What the heck does that mean?

All about working as a waiter, pursuing my dream, eating vegetarian, and loving where I live!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Awkward Conversations

The most recent Hyperbole and a Half post definitely had me thinking about awkward conversations as a server.

Please visit Hyperbole and a Half!
I adore her comics and the most recent one was just a reminder of how socially awkward I am.

I notice that other servers at work have loooooooooooong enthusiastic conversations with their tables. They LOVE talking to their tables and find a connection with every single one that walks through the door. They remember names and develop regulars. I can barely remember the person who came in the week before.

The only regulars I have are the annoying ones because those are the only ones I remember. And I must be the only person who's nice to them because why the hell else would they always request me??

There's one table that I don't mind as much. They always tip decently and don't require conversation. They like each other well enough and that's something I can appreciate. When they sit down, I know that they want:
  1. Ice tea with light ice
  2. Coke with extra ice
  3. Burnt bread (no seriously, we burn the bread for them)
  4. Butter
  5. Well done salmon in a lemon butter sauce with capers. 
And that's it! Once you know what it is that they like, it's the easiest eight bucks ever.  And I like them because they don't try to make conversation. That's when I get into trouble.

ME: Hey folks, how's everything taste so far?
TABLE: It's really delicious.
ME: Fantastic! Enjoy your meal!
(I start to walk away)
TABLE: Seriously though, this is really nice. The sauce is incredible.
ME: Oh, good. I'm really glad you like it. That's a really great dish.
(I start to walk away)
TABLE: And her food is really good, too. Thanks for the recommendations.
ME: Yeeeeaaah. I'm really, really glad you're enjoying it. Um... do you want another glass of wine or anything?
TABLE: No, I'm fine... But speaking of wineries...

And then I'm trapped. I don't know how to extricate myself from this conversation. Usually, I'll pretend that a different table has motioned for me and leave to get them unnecessary refills.

At least when we're talking about food, then we're dealing with something job related and it doesn't get too uncomfortable. What I hate is when the conversation turns personal.

AWKWARD DUDE: It's really funny that you mentioned how young she looks. Can I tell her why we thought that was so funny? It's so funny.
AWKWARD GAL: Yeah, go ahead...tell her.
ME: Ummmmmm...
AWKWARD DUDE: Yeah. It's so funny! She has a STEP-DAUGHTER who is OLDER than she is!!!
ME: Um....Wow. Your step-daughter is OLDER than you? That's....pretty funny.
(Meanwhile, I'm thinking how extremely f'd up that is)
AWKWARD GAL: Yeah! And I have a son who is 22 years younger than his half-sister!
ME: Wow. Um... do you all get along?
AWKWARD GAL: Oh, yeah! She likes me. Loves her little brother.
ME: Huh. So when you go out, people must think you're sisters and that your son is actually her son.
AWKWARD GAL: Yeah! That happens!
AWKWARD GUY: Isn't that hilarious?!
ME: Yeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaah.

And then I turned around and walked away while forcing canned laughter. I really didn't understand how that could be funny.

I've also had people try to talk me into their pyramid schemes and convince me that I should host their Dove Chocolate Party at my house. Of course, the most awkward conversations are the ones that end up focused on my non-existent acting career. Yes. PLEASE remind me why I fail at life. THANK YOU for reminding me that I don't have an agent. NO, you haven't seen me in anything.

So, thank you, Hyperbole and a Half for reminding me that I am not alone in my dread of awkward conversations!
Not that this has anything to do with this post... It's just how every day of my life goes.

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