a decision to keep work separate from this blog. But I’m going to break it today, because I had an experience that not only reminded me why being a server can be so great, but also just shows that there is some kindness and good people out in the world. Being a server you see a lot of cranky, crabby, and just plain rude people, and there are just bad things going on in the world all the time, so I like sweet little stories of decency.
I had an overly full section today: nine tables. And they were all full at all times. And people were getting a bit impatient (I totally understand) because we were a lot busier than we expected–come on it’s a Tuesday! The hostess told me to be careful as one of my tables was not in a good mood and may be difficult customers. Always appreciate the head’s up.
I went over, greeted them, took their tea order, and then one of the women apologized to me for being so indecisive about her tea. She told me that on her way over to our restaurant she had gotten in a car accident. The accident wasn’t bad, but the person who hit her was uncooperative and just made the experience even worse. Well that explains the bad moods. (Proof also that you never really know what is going on with someone.)
After giving her my dad’s information (since he is a lawyer), I made sure I took the best and kindest service I could give with my packed section. Over the course of the meal, the women seemed to start smiling again and began to relax; I hope they were able to take some time away from the car accident and to enjoy each others’ company and their teas. I talked to our manager and asked if I could give the car woman a little dessert on a “feel better” plate. I was more than prepared to pay for the petit four, but one of the wonderful things about my job is how understanding and people-oriented my employers are. They care more about our guests than the nitty-gritty of the bottom line. They are the most decent employers I have ever had. Anyways, the manager waved my offer away and told me that the petit four was on the restaurant and that he hopes everything works out for her.
I made the plate and delivered the dessert when the lady was in the restroom, so I didn’t get to see her reaction. Seeing that wasn’t important to me, I just wanted to make her feel a little better. Based on her attitude when I dropped off the check, it was successful and I know she appreciated the gesture.
What shocked me was the closing out of her check: when I picked up the checkbook, she blew me a kiss and told me that there was no need to bring any change back. I have never felt so sincerely thanked at my job than I did in that moment. And she and her friends left me an incredible tip. When I saw it, I will admit I nearly cried. Not from the money–I’m not shallow enough for the money to really matter–but from the gesture, the unsolicited thank you from a woman who had been having a terrible day that I was able to make just a little better.
So to that customer: I know you will probably never read this, and I will probably never meet you again, but I hope somehow you know that as much as I helped you, you helped me even more. You reminded me that people are kind, that people are generous, and that essentially people can be good. You embraced and raised my spirits as much as I did yours, and I am very grateful for your sweet gesture.
Thank you my random customer. You reminded this server why she chose this job in the first place.