I am currently faced with the decision to leave the world of working as a professional waiter. The energy and action that I have been putting into new goals for myself are transforming seeds that I have planted into blossoms of new opportunities. Exciting!!!
Making this decision to leave waiting tables is more of a challenge than I would have ever anticipated. I savor the work that I do in the restaurant world. As with any transition in life, I am working this process one step at a time. I do intend to stay connected to food, wine, and restaurants. I will keep you posted on my new adventures!
I truly delight in being a professional waiter. There are two key titles for this position; some people prefer waiter, others prefer server. Some people find either title offensive or demeaning. In my own mind, I have livened up my title to “hash slinger.” It makes life more fun!
What is so fulfilling about slingin’ hash? I relish being in an environment where people care about food. I crave expanding my food knowledge. I appreciate the creative nature of the people with whom I work, and service rocks my world. Yes, I said it – and I will say it again! Service rocks my world! I am one of those crazy, weird people who love all people – with no exceptions.
There are two ways that I look at service. First, it’s the time in which the restaurant is “on the move” with a lively energy of diners, tickets rolling in one after another to the kitchen, wine glasses being filled by attentive waiters, and carefully crafted food being placed in front of excitedly awaiting mouths and taste buds. Secondly, service is facilitating an experience for restaurant guests.
I enjoy facilitating dining experiences for people. I really get engaged in the “how” of providing these experiences. I admit, working with people can be a challenge. Yet I find great pleasure in turning those challenges into personal victories.
My approach to creating victories is one of the ways that I am able to leave work at work. I don’t rant about people and their so-called idiosyncrasies. I focus my energy on how I can provide memorable service to people and sharpen my skills along the way. This is an attitude that would serve a lot of waiters well. It would certainly make their lives smoother. It’s a way to take the “hate” out of the love-hate relationship that many waiters have with the profession.
How do I approach my job? It is all about making people happy. For me, it is a simple equation: making people happy brings satisfaction to my soul and puts cash in my pockets. Please come see me at Mateo Tapas in Durham, North Carolina!
What are some important skills that have I learned slingin’ hash?
– how to build rapport with people from all walks of life
– to encourage people to try new dishes that they probably would not have considered otherwise
– how to assist someone who seems uncomfortable with the environment or the menu so that they can become comfortably engaged in their experience
– how to lead someone from being angry into a smoother state of being
– how to get out of my own comfort zone in order to accommodate someone else’s needs
– to build rapport with (sometimes) cranky chefs to provide my guests with special requests
– how to ask questions to gather information so I can provide my diners with the experience that they want – not what I think they should have
When I am working, what I do is all about my guests. My job is about combining all of my skills and knowledge to facilitate an experience for them.
Lesson: In any field working with people, there is opportunity for learning and growing. There is magic in this human experience. I often find this magic in unexpected interchanges with others. Where do you uncover this kind of magic?
Note: For those of you who know me from Pizzeria Toro in Durham, NC – I am still gratefully employed by Pizzeria Toro. We are patiently awaiting getting back to business since the fire that stopped us in our tracks in November of 2013. I don’t have any word on what is happening. Like you, I can’t wait for them to open again! I will keep you posted.