Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Time For Another Hat Switch Again

Sometimes you can just tell when it's gonna be a great day. Today was one of them. Tim woke me up with breakfast in bed, a steaming cup of coffee , OJ and even a glass of my favorite Nestle's Quik. He had my work shirt ironed and ready to go and left the house right on time. I've started leaving an hour and a half instead of two hours early since learning all my nifty shortcuts to the commute. I rolled into the MARTA train station right on time and slowly stalked a TSA worker from the station to his car. I had to clock in at one thirty and hopped on the train at 12:59. By 1:06  was sitting on what I call the "Sardine Shuttle" to the International terminal. I got through security (using yet another shortcut I've learned) and got to work ten minutes early.

I'm beginning to feel more comfortable with every shift I work and today was no exception. I clocked in and got to work doing my opening side work and helping to clean up a bit. For the first thirty minutes I have opening duties and then begin to take tables.

I noticed my general manager talking to a woman I met at the Midtown location while attending a beverage class before starting training. I knew she was a big wig for Fifth Group, our parent company. She was sitting at a table with another person and they both had menus in front of them.

I was immediately relieved to see the menus. I thought maybe she was there to speak with me about my less than stellar "Shopper Report." She was just there to speak with the managers and executive Chef. I knew she knew about my Shop because Chef had told me so. As I passed her table on the way to greet one of my own, stopped to say hello and apologize about my crappy Shopper's Report.

She was extremely nice, chuckled and said there was nothing to be sorry about. She said getting Shopped on your first week is hard and I did just fine under the circumstances.


I KNEW it was gonna be a good day, even my hair had cooperated with me this morning!

There were two big flights leaving tonight, one for Amsterdam and another for Paris. I only made one mistake tonight with a credit card but the customer never knew about it and my "Bad Cop"manager fixed it for me. He even gave me more tables than he usually does and made pretty great money.

Around nine "Bad Cop" told me to pick up table 230 so I hustled right over. The guy kinda looked familiar but what do I know? I greeted him and he smiled and said hello to me as well. I asked if he was in a hurry (a must) and replied not at all, he was waiting for his flight to Paris. I took him his cocktail and asked if he had any questions about the menu or wanted to order an appetizer, naming a few of the more popular ones.  He shook his head and said "I'll just have Mama Lucia's Chicken Lucia."

That's a dish we serve at my OTHER job. Now I knew why he looked so familiar, he eats with me at the restaurant  in Newnan, where I live.  I laughed and said, "Fancy meeting YOU here!" Super nice, quite handsome man and was good to see him again.

My manager came up to me after I put the man's order in and said "The man at table 230 asked for a table when he came in and said he only wanted to eat if it was with the woman with short hair out on the patio. I thought he wanted to sit next to the customer on the patio, a woman eating with short hair so directed him to a table by her when he stopped me and said , No I want the SERVER with short hair to wait on me. He said he knew you from a Newnan restaurant and another place as well."

For Pete's sake! Now I knew where I ALSO knew him from.

A while back I was working part time for a Mattress store as a mid week manager as well as waiting tables at Mama Lucia's. I worked by myself Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It wasn't a busy location and was in the middle of a hot summer. It was a discount, no frills store and didn't run the A/C to help keep costs down for the consumer. It didn't help ME hot flashes alone are enough to melt the witch from the Wizard of Oz.

I worked ten hours days with no way to go anywhere for lunch so simply brought food with me from home and snacked when no one was in the store. But since they docked me thirty minutes for lunch, usually kicked back on a nice plush $1400.00 memory foam king sized mattress and read a book for thirty minutes. One hot summer day no one had come in for a time so took my thirty minute reading time. Somehow, someway I nodded off and didn't hear a customer come in. I was awakened by "Don't YOU look all comfy? That must be a great mattress!"

To  make it even worse, he knew me from Mama Lucia's.

Fast forward a few months...

I was at Mama Lucia's waiting tables one night when  woman sat at my table, ordered a glass of wine and said she was waiting on her husband. About thirty minutes later her husband came in so I asked him what he would like? He replied "A king size memory foam mattress." His wife looked at him like he was crazy (which was exactly what I was thinking) when he looked at his wife and told her I also worked at the Mattress store across the street. He said "You remember me don't you?"

I didn't remember him from Adam but enthusiastically said "SURE I do!"

Then the bomb dropped...

He said "I came in that day and you were SOUND asleep on that big daddy foam mattress with a book across your chest!"

Oops, NOW I remembered him!

I never got on another mattress to read the entire rest of the time I worked there.

So now a year later, working for a new restaurant in the International Terminal of the world's busiest airport this guy walks by, sees me and requests my table!

Yes, it WAS a good day! I had my first request table EVER at the new digs.

When I took him his check told him it was wonderful to see him again and apologized for snoozing on a mattress when he came into the mattress store. He extended his hand and said, "My name is Paul and it was good to see you again! Don't worry about the mattress thing, it was great advertisement for how comfortable the mattress was. I'm just glad you weren't selling toilets!"

You know, I couldn't MAKE this stuff up if I tried!

I didn't get off til almost eleven and got home shortly after midnight but made over two hundred dollars and even had my first "Request Table!"

Switching hats again on Thursday and Friday, working here in Newnan at Mama Lucia's.

"Remember that  wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure. You've got to find the treasure, so that everything else you have learned along the way can make sense." (The Alchemist)

So I'm just a "Server." But you know what? I'm pretty stinking good at it. It's all just sales and marketing,  not only enjoy it but have helped raise three kids with it and never hate going into my job.

Once again realizing how completely blessed I am, even with all the difficulties we've been through.

"One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving." (yet again The Alchemist)

I am loved and loved by many. I am blessed with family, friends and doing something I enjoy along the way.

Writing will always be my first passion, but HECK, I'm doing THAT along the way too!

Til next time, a finally Contented COTTON.

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