May 21, 2013 by serverscorned
I bitch a lot about customers. It probably makes it seem like I hate my job. On the contrary I really love it. Sure I get frustrated at times but it’s not all bad. As is the case with any job there are good days and bad ones. I have some really great coworkers and some not so great ones. I have customers I enjoy waiting on and some I’d just assume never see again. Such is the nature of the restaurant beast.
Today I want to give a shout out to great regulars. You guys are our bread and butter. You make our jobs more bearable on the bad days. You don’t bitch and complain when a mistake happens. You are always polite, and kind, and friendly, and most importantly you tip well! If I could fill my section with all of you every night I would be one happy mother fucker.
I have a group of regulars that come in on Mondays specifically wanting my section. They vary in party size from 8 to 18. They all need separate checks. They all want water. They trickle in and order all willy-nilly. Many of them want samples of beer before they make a selection. Sometimes a few will only get a free water. They require a lot of attention and border on needy. They sound like I would hate them don’t they? Here’s why I don’t…
They are all super nice and polite. I don’t add gratuity even though I could because they all tip me well over 20%. They are genuinely friendly and treat me less like a server and more like a part of their group. They all know me by name and I know all of their names as well. I’ve been waiting on them for about a year. I should probably mention that they are a church group. I call them “My Monday Night Churchies”.
When they first started coming in I would wait on them every other week because of their seating area choice as the other server working and I rotate sides every week. When their group took a break from their weekly gig for the holidays they gave me a thank you card that they had all signed and even chipped in cash. I was touched. The money was a generous gift and totally unexpected, but even more significant were the kind words and true appreciation which is so rare in this business. I have waited on many customers over the last 20 years. Some of whom have been regulars of mine for years. Never have I gotten such a thoughtful gift. It truly was amazing and meant way more to me than they could ever know.
When my Monday night Churchies returned at the first of the year they made sure to be in my section, even setting their schedule by which side of the restaurant I would be on week to week.
They grew in number and had more specific requests and needs than before. New people meant more samples of beer, more separate checks, more waters, more trickle in and order willy-nilly drama. They became a bigger pain in my ass and I’m not gonna lie, I totally cussed them in the wait station on more than one occasion. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved and appreciated them, but it didn’t stop me from bitching about the difficulties of waiting on them in the safety of the wait station. They have no idea how difficult they are. They don’t realize how they throw me in the weeds. They are blissfully unaware and I let them be because despite the things they do that drive me crazy we have a good thing going.
Anyway, last night was their final get together until after summer. They showed up in record numbers. They were an extra special pain in my ass and I totally cussed them repeatedly behind their backs. And then they did something I should’ve seen coming a long time ago. At the close of their meeting they asked if they could pray for me. AWKWARD!!! Of course I consented because the only thing more awkward than having a table ask if they can pray for you is telling them no. And I mean really it’s a nice thing they wanted to do whether I believe the same as they do or not. So I went along with it and bowed my head as is customary. The words were of course kind and once again they demonstrated their appreciation for all I do for them. Again I was touched and reminded of why I love them. On their way out I was hugged and thanked again and the main dude (I call him their leader, as in “take me to your leader”) handed me an envelope.
After they were long gone and we were all finished closing up, I sat down at the bar with my beer and extracted the envelope from my apron. I opened it to find another thank you card, once again signed by all of them with little notes of individual thanks, and once again filled with cash. It warmed the cockles of my little black server heart and I think my eyes even started to sweat a little. The money is nice and monetary appreciation is always great, but the words and the thought means more to me than any amount of money they stuff inside.
They won’t return until September. Needless to say my Monday nights won’t be the same without them. They will never know how much their kindness has meant to me. So, this is a shout out to all the great regulars, and especially my Monday night Churchies, for restoring my faith in humanity and reminding me why, even when I hate it, I actually really love my job.